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Singapore Airlines will add Book The Cook meals to the business class menu of its newest US routes over the coming months, the airline has confirmed to Executive Traveller.
Non-stop flights between Singapore and Newark launched in October 2018 but to date, only the 18-hour Singapore-Newark leg has offered the airline’s popular and well-regarded Book The Cook service.
That will change at the end of this month, Singapore Airlines Director of F&B Antony McNeil tells Executive Traveller, with a Newark-anchored Book The Cook service sourced by local suppliers.
McNeil also offers a few hints of what will be on the menu for travellers who order in advance.
“There's always going to be a burger out of the U.S,” McNeil admits, in a nod to what most people would consider to be the USA’s national dish “There’s always going to be a prime ribeye or a scotch fillet steak.”
“But we also want them to replicate Singaporean favourites, so the lobster dumpling noodles will be there, and the Laksa may also feature.”
McNeil expects that Seattle’s Book The Cook business class menu will follow in late December, with seafood leading the local influences.
"Obviously Seattle is quite famous for its salmon, and again, it's very much focused on local produce and supporting the local community, farms and suppliers. We aim to limit the ‘footprint’ of produce and get it from as close to the plane as possible for departure.”
However, those familiar favourites will also be balanced by a series of healthier options which will be sourced from innovative vertical indoor farming ‘aeroponic’ facilities such as Newark’s AeroFarms.
“If you can imagine a vertical warehouse with lots of racks and a multitudes of LED lights, that’s a bit like what what it looks like,” McNeil explains.
“They use a water misting system to hydrate the roots of the vegetables, rather than hydroponics where they’d actually sit in water” – a process which uses 95% less water than typical farming.
“There's LED lighting in varying colours to maximise the nutrient content of the salad greens and the veggies right and enhance their growth patterns,” adds McNeil, who is full of praise for the extraordinary flavour and organic nature of the produce.
“What this does is to serve two purposes. We want to be able to use the freshest produce possible, and we want to be able to reduce our carbon footprint from the farm to the plane, to maximise a ‘farm to plane’ concept.”
Singapore Airlines’ is especially interested in AeroFarms’ bolder, spicier greens which can help overcome passengers’ decreased senses of smell and taste in dried-out airplane cabins.