Fiji Airways has introduced its first in-flight Business Class menu curated by Kiwi-Fijian Chef Richard Cross.
Offered on all Fiji Airways international flights, the menu delivers fine-dining techniques at 35,000 feet and includes new signature dishes such as kava and cinnamon ice cream and dehydrated vegetable garnishes. A new menu cycle will launch quarterly with molecular gastronomy and house-smoked produce set to feature on upcoming menus.
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Business Class passengers can now enjoy gourmet meals such as grilled tiger prawn cutlets with sriracha mayo and crispy noodles on a caramelised pineapple bed, grilled aged tenderloin in a creamy peppercorn sauce and mashed potato, herb-crusted chicken breast stuffed with feta and creamy spinach, mash potato, broccoli and grilled carrot ribbonettes.
A highlight of the new in-flight dessert menu includes the signature kava and cinnamon ice cream, as well as cookies and cream banoffee parfait, and bittersweet chocolate panna cotta.
Showcasing indigenous vegetables in a new light, modern cooking and preservation techniques have been used to transform the likes of cassava, sweet potato (yellow kumala), dalo and plantain banana into edible garnishes.
Cross will also be introducing house-smoked local produce as a regular feature on the airline’s Business Class menu, including smoked walu fish and smoked beef tenderloin.
To elevate the Business Class experience, passengers will be treated to dessert and salad dishes in bowls resembling a tanoa, traditionally used to prepare the ritual drink of kava. Fiji Airways also utilises eco-friendly Food For Thought packaging, particularly in Economy class, which will save up to half a million litres of water a year and will remove up to two tonnes of plastics annually from onboard.
Richard Cross, Executive Chef of Fiji Airways explains, “Airline catering has its challenges but I’m looking to change that.
“My vision is to use cooking and presentation techniques like dehydrated vegetable garnishes, molecular gastronomy, and house-smoked produce that you would expect to see in fine dining restaurants and serve them 35,000 feet in the air.”
The culinary expert’s inspiration derives from his 28 years of experience as Executive Chef at various international luxury resorts and his wealth of travel across America, Europe, the Maldives and Australia. After living in Fiji for over nine years, Cross likes to champion local Fijian ingredients in creative ways and also draws on his Kiwi heritage with the inclusion of ingredients such as lamb and seafood, as well as inspiration from the classic Kiwi BBQ.
Cross runs regular workshops in the airline’s Aviation Academy in Nadi, Fiji, providing hands-on training for the crew to ensure they can confidently execute the new techniques. He is also working directly with the crew onboard, to guarantee the finest quality is executed across all flights.
Cross was appointed Executive Chef of Fiji Airways in December 2021 to oversee all airline catering functions. His previous roles include Executive Chef at luxury resorts such as JA Resorts & Hotels in the Maldives, Vomo Island Resort, Radisson Blu Resort and Mana Island Resort in Fiji, Millbrook Resort Queenstown New Zealand, among others.