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6. July 2021
by Varun Sharma
From this month through to October, the French national carrier will feature dishes especially created by the three Michelin-star winning chef in its most exclusive cabin – La Première. Donckele – who has held his three stars at his Saint-Tropez La Vague d'Or restaurant since 2013 – has created an appetiser, a starter and seven main dishes for Air France and follows in the footsteps of gastronomic luminaries including Alain Ducasse and Joël Robuchon – who have partnered with the airline.
La Première is Air France’s most exclusive cabin – available on its Boeing 777-300 aircraft – and available on a handful of routes from its Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport hub. La Première features just four seats in its own cabin and ranks above Business Class on the Air France luxury pecking order. On routes from CDG to destinations that include Washington, Hong Kong, Dubai and Johannesburg, La Première passengers are treated to individual suites that feature extra wide flat-beds that sit more than two metres in length. They also enjoy high-definition entertainments screens, exclusive service and premium Champagnes from labels including Bollinger and Perrier Jouët.
Arnaud Donckele – who hails from Normandy – has been designing the cuisine at two of France’s top hotels – Cheval Blanc St-Tropez and Cheval Blanc Paris. His creations for La Première passengers blend flavours from Provence – and has produced a menu that mirrors a gastronomic journey through the Mediterranean. It includes fish, meat, and vegetarian dishes.
The menu is as follows:
Appetiser: Anise caviar
Cold starter: Roasted langoustine and roasted head velvet infused with chestnut honey and rosemary
Main courses: Quinoa, back from a trip to the Middle East, like a vegetable tabbouleh; Smoked Burrata ravioli, seasoned in the spirit of a ‘mendiant salé’; Just seared scallops, fumet n°4: Praline iodine, stuffed mushrooms; Jean GIONO-style cod, aquamarine broth; Veal cheek confit in Messina style, anchovy and potatoes with melting onions; Tender grilled fillet of lamb, tuberous vegetables, with a fresh salad and Poached poultry in artichoke and basil broth, supreme pesto sauce and macaroni au gratin with parmesan.
For those lucky enough to travel La Première class, a fabulous menu of superb Gallic cuisine awaits.
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