JAL and Finnair each unveiled new chef menus celebrating local ingredients and cuisine which will appeal to an international palate.
JAL has introduced a new Japanese menu created by Chef Jun Kurogi for those flying on the airline’s International Business Class.
Chef Jun Kurogi is the owner of the eponymous “Kurogi,” in Tokyo renown for ”washoku” dining.
Born on August 16, 1976 in Miyazaki Prefecture, Kurogi first train by observing his father, who is also a chef. At 18, Kurogi moved to Tokyo where he worked for famous restaurants during his twenties, including the Japanese restaurant “Kyo-Aji.” He opened his restaurant “Kurogi” in 2010, and a Japanese confection store “Kuriya Kasha Kurogi” in 2014. His Japanese cuisine is characterised by simple seasonings which bring out the natural flavours of each ingredient.
JAL has also announced the 19th instalment of its AIR Series as AIR Soup Stock Tokyo, which will be produced in collaboration with Soup Stock Tokyo. It will be available on Premium Economy and Economy class on select flights.
Japan’s top sommelier, Motohiro Okoshi, has been selected as the airline’s official Wine Advisor. Mr. Okoshi will be responsible for hand-picking the wines which will complement airline’s accompany Business class and First class menus.
He has built a reputation for finding the perfect match of wine, Japanese sake and cuisine.
The JAL First Class Lounge at Haneda Airport International Terminal will feature a new Teppan Dining menu, in addition to buffet service.
Freshly cooked meals served at the Teppan Dining area “Teppan-yaki” style where diners get to watch as their meals are prepared.
Table dining will include ”Teppan Yakiniku Uwamisuji” (grilled cuts of beef) with vegetables and mushrooms. Customers can choose between JAL Original Yakiniku Sauce or fresh Ponzu Sauce to dress their meal.
Nigiri Sushi will also be served, in keeping with the seasonal variety of ingredients available and prepared fresh by professional Sushi chefs at the dining area.
Finnair will offer passengers on its Hong Kong-Helsinki Business class new signature dishes prepared through a collaboration with Executive Chef Jaakko Sorsa of FINDS Restaurant & Bar in Hong Kong.
Established in 2004, the FINDS restaurant name is an acronym of Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. It is Hong Kong’s only Nordic restaurant.
Chef Sorsa is known for dishes consistent with Finnish culinary tradition with an authentic Nordic taste, including cooking and preserving methods like smoking, curing and pickling.
His “Finnish Traditions” menu for Finnair will feature porcini mushrooms, morels, lingonberries, salmon, barley, potatoes, carrots, meatballs and yellow beetroot.
“FINDS is the latest step in our already established cooperation with top chefs. With this cooperation, we want to honour our roots, and bring the best of Nordic flavours to the customers of our Hong Kong route. Even if the majority of our customers flying from Hong Kong are connecting to Finnair’s broad network of around 70 destinations in Europe, they can enjoy a taste of Finland on board,” said Maarit Keränen, Head of In-flight Service, Finnair.
Learn about the fascinating and carefully coordinated process of in-flight meal preparation in an article I wrote after touring SATS kitchens in Singapore.