Airline food is hardly the stuff to get madly excited about - so far, the only acceptable time to be truly enthusiastic about the mysterious items sealed in plastic that is handed to you for "lunch" is when you've figured out what the pulpy orange / grey / bright pink mulch actually is. And even then you don't get a prize - just the lingering taste of preservatives and unfair dismissals. However, it is possible to finally look forward to the trolley dollies wheeling your meal to you as you cruise along at 35,000 feet in the air and not just look forward to when they take it away.
Air India has organised the Gourmet Flight food festival on its Mumbai - London flights between 5th and 31st January. Taj Sats Catering Service will be providing two menus to choose from for each passenger class - everyone gets to choose from either Menu A or Menu B with vegetarian, non-vegetarian, Indian and non-Indian options. For the really picky diner, a Taj Sats chef will be on board the Mumbai - London flights and will be taking orders from all three passenger classes.
There are plans to extend this flying feast to Air India's transatlantic flights and other routes. This could revolutionise not only the experience of eating aboard planes but also the gossip magazine trade in "celebrity in drunken air rage shock!" stories. Imagine: you pick up a glossy gossip magazine of your choice one morning and rather than the usual picture of an emaciated celeb being escorted off the airport premises looking a bit worse for wear after attacking the air stewards for more champagne and peanuts, you see pictures of your favourite D-list non-talent lurching through passport control, 3-stone heavier with a stained napkin tucked under the third chin, still gripping the food trolley with a quote from a trembling stewardess:
"He was like a madman - he pulled the tray of poppadums from my hands and threatened to kill me if I didn't bring him more mango chutney. I feared for my life and the other passengers. Who would have thought a bloke who has appeared three times in Holby City, once as a corpse, could be so violent or indeed, so fond of our special airline food that his turn-down table got stuck on his enormous, gourmet food-filled belly and enraged him like a walrus provoked during a particularly good mating season."
The Gourmet Flight festival is offered aboard eight morning flights between Mumbai and London between 5th and 31st January. Please check the Air India website here for more information.