Air France, fine dining in the sky
From 1933 to 1939, inflight service was limited to sandwiches and drinks on some flights such as the prestigious London or Nice routes...
Bartenders boarded with their sandwich boxes, thermos of hot water to make tea or coffee and a flask of brandy.
In 1948, the first SHO kitchens – Service Hôtelier d’Orly (Orly Catering Service) - were installed in wooden barracks at Orly. Renowned and experienced chefs were recruited from famous restaurants, such as Marcel Chémery (Prunier, Ledoyen), and Roger Guérard (La Grande Taverne). Air France was one of the first airlines to have its own catering department, with its own chefs, butchers, and pastry chefs.
Then began the history of fine dining on board Air France flights. On the menu of the famous "Parisian Special" on September 19, 1953 was foie gras topped with truffle, a variety of trout with tarragon, roast fillet of sole and an autumn leaf ice-cream. In First Class, every meal was served at the table, with Limoges porcelain, silverware and crystal glasses.
An ambassador of fine tableware, the Company was constantly looking for original shapes with the designers of each period, such as Raymond Loewy, Picart Ledoux and Andrée Putmann and tableware greats such as De Haviland, Christofle and Bernardaud. Shortly before the opening of Paris-CDG airport, Air France, together with its catering centre at Orly C.A.R.H created its own airline catering subsidiary: Servair (1974) and started working with the greatest Michelin-starred chefs and sommeliers. Servair took over the Air France group’s catering services in 1993.
Today, Air France calls on internationally renowned chefs and offers, with its "Chefs on board" events, a unique catering offer representing the best of French fine dining. In winter 2015, François Adamski is in charge of Air France’s new menu in Business class to continue to delight our customers all around the world.