Ever since American Airlines launched their Chefs’ Conclave back in 1988, carriers around the world have tried to snag the best culinary talent to consult on their in-flight culinary programs. Now it’s considered industry standard to have a well-known chef putting their names on airplane menus. Japan’s ANA goes well beyond industry standard, though, with their Connoisseurs program that launched in September of 2013. There’s not just a few celebrity chefs in their arsenal. As of this September, there are now TWENTY-SIX and the newest additions may be the most exciting. From the press release:
The first of our new partners is Pierre Gagnaire (3 Michelin stars), a master of French cuisine well respected around the world for his rare artistry and creativity. Pierre has restaurants in cities around the world including London, Moscow and Dubai and has served Japanese customers through his restaurant at the ANA Intercontinental Tokyo hotel.
The second new international partner joining The Connoisseurs is Annie Feolde (3 Michelin stars) an internationally famous producer of Italian cuisine. She is the first female chef, and the first Italian food expert, to join The Connoisseurs team. In Japan, she has been running the Enoteca Pinchiorri restaurant in Nagoya.
Both Pierre and Annie have a long-standing relationship with Japan and a deep knowledge of Japan.
The third new member of The Connoisseurs team is the Japanese chef Toru Okuda (3 Michelin stars). Toru is working to spread the popularity of Japanese food around the world and last year opened a namesake restaurant in Paris. Okuda regularly features in the local French media.
The final new member of The Connoisseurs team is Masayoshi Nishikawa (2 Michelin stars), who is based in Kyoto and specializes in formal Japanese kaiseki cuipsine. Kyoto is known internationally as a cultural and tourist destination, and Nishikawa is one of the next generation of young chefs upholding the region’s culinary traditions.
Pierre Gagnaire??? That’s major. I dined at his Hong Kong restaurant Pierre in the Mandarin Oriental and came away very impressed by the ultra-French sophistication of the meal. I cannot WAIT to see what he would do for a First Class meal.
Nice work, ANA. Pretty soon you’ll be able to fill an entire flight with world-class chefs.
More on Pierre Gagnaire…