The chefs at Lufthansa aren’t satisfied with just feeding their guests – they want to pamper them and give them a truly exceptional gourmet experience. Each meal is carefully planned to take the special conditions of flying into account – turning the cabin into your favorite restaurant

The chefs at Lufthansa aren’t satisfied with just feeding their guests – they want to pamper them and give them a truly exceptional gourmet experience. Each meal is carefully planned to take the special conditions of flying into account – turning the cabin into your favorite restaurant. 

1.) Lightness

A satisfying meal is a feast for all the senses. What good is it if the meal is light but the cutlery lies heavy and bulky in the hand? The meals in Business Class are served on ultra-light china – three times lighter than conventional tableware and specially designed for use in aircraft. In First Class guests dine off finely crafted artisan plates: the meals here are served on transparent, finely translucent fine bona china made by Dibbern. Great food, served with a light hand. 

2.) Peak performance

Folk up in the mountains know that a savory snack is great for reviving mind and body. For instance, a tasty Alpine-style open sandwich with thick slices of sausage and cheese. And what’s good for summiteers is perfect at high altitudes: in First Class you can enjoy wild boar salami, cheese matured in hay and Obatzda cheese spread served on rustic wooden boards and fine china.

3.) A clean cut

We know just how annoying it can be if that perfectly cooked slice of duck breast doesn’t land in your mouth but on your neighbor’s lap instead. That’s why the knife you use to cut through guinea fowl, octopus or venison on board is a masterpiece of engineering: The handle is designed to sit perfectly in your hand even if you don’t have a lot of room to maneuver; the cutting angle of the blade means that you can keep your elbows close and still cut effortlessly. An incisive piece of progress…

4.) Lean lines

No, we’re not counting calories; we’re referring to our wheat beer glass, which comes long and lean for a very special reason: thanks to the special shape, the bubbles in the beer take longer than usual to reach to surface and pop, meaning that the beer retains its natural effervescence for longer. We firmly believe that you shouldn’t have to miss out on these pleasures just because you’re on a plane, so we serve our beverages in the correct glasses: Champagne flutes, tumblers, wine glasses, and, of course, the perfect glass for the beer of your choice.

5.) Carefully selected

Only the very best is good enough when it comes to our guests’ taste buds! Sommelier World Champion and Master of Wine, Markus del Monego, set up a committee of wine experts. They meet roughly twelve times a year to sample selected wines and vintages – and select a winner in each category with the help of a carefully calibrated 20-point system. The name and label of the wine are concealed throughout – it’s a true blind flight.

6.) A sprinkling of the exotic

Tahiti vanilla grows in French Polynesia, which is roughly 10,000 miles away from Germany. Our master pastry chefs are big fans of this variety because Tahiti vanilla beans have an especially strong, complex fragrance and multifaceted flavor. Lufthansa has around 80 kilograms of this vanilla flown in from the Southern Pacific annually; in November and December 2016, for instance, we’ll be using it to add the finishing touch to our coconut and Tahiti vanilla ice cream in First Class.

7.) A hint of tradition

Lufthansa chefs love to see what’s cooking in other kitchens all over the world. They like sampling new dishes and flavors, and learning from other cultures. Sometimes, though, there are tasty treats to be found on one’s own doorstep: goose, for example. Every year, in November and December, we serve goose in First and Business Class – in the traditional style, with stewed red cabbage, potato dumplings and goose gravy.

8.) A liberal dose of elation

Lufthansa joins in the party every year when Oktoberfest kicks off in Munich. On some routes, the cabin crew wear traditional dirndl dresses – in blue and yellow, of course. We don’t stop at clothes: we also like to celebrate the start of biggest festival in Germany with the appropriate classic dishes, such as white sausage with sweet mustard, Munich-style sausage salad and apple strudel.

9.) Expertise

Curry, sushi, bulgogi – we love providing a culinary taster on flights to India, Japan, Korea or the Arab countries. To make sure that these regional specialties really taste authentic, we don’t stop at simply buying spices and ingredients in the relevant countries, we also import the chefs along with their expert skills.

10.) Enquiring minds

Sometimes all you can do is go back to the drawing board. For example, the stubborn hake soufflé by Paul Bocuse, the king of chefs! A delicate mousse that has to be served straight from the oven to avoid it collapsing. The problem is that our meals are taken from the kitchens across the apron to the plane. Our chefs spent ages working out a solution until at last even Maître Bocuse was satisfied: a little potato starch gives the egg white body and structure, preventing the mouthwatering delicacy from collapsing up in the sky.

11.) A pinch of nostalgia

Aviation may not be terribly old but it looks back on quite a history. To mark the 60th anniversary of the Frankfurt-New York route, the 747-8 Yankee Tango flew to New York in retro livery. On board, we served a meal created especially for the event. Countless old menus from the archives were consulted. Plate by plate, the chefs recreated each dish, assessed, smelt, tasted – and then finally compiled the perfect meal for the occasion. Passengers on board the flight were treated to a lobster cocktail, roast goose, pastrami, and, as the grand finale, a cheese and pineapple hedgehog.

12.) Custom precision

Our chefs cook for extreme conditions: at an altitude of 10 000 meters, low pressure and low humidity change the way we taste things. Spices, for example, taste less pungent. Lufthansa’s chefs know exactly which dishes and seasonings make the taste buds sing (goulash) and which recipes need more salt up in the air (anything with fish). Sauces are a little thicker so that they don’t slop off the plate when flying a curve. And the maximum height for any dish is four-and-a-half centimeters to allow smooth stacking on trolleys closely packed with trays. Even star-winning chefs have to embrace the rule of the ruler.