With more than 80 chefs already employed, Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways is close to reaching its target of having 100 or more international chefs employed to serve in its first-class cabins.
The plan, originally announced at the beginning of 2011, will be finished by the end of the first quarter of 2012.
"The chefs that we’re recruiting range from chef de partis to executive chefs,” Werner Kimmeringer, head of guest experience – Catering at Etihad explained. “Out of 1000s of applications we have so far picked about 80. They may be the best chef in the world, but they still need to meet the Etihad profile.
“And the chefs will not just benefit first class,” Kimmeringer went on to explain. “They’re also there to monitor quality control for the whole aircraft. The onboard chef will be welcoming premium guests, explaining the menu cards – he’ll be like the maitre’d of the cabin – and then he will make food recommendations and wine pairings.”
Kimmeringer said that the addition of this new position to its onboard professionals would bring the in-flight dining experience closer to a fine dining restaurant experience.
“We are giving the chefs chopping boards, palettes and pans so they can customise dishes for passengers, make individual snacks, or cook their meat to order.”
To read more about the latest developments in in-flight catering, see the November 2011 issue of Caterer Middle East.