Whenever we’ve flown Qantas, we’ve always remarked on the remarkable food offered in the lounges and onboard. That cuisine is courtesy of chef Neil Perry, who has been affiliated with Australia’s flag-carrier for 16 years as director of food & beverage.
Perry, along with airline CEO Wally Mariani, came to New York to demonstrate his skills at a special luncheon at Per Se, one of the swankiest eateries in the city. New menus are created on a quarterly basis, Mariani noted as he praised Perry’s artwork.
Before we dove in to our tasting menu, Mariani offered a few updates on the state of the airline: Qantas has ordered two more A380s, and will be increasing its service between Dallas and Sydney to daily in July. The airline’s lounge at Los Angeles Airport is getting a makeover, and will be three times bigger than it currently is when it debuts (to the tune of 45,000 square feet).
Just as we were all settling into a nice food coma, Perry himself emerged to talk about his philosophy (source locally, meet with Mariani and the team regularly to ensure quality), and some tricks of the trade (when people get dehydrated, as they usually are on planes, their sense of taste gets dulled, so seasoning and cooking the meal properly becomes imperative).
But we were there for the food, all of which comes from Perry’s menu for the airline. Yes, our gourmet meal at Per Se was, quite literally, airplane food. And it was wonderful. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are some photos of what passengers flying business or first class on Qantas may get to enjoy…
The tuna tartare:
The lobster and congee: