Vertis Aviation marks 1000 hours of Michelin stars in the sky
Vertis Aviation has been highlighting 1000 hours of a two Michelin Star chef flying on board the BBJ in its portfolio, during EBACE this week.
A duo of two Michelin star chefs, Aurélien Misse and Benjamin Laffineur, have collectively flown the equivalent of 17 times round the globe whilst preparing gourmet dishes at altitude on board the Privajet Boeing Business Jet, which is exclusively marketed by Vertis Aviation.
Hailing from the kitchen of famed Belgian chef Yves Mattagne, who holds two Michelin stars in Brussels (Sea Grill, Yumé and Atelier Yves Mattagne), the chefs have built a reputation for providing an extraordinary added level of comfort on board the luxurious private jet. Working together with operator Privajet and chef Mattagne, the genius chefs, one of whom travels on every flight as a matter of course, have created specific menus featuring premium dishes and tantalizing tastes with rich wines, that combined provide a sensory experience inflight.
They have also developed processes to resolve the challenges facing any chef producing fine cuisine at altitude – dehydration, lack of taste, visual appeal and food safety, for example. Ordering the best local produce, ensuring delivery just ahead of take off, and knowing what works well in a restricted galley, are just some of the tricks of their trade. “The result of the just in time ordering method means that the meals served at the end of the flights look as fresh as if they have just been prepared, and served, in a five star hotel on the ground. This is extremely important for our passengers who know and expect only the best quality,” says Neil Turnbull, COO of Vertis Aviation. “Food is a central part of the flight experience on longer range aircraft journeys which is why the chefs are such an important part of the offering.”
During their extensive time in the sky-kitchen the chefs have received demands for a variety of meals ranging from spaghetti bolognaise (two-star of course) and duck and strawberry pancakes, to grilled lobster. “The point is that the clients want to be able to choose exactly what they fancy, and by having a chef on board we know it will be served in the most delicious way,” says Turnbull about the tailored nature of the service.
The signature dish is a “Caviar Box” which is filled with caviar, scallops in season, sour cream, herbs and a number of secret ingredients that are only known to those that have tried it. The chefs can get creative too and have transformed the jet’s dining area into a sushi bar, brunch style bistro and even an ice cream bar. Working closely with the flight attendants, the chefs will adapt the style and presentation of the food according to the passengers flying. A head of state on official business will receive a different type of service to a family flying on holiday. Religious needs are also catered too.
The kitchen, even though restricted in size, incorporates impressive equipment including two ovens with different cooking options comprising, dry heat, and steam; in addition to a microwave, fridge and even a freezer. “We recognize it’s a restricted space but the guys have developed strategies for managing this. Its important we incorporate all this equipment as we are aware passengers won’t always know what they want before they get on board. With the well equipped galley the chefs can normally accommodate most requests,” says Jerome Franier, Commercial Director for Privajet. “They will always try to provide a great food experience, that is also unforgettable.”
And the best compliment from a passenger? “Well one client called the chef in to the cabin to tell him that the best food he’d had on his two week break in the Caribbean was on board the BBJ.”
Vertis Aviation currently markets three Airbus A319 ACJ’s, the Boeing Business Jet BBJ1, Gulfstream G450, G550 and G650, a Bombardier Global 6000, Bombardier Global XRS, one Global Express, and a Dassault Falcon 7X.