Singapore Airlines (SQ) has assembled a fine group of world-renowned chefs in different styles of cuisine to form the International Culinary Panel (ICP) to help design the menus for SQ inflight catering. Final part of the series to commemorate the launch of SIA@Home, where inflight catering is now available in your home.
International Culinary Panel
SQ was the first airline to assemble a group of consultants (all foreign talents) to help come up with menu designs. Set up in 1998, the International Culinary Panel (ICP) comprises award-winning chefs from the culinary capitals of the world. “Inspired by their culture and experiences, and the places we fly to, our team of celebrated chefs are constantly creating new dishes for you.” says SQ on their website.
Alfred Portale’s Selection
The internationally lauded pioneer of New American Cuisine, Chef Alfred Portale brings an innate sense of style and craftsmanship to spectacular creations bearing his aesthetic signature. Chef of the iconic Union Square American restaurant Gotham Bar & Grill from the beginning until 2019, he spent 34 years leading the restaurant to a Michelin star and several James Beard awards. He has started his own high-end Italian called simply Portale in Chelsea, NY. He has since left the ICP Panel too.
1/3 Tian of Crab Meat and Mango Salad
with kiwifruit salsa
A whole avocado covered a plate full of flower crab meat. Think of this as a guacamole deconstructed. The crab meat tasted canned, you would need the tangy kiwifruit salsa to kill that taste. I couldn’t finish this course, I wasn’t a fan of avocado.
2/3 Vadouvan Curry Spiced Chicken Breast with Preserved Lemon
accompanied by potato puree and sautéed bayaldi vegetables
The name is a play on the Turkish dish “İmam bayıldı”, which is a stuffed eggplant, sautéed bayaldi vegetables were essentially eggplants, zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes stir-fried together. Vadouvan is an Indian curry blend that is a ready-to-use blend of spices that is a French derivative of a masala. It is different from masala because of added aromatics such as shallots and garlic. OK, it was a really delicious piece of chicken breast, and it launched me to search the recipes for chicken breast, which until then I thought was something I would never eat.
3/3 Gotham “Pineapple”
pineapple mousse with caramelised pineapple and pineapple cream
This is a dessert lifted straight out of his restaurant in NY. If you are thinking of 鳳梨酥, the pineapple tart from Taiwan, you are absolutely right. That’s what it tasted like, but with the pineapple filling turned inside out.
And besides the dessert, SQ always try to stuff you with other sweets like those petit four (actually I took six) pastries.
After those petit fours, I cannot go with cheeses, only fruits.
Over the years, many chefs have come and go from the ICP. SQ does not only provide the Business and First/Suite class with access the ICP, they have left their mark on the Economy class menus too. More often than not on these long hauls to their home countries, you will see economy menus with featured main course from these chefs. Definitely a great way to fly, and I look forward to flying again.