Singapore Airline’s Book the Cook now available from Seattle
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Here’s some tasty news for flyers traveling to Singapore from Seattle.
The program allows flyers to pre-order off a menu of specially cooked meals as early as from the time they first book their flights to up to 24-hours before they fly.
“It’s very popular,” said Antony McNeil, Singapore Airlines’ Director of Food & Beverage. “Some passengers have their favorite dishes and make their Book the Cook selection 10 months before they fly.”
For the Seattle flights, the Book the Cook program will allow business-class and premium economy passengers to pre-order their meal from a menu that includes both customer favorites such as shrimp wonton with char siew noodle soup and two Pacific Northwest dishes: Wild Alaskan salmon and Dungeness crab cakes.
While in Seattle recently to meet with chefs at the flight kitchen that will prepare Singapore Airlines’ Book the Cook choices, McNeil demonstrated for TPG how the dishes will be prepared and plated. He also offered a preview tasting of the exclusive Pacific Northwest-themed dishes.
Our quick take: thumbs up on both PNW dishes.
A generous piece of wild Alaskan salmon is served unsullied by sauces and paired with shitake mushroom compote and a cornbread pudding. The Dungeness crab cakes, however, are the standout. A serving includes two crab cakes made with exactly the right balance of crab to breading and a side of potato salad and a seasonal baby vegetable.
“We’re not like other carriers that have multiple flight a day,” said McNeil. “We have one flight from Seattle and that gives us the opportunity to provide great, next level ingredients.”
While subject to change to allow for seasonal availability, the Book the Cook menu for business class passengers flying from Seattle to Singapore includes:
- Dungeness crab cakes with borlotti bean bacon ragout broccolini and seafood nduja sauce (Seattle exclusive);
- Wild Pacific King Salmon with Point Reyes toma and chili cornbread pudding, oven-roasted Brussel sprouts and shiitake mushroom relish (Seattle exclusive);
- Chicken Biryani;
- Marrow roasted New York strip with Yukon gold potato, Parmesan cream spinach and Café de Paris butter;
- Shrimp wonton and char siew noodle soup;
- Black mushroom and sliced chicken congee; and
- Penne pasta Arrabbiata with broccoli and mushrooms
The Premium Economy Book the Cook options include: Chicken biryani, Dungeness crab with spicy seafood nduja sauce (Seattle exclusive) and stir-fry noodle with char siew pork.
But Singapore Airlines is the airline best known for this service, having introduced it 21 years ago. Its Book the Cook option is offered from more than two dozen cities, including Newark (EWR), New York (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX) and (starting the end of March 2020) Seattle (SEA) in the United States.
Meal options vary by departure city and cabin, but the airline’s lobster thermidor (available on flights with Suites and First Class) is an AvGeek classic.
And while the Book the Cook program offers passengers extra control over their flight experience, the pre-order meal program also allows the airline to reduce cabin waste, which is an issue that airlines are paying closer attention to globally.
“Putting specific meals on the aircraft for specific people means we don’t have to load so many additional meals,” said McNeil, “That saves on resources and reduces waste and overproduction.”
The Book the Cook program is also one piece of Singapore Airlines’ strategy to offer passengers a healthier inflight experience, often with ingredients sourced as close to the airport as possible.
On its Newark-to-Singapore flights, for example, the airline offers “Farm-to-Plane” salads made with Aerofarms’ aeroponically grown greens cultivated within five miles of the airport.
And while in Seattle, McNeil visited farmers and fishers in the region, from Medford, Oregon to Bellingham, Washington, in search of West Coast suppliers the airline might be partner with in the future.
“People don’t really understand the lengths the airline goes to secure great produce and other ingredients,” said McNeil. “But wherever we have the opportunity, we want to source leafy greens, produce, seafood, beef and cheeses locally.”
Featured photo courtesy of Singapore Airlines.
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