Leathery beef? Rubber chicken? Unidentifiable brown goo? Not any more in business class, as airlines push ever further into the realms of gastronomy to woo you — and your tastebuds.
Apologies or uncaring "What do you expect at 30,000 feet?" shrugs of the shoulders are no longer necessary now that business travellers can increasingly look forward to enjoying a meal and matched wine that's on par with the best bistro.
In recognition of this, we at Australian Business Traveller featured a week-long series of articles on in-flight dining: the trends, the challenges and the innovations, and how airlines are taking in-flight meals to a new level (no pun intended).
Our 'Food Week' saw AusBT journalist and gourmand John Walton pull together some exclusive insider interviews for a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into putting quality meals on your business class tray table.
Here's the full menu for your perusal:
- Virgin Australia's celebrity chef Luke Mangan reveals how he thinks up meals and makes sure they'll work on the plane
- Ordering your business class meal before your flight (yes, no more "chicken or beef"!) with Singapore Airlines' Book The Cook
- Bringing an airline's home cuisine specialties onto worldwide flights with Asiana, Lufthansa and LAN
- Virgin Atlantic's new economy class meals: fresh new ideas at the back of the plane
- Four course meals on three hour flights: the best "medium-haul" food in the sky
- Qantas' Rockpool consultant Terry Higgins shows how menus get from a chef's brain to your tray table — and shares a recipe for the surprisingly popular business class snapper with coconut milk and garam masala
- How airlines try to keep business class food standards in the oft-dreaded "outstation catering" up to the same quality as the food that comes from their home base
- Dr Ron Georgiou, Malaysia Airlines' wine consultant, on the best wines to choose in the air
- Cutlery, crockery, salt and pepper shakers...the story behind everything else on your business class meal tray
We'll also be showcasing the best (and worst!) food our readers have encountered in the air next week: send your photos and notes to email@example.com.
So sit back and tuck into Food Week on Australian Business Traveller – and for the very latest, catch us on Twitter and join the conversation @AusBT.