Most people don't equate airplane food with fine dining, but four-star meals can be had at 35,000 feet-at a hefty price, of course. With the holiday travel season in full swing, we decided to take you behind the curtain of the most elite first class cabins to see how the other half dines. We picked the top 5 most decadent in-flight meals, as well as some delicious (and considerably more wallet-friendly) recipes from BHG.com that you can whip up on the ground.
Lufthansa partners with top toques from around the world for its "Connoisseurs on Board" program. Whether dining on a special sushi selection created by renowned sushi chef Hiroshi Akutsu (served in an authentic bento box) or savoring a roasted beef tenderloin with pommes fondants, baby asparagus and Bordelaise sauce (pictured above) courtesy of Chef Jacques Sorci, head chef at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, your palate will never be jet-lagged on Lufthansa's long-haul flights.
Price of a round-trip First Class fare from Los Angeles to Munich on Lufthansa: $13,639. Too steep for your travel budget? Try BHG.com's Herbed Beef Tenderloin with all the comforts of home.
This luxury airline features a crew of in-flight chefs who prepare your meal personally. You can order anything at any time from an expansive menu that includes an array of Arabic mezzes as well as western dishes such as smoked salmon with hearts of palm salad, grilled beef fillets with oven-roasted potatoes, chicken breast with tamarind chutney, or ricotta tortellini with Napolitana sauce and fresh shaved Parmesan. Desserts are particularly impressive, ranging from fresh peach sorbet to something called a "Chocolate Explosion."
Price of a round-trip First Class fare from Chicago to Mumbai on Gulf Air: $17,288. Or, turn on a Bollywood flick instead and cook up BHG.com's Hummus Salad Plate, Smoked Salmon Appetizers, Grilled Beef Filet With Portobello Relish, Tortellini With Veggies, or Chicken with Cherry Ginger Chutney.
Neil Perry, one of Australia's leading chefs, consulted on Qantas' in-flight menu, bringing cutting-edge haute cuisine to the sky. Perry's tasting menu consists of eight plates paired with Australian and New Zealand wines. A sample menu includes Black Pearl caviar, shiitake wontons, prawn rémoulade, pan-fried salmon, grilled lamb cutlet, radicchio salad, quince franigpane tart and a cheese selection.
Price of a round-trip First Class fare from Los Angeles to Sydney on Qantas: $24,542. Can't swing that trip down under? Try our take: Shrimp Remoulade, Salmon and Orzo, Lamb with Spicy Apricot Sauce
Cathay Pacific's in-flight kitchens are tricked out with rice cookers, skillets and toasters to cook your meal to order. Its five-course lunch and dinner menus change daily, but are all prepared with fresh ingredients from around the world and served in custom crockery: Think silver soup tureens and signature champagne buckets. There's also a wine-cellars worth of fine vintages to choose from, from a '98 Grand Cru Bordeaux to a '02 Vieux Chateau Landon.
Price of a round-trip First Class fare from Dallas to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific: $26,645. If you're not jaunting off to the far east, try BHG.com's hot and savory Ginger Chicken Noodle dish -- no silver soup tureen necessary.
Renowned Swiss chefs from the Hiltl restaurant in Zurich and the Peninsula Hong Kong Hotel create a seasonal in-flight menu of Alpine specialties for Swissair's First Class service. In addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner service, passengers receive a welcome drink, hors-d'oeuvres, salad bar, sorbets, sweet and savory snacks, cold-pressed olive oil and balsamico from Italy and, of course, Switzerland's fantastic cheeses, chocolates and traditional Sprüngli pralines.
Price of a round-trip First Class fare from Portland, OR to Zurich: $18,210. Or, you can invite friends and family over for a swingin' Swiss fondue party!
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