Gulf Air has brought four Sky Chefs to Dublin to showcase its inflight cuisine. The chefs will take over the kitchen at local restaurant Chapter One.The event will be attended by James Hogan, CEO of Gulf Air; Michael Kent, Gulf Air head of in-flight services and more than 30 invited media, celebrities and industry guests.
The chefs are in town to give Ireland a taste of Gulf Air cuisine prior to the airline’s inaugural flight on 2 December, when the airline will bring a touch of class back to the Irish aviation industry by launching a new three class, direct service from Dublin to Bahrain.
Gulf Air has more than 120 chefs from 23 nations dishing up European and Middle Eastern treats across the airline’s expanding network. The Sky Chefs are involved in the preparation of in-flight meals across all cabins. First Class passengers receive special attention, where the award winning Sky Chefs provide freshly prepared five star quality cuisine chair side on a dine on demand basis allowing guests to select gourmet meal option finished to passenger exact specifications. Traditional dining options are complemented by a stand up onboard buffet which offers a full range of drinks and snacks.
“We know we offer something unique” said Hogan. “We have received industry and consumer recognition from across the globe. The latest Skytrax poll revealed that Gulf Air continues to provide the best onboard catering in the world, and at last week’s World Travel Awards we won the Middle East Leading First Class Airline award and the World’s Leading Airport Lounge. This kind of recognition proves that we are now one of the leading airlines in the world, and our Sky Chef concept is an integral part of our boutique offering” he said.
Since introducing the service in September 2003, Gulf Air has been recruiting top chefs from leading five star and Michelin rated restaurants and hotels around the world for its unique, award-winning in flight dining service. “The chefs come from every corner of the globe from Morocco and Egypt to Australia and Scandinavia, representing 23 different countries,” said Kent.
The Four Sky Chefs in Dublin have each trained and practiced in different parts of the world.
Igor has been working for Gulf Air since 2002 and was trained at Instituto Professionale di Stato per i Servizi Alberghieri in Salerno, Italy.
Igor has worked in several restaurants the Salerno region and won the first prize in a Southern Italian Cooking Contest held in Laurena Cilento. Igor then moved to Singapore where he worked for the Fresco Da Salvatore chain and at the Al Forno East Coast restaurant, before returning to Europe for a stint with the Air Europe Volare Group in Milan.
“I never dreamed, when I was training to be a chef all those years ago, that I would one day be involved in creating award-winning cuisine as a Sky Chef for one of the world’s leading airlines” said Italian born inflight chef Igor Simonaio.
Chef Abdessamad Channaoui, who hails from Morocco, worked as a chef for Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dubai and in several Italian and Moroccan restaurants before joining Gulf Air in February 2004. His expertise lies in both Arabic and French cuisine.
“We have a mouth watering menu for our Irish friends,” said Channaoui. “We know we can surprise and delight our new customers in Ireland, and we have no doubt they’ll love what we offer on board all our flights, no matter what cabin they sit in.”
CINDY LEE FARREN
Cindy Lee Farren hails from Australia. She has worked extensively throughout her native country, working as a chef at the Pacific International Hotel, and at the Provin Group Catering Company, both in New South Wales before joining Gulf Air.
“We want to show the people of Ireland what a Sky Chef is all about. We’re not just cabin crew who are trained in in-flight food preparation. We are all fully qualified chefs, having graduated from culinary schools from across the world. We have undergone extensive cabin crew training, and we are very proud to be the only real sky chefs in the sky” she said.
MARK PATRICK ROWE
Mark trained at the Kidbrooke Catering College in South Africa, who has experience as a chef in restaurants in Cape Town and Bahrain. He was the Executive Sous Chef at La Terasse Restaurant in Bahrain before joining the Gulf Air team. Previously he was Head Chef at Little Camelot in Bahrain, and a Senior Sous Chef at Nelson’s Eye Restaurant in Capetown.
“Our role is not limited to preparing and cooking meals in the sky. We are also extensively involved in the creation of the menus, in selecting the produce and in the pre-flight preparation on the ground, working with our various suppliers to ensure we always provide something a little bit beyond what any othe airline can offer.”