The Taste of Travel Theatre serves fine dining at 30,000 feet

The Taste of Travel Theatre serves fine dining at 30,000 feet

The highly popular Taste of Travel Theatre wooed visitors on the opening day of this year’s World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo in Hamburg with top chef Gerard Bertholon displaying his culinary skills together with wine connoisseur Duncan Brown of Concha y Toro offering advice on serving the best type of wines in the cabin.

The Taste of Travel Theatre opened with Gerard Bertholon, Chief Strategy Officer and Bhasker Raghav, Business Development Manager from Cuisine Solutions, presenting three delicious dishes, two of which are currently being served by airlines. Modern culinary methods deliver quality food by enhancing flavour through cooking processes such as sous-vide, which was explained in greater detail during Gerard Bertholon’s preparation of “Amazon Cod” and “72 hours Short Rib”.

For over five years, the Brazilian government has been supporting sustainable fish farms in the Amazonian Forest to encourage and retain indigenous culture through economic investment. This particular fish has chunky flesh, which when cooked in the sous-vide method, concentrates delicious flavours. After refrigeration, the fish is prepared and seasoned, placed and vacuum sealed in a pouch and then cooked in a precise and low-temperature water bath. United is currently serving “Amazon Cod” to its first and business class passengers.

“72 hours Short Rib” will be served during the next six months to first and business class passengers on Hawaiian Airlines. Using the same sous-vide process, the meat is cooked for 72 hours ensuring perfect consistency both inside and out, which is both safer and tastier for passengers.

The stage was then handed over to Duncan Brown of Concha y Toro, partners to Ratcliffe & Brown, who explained how to get the best from wines in a pressurised cabin, where a passenger’s sense of smell and taste are affected by a number of factors including altitude, dehydration and ambient noise. As mild and delicate flavours lose out, Andrew described how grapes grown in a hot climate such as Chile can step up to the mark, with visitors then tasting a variety of Chilean wines to demonstrate the style and choice of grape available.


“There is no doubt that flying in the air impacts negatively on our perception of flavour with up to a 30 percent loss. When it comes to wine, airlines need to select the wines that best compensate for this specific loss of flavour in the air. Wines with stronger flavours, ripe fruits and balancing acidity are the preferred styles to serve in a cabin environment,” said Duncan Brown.