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Passengers flying on Lufthansa first class and business class flights from Germany to nearly 200 international destinations enjoy gourmet in-flight meals prepared by celebrity cooks.

Lufthansa inflight meal service, since 2005, has included regional foods on flights to Germany from the USA, China, Japan, Singapore and India. The expanded Star Chefs program features airline meals prepared by top chefs. Every two months, a new celebrity chef creates Lufthansa inflight menus.

Celebrity chef menus

Famous chefs who have created Lufthansa menus include Paul Bocuse, from Lyon, France, Daniel Boulud and David Bouley, from New York, Thomas Keller, from Napa Valley, California, Harald Wohlfahrt, from Baiersbronn in the Black Forest region of Germany, Dieter Muller, from Bergisch Gladbach, near Cologne, Germany, and Frank Zlomke, from Paarl, South Africa.

Examples of dishes prepared by top chefs for long-haul passengers on Lufthansa first class and business class flights: saddle of venison in herb crepes with mountain pepper sauce, halibut in shellfish stock with shrimp soufflé on couscous, with kaffir lime sauce, and seasoned tuna fish slices with fruit chutney.

Susur Lee menus

The first Canadian celebrity chef to create first class and business class inflight menus for the Lufthansa Star Chefs program is Susur Lee. Owner of the top-notch Madeline's and Lee restaurants, in Toronto, and highly acclaimed Shang, at the Thompson LES Hotel, in New York City, Susur Lee is one of "the hottest chefs alive," according to Food & Wine.

For Lufthansa first class flight menus, Susur Lee created appetizers like poached lobster with yuzu mustard dressing and pickled ginger and a frisee, radicchio and lamb's lettuce salad with bell pepper, cucumber and mushrooms with orange mustard or macadamia dressing. Susur Lee first class menu entrees include roast goose with red cabbage, potato dumplings and herb crumb butter; a cheese plate and desserts, such as Southeast Asian pudding of black rice with pineapple and coconut.

Chef Lee also offers Lufthansa first class passengers a shorter Express Menu with main dishes like king prawns, noodle salad and smoked tuna with wasabi mayonnaise and barley vegetable.

Lufthansa business class menu

Passengers on Lufthansa business class flights from Germany can also enjoy an inflight menu created by Susur Lee. Appetizers include jerk chicken roulade with yogurt sauce and ginger mango chutney.

After a main dish of pike perch with mustard honey glaze, served with wild rice, mushrooms and parsley root puree, passengers enjoy a cheese plate and desserts like chocolate espresso pavé with cilantro and strawberry coulis.

World Master Sommelier Markus del Monego, head of Lufthansa's Vinothek Discoveries wine program, has traveled around the world to select the best vintages to pair with Chef Lee's dishes. Complete menu listings are available upon request.

Food and wine pairings

Lufthansa serves about three million liters of wine to economy, business class and first class passengers annually. Quality German wines are selected to match in-flight food. Lufthansa serves 40 varieties of wine from more than 30 vineyards.

For the Lufthansa Star Chefs program, Markus Del Monego, world champion sommelier, selects a new Vinothek Discoveries wine list every two weeks to match in-flight menus. Del Monego ensures that the wines retain their taste and bouquet at flight altitudes and low humidity cabin pressures.

Airline meals

Susur Lee said he was delighted to create new menus for passengers on Lufthansa first class and business class flights, because, like most passengers, he had experienced bad airline food, "except on Lufthansa."

Chef Lee explained that airline catering is a challenging process. "Passengers' taste buds react differently at high altitudes. I also had to keep in mind that tons of food has to be ordered in advance, availability of seasonal foods and special meals for passengers who don't eat meat or pork."

Susur Lee and other Star Chefs met with LSG Sky Chefs and toured the huge kitchens where they prepare in-flight meals. Together, the Lufthansa chefs create in-flight menus that can be prepared in large quantities, yet retain the Star Chef culinary appeal.