Airline Cuisine - the Best Celebrity Menus and Flying Chefs

In a bid to break free from the image of substandard in-flight fare and potentially influence new customers to their brand – airlines now collaborate, in their premium cabins, with high-profile Michelin-starred chefs or high-end restaurants. The kind their customers would dine at on terra firma. 

Some major airlines however have not gone down that route, instead opting to elevate their own inflight dining to great effect.

Catering at cruising altitude comes with its own challenges – science tells us that food tastes different in a pressurised cabin. Our tastebuds and sense of smell are reduced, and food acts differently at altitude. As a result, airline food often tastes bland. In the past, airlines have tried to combat these challenges by increasing salt and sugar content but now, with airlines combining forces with the best chefs in the world; passengers are in for a culinary treat. 

The pandemic had a great effect on airlines with a Flying Chef. Many airlines disbanded this service and we are awaiting a full resumption with bated breath. has taken a look at five high-profile collaborations with celebrity chefs and some airlines that still employ top-quality onboard chefs preparing gourmet cuisine in premium cabins.   


Airlines Articles - Airline Cuisine  - the Best Celebrity Menus and Flying Chefs

Singapore Airlines

Guests flying in Suites, First Class and Singapore Airlines Business Class experience the very best in fine dining at altitude thanks to an international culinary panel of seven world-renowned chefs holding no less than twelve Michelin stars between them. A panel of international wine experts provide Air Sommeliers with an award-winning list of fine wines and Champagnes to compliment the dishes.

Customers can experience a wide selection of meals inspired by the multi-award-winning panel from the ‘Book the Cook’ service available on flights above 90 minutes in duration.

Celebrated chefs on the panel include Carlo Cracco, a judge on MasterChef Italia. Georges Blanc is a Grand Master of French cuisine with three Michelin stars, while Australian Matthew Moran holds a coveted One Chef’s hat and hosts a popular television cooking show, Paddock to Plate.

Sanjeev Kapoor is a Mercury Gold Award winner, and his cooking show, Khana Khazana, has amassed over 500 million viewers in over 120 countries. His authentic Shahi Thali is available on flights between Singapore and India. Suzanne Goin is the winner of Best Chef California and is a four-time nominee for Outstanding Chef of the Year.

Yoshihiro Murata is a Kaiseki Master, and his restaurants have seven Michelin stars combined – more than any other in Japan. Customers can savour Murata's Kyo-Kaiseki and Hanakoireki on flights to Japan.

Zhu Jun is classically trained in French and Italian cuisine and is the executive chef at JARDIN de JADE. His Shi Quan Shi Mei dish is available on flights between Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

The airline now has a collaboration 

Airlines Articles - Airline Cuisine  - the Best Celebrity Menus and Flying Chefs

Air France

The best of French gastronomy can be enjoyed on board Air France thanks to its collaboration with ambassadors of French cuisine in the sky in the La Première and Air France Business Class cabins.

Celebrated chefs Michel Roth, Régis Marcon, Ann-Sophie Pic and Mathieu Viannay, hold ten Michelin stars between them and will take turns every four months to provide delectable cuisine onboard certain long-haul flights from Paris. Current dishes created in La Première by Michel Roth include Caviar Sturia, lobster medallion, tender beef and pan-seared foie gras, and quinoa with candied lemon. At the same time, Business Class customers can enjoy a delicious menu created by Ann-Sophie Pic including braised beef, saithe with seaweed and seashell pasta.

Customers can also enjoy the finest French wines and Champagne to complement their meals, prepared by Paolo Basso – voted the Best Sommelier in the World in 2013.

Chef Daniel Rose prepares dishes on flights from the United States and Canada, with Michelin-starred chef Jean-François Rouquette creating the menu for La Première cabins on flights to Paris from New York, Shanghai, and Tokyo.

Business Class passengers on medium-haul flights are not forgotten, with menus created by Bocuse d’Or winner François Adamski.

Air France is committed to offering 100 per cent French meat, dairy, eggs and sustainably caught fish in all cabins from Paris, with all meals prepared in France.

Airlines Articles - Airline Cuisine  - the Best Celebrity Menus and Flying Chefs

SWISS International Air Lines

The award-winning SWISS Taste of Switzerland dining concept provides SWISS Business Class and First Class passengers with new menus every three months from the most renowned chefs and restaurants of the 26 Cantons of Switzerland.

With a service tailored to individual requirements, First Class customers can dine on demand from a choice of exquisite specialities from the featured regions of Switzerland.

Business Class and First Class customers on long-haul flights from Zurich currently enjoy bespoke menus from Chef Laurent Eperon. He has been creating exceptional French cuisine at the esteemed two-Michelin-starred restaurant Pavillon at the Baur au Lac hotel for over 25 years.

Signature dishes showcase fresh, regional and seasonal ingredients with a modern interpretation of classic haute cuisine.

The Business Class menu includes starters of Mediterranean octopus terrine or pumpkin salad, while the main course features beef tenderloin or pikeperch fillet.

In First Class, the menu includes Pavillon’s signature starter dish of Bouillabaisse with pulled cod and mussels in dill oil. Other options include lobster tail or an autumnal Waldorf salad. Exquisite main courses include – venison entrecôte, a John Dory fillet with smoked sturgeon beurre blanc and roasted cauliflower with curry sauce.

Airlines Articles - Airline Cuisine  - the Best Celebrity Menus and Flying Chefs

ANA – All Nippon Airways

Japanese airline All Nippon Airways - ANA - has collaborated with a team of internationally renowned chefs to create The Connoisseurs. A collective of Michelin star, award-winning chefs, ANA chefs, and Sommeliers specialising in Japanese, French and fusion cuisine in ANA First Class and ANA Business Class.

Toru Okuda is a three-Michelin-starred chef with restaurants in Tokyo, Paris and New York. His Japanese cuisine makes the most of the rich blessings of the season. Fellow chef Yoshihiro Takahashi is the 15th generation owner of three Michelin-starred Hyotei restaurant – a 450-year-old tea house in Kyoto.

French cuisine is crafted by two Michelin star chef Ryuta Lizuka, who studied under the late Joël Robuchon (holder of the most career Michelin stars with 32) and now owns Tokyo Restaurant Ryuzu. Hideki Takayama is a two-time winner of the prestigious Asia Pacific Bocuse d’Or and culinary director of The Landis Taipei Paris 1930 de Hideki Takayama.

Two Michelin star winner, Masayasu Yonemura, owner of Kyoto and Tokyo restaurants Yonemura, provides creative fusion cuisine, where Japanese accents combine with French cuisine to deliver ever-changing flavours.

Beverages are also carefully curated by a team of experts, including Olivier Poussier, voted The Best Sommelier of the World in 2000 and Yasuyuki Kitahara, who became the 4th World Sake Sommelier winner in 2014.

Airlines Articles - Airline Cuisine  - the Best Celebrity Menus and Flying Chefs


Australian flag carrier Qantas was the first airline to pair with an established restaurateur in 1997 when the airline teamed up with renowned Australian chef Neil Perry of the Rockpool restaurants. This collaboration is still strong today and is the longest such partnership of its kind.  

Menus are designed and developed quarterly for international First and Business Class travellers, maximising the finest seasonal produce and local artisan producers.

The Qantas First Class restaurant-style dining experience is tailored to customer preferences with meal choices selected from à la carte menus under the creative control of Neil Perry and prepared on board and made to order. Qantas Neil Perry Sommeliers in the Sky advise customers on drink selection with a carefully curated range of award-winning fine wines from Australia and New Zealand and French Champagne.  

International Qantas Business Class customers enjoy a contemporary selection of locally sourced seasonal dishes – from light bites to a complete dining experience upon request, with an exceptional selection of wines and champagne. Flights to India from Australia will have the option of seasonal dishes inspired by the region.

Airlines Articles - Airline Cuisine  - the Best Celebrity Menus and Flying Chefs
QANTAS Business Class

Airlines with “Flying Chefs”

Only a handful airlines worldwide currently offer food experts onboard flights for premium-class customers.

Despite the term ‘Flying Chef’, the onboard chefs are not cooking from scratch in the galley. Instead, they ensure the meals – mostly prepared on the ground – are beautifully and creatively presented, garnished to the taste of every passenger and delivered on time.

Often, the flying chefs come from a background of working in the finest restaurants around the world.  

Meals created by the flying chefs are plated onboard, allowing them to cater more specifically to the customer's needs – including catering for special dietary needs. They also provide advice and knowledge to flight attendants and guests as and when required.

Flying chefs are part of the crew and can be seen in typical flight attendant dress during arrival and departure and change during meal service when they wear a more traditional chef uniform.

Airlines Articles - Airline Cuisine  - the Best Celebrity Menus and Flying Chefs

Turkish Airlines

Business Class travellers on select Turkish Airlines flights of over eight hours can enjoy mouth-watering gourmet dishes prepared on the ground by Turkish DO & CO catering staff and presented in the air by professional DO & CO onboard Flying Chefs .

These chefs offer passengers advice on the selected dishes, which are then prepared in the galley and served in the cabin by the chefs. Meals are beautifully presented on stylish tableware. 

Menus feature traditional Turkish delicacies and contemporary cuisine using the finest, freshest ingredients. Meal choices can be selected on the airline's website meal selection tab up to 48 hours before departure and include a delicious selection of red and white meat dishes, seafood, various pasta dishes and other selections. Special meals are also available.

Sample dishes include – traditional islim kebab, seabass en papillote, homemade Turkish ravioli, and aubergine rigatoni.

Customers can expect three meals on transatlantic flights, a snack service, and a hot drink service including the airline’s speciality of Turkish coffee and Turkish delights.

Airlines Articles - Airline Cuisine  - the Best Celebrity Menus and Flying Chefs
Austrian Airlines Business Class

Austrian Airlines

Passengers on long-haul flights from Vienna on Austrian Airlines Business Class enjoy a complete hospitality experience from frequently changing menus created by Tastefully Austrian.

The flag carrier of Austria uses DO & CO (itself an Austrian company), the gourmet entertainment company with onboard professional flying chefs. They attend to the preparation and presentation of Business Class meals in the galley and advise flight attendants and customers in the cabin.

There are two meal services on long-haul flights and typically include the first service of an appetiser, soup, a main course of three options, a fruit or cheese option, and dessert. The second service before landing consists of a salad, a choice of two main dishes, a dessert and coffee and tea service.

Dishes are presented on triangular tableware of different sizes to complement the size of the meal and brought to the customer on a tray. Portions are substantial, and the quality is excellent. 

There is a selection of wines from Austria, Champagne from France, prosecco from Italy and the usual high-end bar drinks and non-alcoholic beverages. The airline’s ‘Vienna coffeehouse above the clouds’ offers guests high-quality speciality coffee, including Einspänner and Wiener Melange.

Airlines Articles - Airline Cuisine  - the Best Celebrity Menus and Flying Chefs


Saudi Arabia Airlines - SAUDIA - is the flag carrier of Saudi Arabia and has been providing an elevated inflight chef service since 2015 when the airline offered exclusive service to First Class passengers on selected routes.

Since then, the service has been upgraded and expanded to Business Class passengers on flights over four-and-a-half hours to destinations in Europe, the United States, East Asia and North Africa.

The airline’s 150 chefs are carefully chosen from upscale hotels and restaurants – some of whom were working alongside Michelin-certified chefs – to offer some of the finest cuisines available in the air. SAUDIA is a member of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs – an International Association of Gastronomy.

Airlines Articles - Airline Cuisine  - the Best Celebrity Menus and Flying Chefs
SAUDIA First Class

SAUDIA First Suite guests can enjoy a four-course à la carte menu from the privacy of their suite with world-class cuisine fused with traditional flavours, prepared exclusively by the onboard chef. A full menu of meals is also available for guests who wish to dine on demand.

First Class and Business Class customers are provided with a choice of international cuisine, including Arabic, Western and a destination country dish, and a vegetarian option. There is a good selection of hors d’oeuvres, a traditional soup with multiple entrees and a choice of hot dessert or ice cream and a delicious variety of teas, coffee, mocktails, juices and signature Bellinis. Passengers can also select the dine-on-demand meal service.

Though the list of chefs on board is limited to just five airlines globally, the airlines with celebrity collaborations are somewhat longer. Indeed, British Airways, not mentioned on this list, has teamed up with British Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge to create a new range of gourmet items sold in economy cabins on the airline’s short-haul flights.

Airlines Articles - Airline Cuisine  - the Best Celebrity Menus and Flying Chefs
Emirates - own, delicious cuisine

However, other airlines that do not collaborate with celebrity chefs or employ onboard chefs should not be overlooked. Emirates – regarded as one of the finest airlines for onboard catering – use Emirates Flight Catering to create exquisite gourmet dishes, using the finest international produce, from their base in Dubai International airport. 

Search & Book your next premium flight - with or without a celebrity chef preparing your meals - on today! searches hundreds of travel sites at once to help you find the best premium travel offers on both flights and the finest hotels. The Flight Search on includes information on which Champagne is served in Business Class and First Class on many airlines.

More from