Video: In the test kitchen with new American Airlines Chef Richard Sandoval

Back in September American announced a collaboration with acclaimed chef Richard Sandoval as part of the upgrade of their premium class dining service. From the press release:

Chef Richard Sandoval’s entrees, created for premium class customers onboard American Airlines, are fresh and innovative using authentic Latin ingredients and international flavors to create a new and unexpected dining experience. When you fly in American’s First and Business Class cabins between the U.S. and Europe, Asia and Latin America, Chef Sandoval will bring you new menu offerings, including:

Halibut with Truffle Corn Salsa – halibut accompanied by truffle corn salsa and served with sweet potato purée
Lemongrass Marinated Chicken Breast – lemongrass marinated chicken breast with yucca purée, chayote salad, and served with a citrus sauce

If you’re a foodie, you’re probably already familiar with him and the restaurant that made him famous: Maya. Here’s a look at how it was described by the New York Times back when it opened in 1997:

In fact, the food at Maya is unlike just about anything else being served in New York City. Salads have grilled cactus leaves, a quesadilla is stuffed with zucchini blossoms, and pork comes in a pumpkinseed sauce. The chef uses many chilies, and I would guess that no other restaurant in the city offers corn in so many guises.

But it is the food that really wakes you up. After a single breathtaking bite of rock shrimp ceviche, you understand that the chef is on a mission. You first taste chilies, then lime. Right behind them comes the sneaky, bright green taste of cilantro. Then, just before you swallow, the sweetness of onions kicks in. By the time you are ready for a second bite your mouth seems alive with flavor.

He must be doing something right, because since then, he’s opened more than 20 restaurants around the world.

I’ve eaten at Maya and one of his restaurants in California and will verify that his ceviche is “breathtaking”, so if American decides to serve it inflight, they’ll need to tell their premium class passengers that “if a sudden change of cabin pressure occurs or if ceviche is served in First or Business Class, an oxygen mask above your seat will automatically release”.

I haven’t tried any of the new American Airlines menu items yet, but I am looking forward to it and would love to hear some reviews: add yours to the comments section if you’ve tried it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *