stars in the skies

Air France is already known for pampering passengers with a certain je nais sais quoi – especially in the newly revamped Business Class cabins. (Not to mention free Clarins facials and massage at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, too.) Now the airline has upped the ante even further with the introduction of an unexpected – and exceptional – culinary experience. Since December France’s national carrier has been featuring dishes from some of the country’s leading chefs on long-haul flights out of Paris. Inaugurating the collaboration is “Chef of the Century” Joel Robuchon. With 27 Michelin stars to his credit you’d think Chef Robuchon had little left to prove but apparently haute cuisine at 30,000 feet is his final hurdle.  Known as an advocate of “sublimely simple” dishes which emphasize product quality and ease of execution, one of his mile-high dishes is Basque shrimp and turmeric-scented pasta with lemongrass – as described by Chef Robuchon in the onboard menu, “a simple recipe, absent the superfluous, with a purity through which the full flavor of each ingredient is fully expressed.” Another signature plate, Crayfish pasta with Nantua sauce. Now here’s something I never thought I’d say about airplane food: it’s making my mouth water. Rotating every six months, the gallivanting Gauls lined up to partner with Air France read like a gastronomic who’s who. Next up, chef Guy Martin, whose Grand Vefour is a Paris institution. Now about the wine list …

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it’s about the journey


Not the destination. Cheers to Virgin Atlantic for making the long haul oh so civilized – even at 30,000 feet.

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cocktails in the cock pit

Thanks to website Jaunted for today’s post, which – despite some truly rotten grammar – is far too fun to not lift verbatim: Five Airport-area Bars Made From Actual Airplanes! “Spending your free time hanging out on an airplane before hopping on an airplane to actually go somewhere isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Five airports around the world are betting otherwise, however, as they’ve actually taken airplanes—ones which can no longer buzz up into the air—and installed them as bars, all in the name of getting you buzzed instead.” Read the full story HERE.

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we are all passengers

passengger

Doug Aitken’s photograph, Passenger – currently showing as part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s contemporary photography review – made me wistful and wishful all at once this weekend.

I know I am not the only one who stares out of plane windows at 30,000 feet hoping for some interruption to the endless horizon, some sign that we are not alone.  Aitken makes that connection here, and yet the disconnect is that it’s rendered so antiseptic. We are all passengers, he seems to say, hurtling through the air with seatbelts securely fastened and noses sufficiently pressed to the glass, content in our technology-driven existence.

Recovering from surgery, I won’t be staring out of any plane windows for a while. My wings, so to speak, have been clipped.  Yet the interregnum also gives me an interesting chance to ponder what it means to travel.  And be a passenger.

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live blog: airplane reading

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