New autumn-inspired menus from award-winning chefs Michelle Bernstein and Linton Hopkins are being served on select Delta Air Lines flights throughout the fall 2014 season. These latest BusinessElite menus continue the Delta culinary team's focus on offering regional dishes and seasonal flavors.
From Sept. 1 through Nov. 30, BusinessElite customers on trans-Atlantic flights from Atlanta to Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and London are being served an original menu from the Atlanta-based Hopkins, inspired by autumn's seasonal ingredients and rich colors. During the same period, intercontinental flights between the U.S. and South America will feature a new menu from the Miami-based Bernstein.
"Shifting our menus seasonally means our chefs, who already consider regional markets when designing dishes, are also taking inspiration from ingredients that are at their best this time of year," said Robyn Klein, Delta's Managing Director – In-flight Onboard Services. "For many, experiencing authentic regional food and wines is an alluring part of travel so our culinary team's thoughtful menus mean customers can enjoy this aspect of their journey even before arriving at their destination."
Hopkins, owner of Atlanta's Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House and H&F Burger, has created a menu with a variety of new first- and second-course dishes, including African squash soup, with an optional garnish of crispy Sea Island red peas; Sunburst Trout Farms smoked trout with fingerling potato salad and dill pesto and gulf shrimp and heirloom white grits with Creole gravy. The menu also includes unique desserts such as warm sticky toffee cake with High Road sorghum chocolate chip ice cream and a selection of Southern cheeses served with grapes, crackers and white peach compote. The vegetarian option is an autumn sweet potato tortellini with lemon butter, roasted vegetables with goat cheese fondue, Sea Island red peas, turnip gratin and sauteed kale with toasted faro.
Chef Hopkins' fall menu also introduces the "Benne-ficiary," a savory bourbon whiskey cocktail made with Woodford Reserve Bourbon and Benne-Orgeat, served with spiced Georgia pecans and cheese straws. Freshly baked buttermilk pull-apart rolls, and multi-grain and pretzel bread from Chef Hopkins' own H & F Bread Co. continue to be served warm with locally churned Banner Butter.
Chef Bernstein, who has appeared on Top Chef and Good Morning America, and hosts Check, Please! South Florida, has refreshed a menu featuring her signature Latin American cuisine that is infused with bright and bold flavors. All meals served on outbound U.S. flights to South America this fall begin with smoked pecans and finish with High Road vanilla and cherry chocolate fudge brownie ice cream. Chef Bernstein introduced three cycles of entrees to be rotated monthly throughout the fall season, including dishes such as braised beef short ribs with sweet potato puree, haricots verts and sauteed apples; carrot braised chicken thighs with potato leek gratin and sauteed swiss chard and a chilled plate featuring mango curry chicken salad with melon and watercress. A vegetable lasagna with bechamel sauce and cheese is the vegetarian option.
The new entrees are offered in the Business Class cabin on flights between the U.S. and Bogota, Venezuela and Ecuador. In addition, Chef Bernstein has developed a breakfast menu for service prior to arrival on all BusinessElite flights between the U.S. and Brazil, Santiago and Buenos Aires.
Delta's BusinessElite wine selections are chosen to complement each menu by Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson, winner of the Best Sommelier in America award and Delta culinary team member since 2007. Robinson, Hopkins and Bernstein are all recipients of the James Beard Award, which is the highest honor for food and beverage professionals in North America.
Delta Air Lines serves nearly 165 million customers each year. This year, Delta was named the 2014 Airline of the Year by Air Transport World magazine and was named to FORTUNE magazine's 50 Most Admired Companies, in addition to being named the most admired airline for the third time in four years.