Trending: Jamie Oliver's pukka tucker takes to the air (port)
Prolific writer and commentator John Walsh contributes columns to the paper as well as writing features, interviews and restaurant reviews. He has been editor of The Independent Magazine, literary editor of the Sunday Times and features editor of the London Evening Standard.
Tuesday 03 July 2012
Is Jamie Oliver about to change our experience of in-flight food? He hasn't become an airline caterer, and no, I don't mean that in future your choice of stewed black beef or hunt-the-flavour chicken will be offered in a chirpy, cockney-geezer voice. But Oliver has just opened a restaurant-cum-bar at Gatwick airport that could make life happier at 30,000 feet.
Jamie's Italian Bakery, in the North Terminal, offers "Anglo-Californian" breakfasts, pasta lunches and dinners, together with home-made pizza and charcuterie you can take to eat on the plane. It's called, in Jamie-speak, "grab'n'graze".
The airside restaurant is an odd idea. I'm not sure many travellers reach the departure lounges looking for a whole meal; unless we arrive at the airport hours early, we tend to rush into the lounge with minutes to spare. And since they won't supply us with proper cutlery, dinner will lack sophistication. But the concept of seizing supplies of prosciutto, mozzarella and focaccia, and turning your lunch in the clouds into a picnic, that is attractive.
Unfortunately, it's not new. Gordon Ramsay pioneered the concept of non-revolting airport food when he opened Gordon Ramsay Plane Food at Heathrow Terminal 5. There's a breakfast menu, a special children's menu, a wine list. Travellers with limited time are offered "Plane Fast" dishes knocked up in 25 minutes. Three-course picnics (£12.95) can be carried on-board in a bag. So, in the clash of the titans that is the Jamie vs Gordon Show, what's Jamie got that Gordon hasn't?
The answer is: gas. Airports don't like supplying gas to caterers. There's none at Plane Food. At Gatwick, the designers have created a supply for the dining area. "We'll be cooking with gas, not reheating food in microwaves," Oliver sniffily told the press. "We've got the only proper airport bakery in Britain or Europe."
Over to Gordon. "No, we don't have gas," a spokesman said defensively. "But the only thing gas is useful for is grilling steaks. We use the best electrical equipment and only one microwave oven. I bet Jamie Oliver's using a lot more microwaves than we are." Gentlemen, please.
Life & Style blogs
Dozens of empty homes in two of Liverpool’s most deprived areas will be brought back into use thanks...
A roundup of the latest property news
Plus, do energy saving measures boost house prices?
The 10 Best Scotch Whiskies
The 10 Best new smartphones
Bollywood star, Shahrukh Khan, accused of choosing sex of baby
Uncooked curry leaves caused mass outbreak of salmonella in Newcastle, say health officials
Stripes set to be big for Dolce and Gabbana as fashion designers get 20 months in prison for tax evasion
- 1 Bankers could face jail after report urges the Government to introduce new criminal offence for reckless management
- 2 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 3 Richard Nieuwenhuizen death: Six teenagers and 50-year-old father convicted of manslaughter in shocking case of referee killed over a game of football
- 4 Exclusive: Newcastle's star talent-spotter on brink as Joe Kinnear sparks walkout
- 5 Vast methane 'plumes' seen in Arctic ocean as sea ice retreats
iJobs Food & Drink
£20,000 - £45,000 OTE: Co-Venture: Working on international markets without ge...
£20,000 - £45,000 OTE: Co-Venture: Working for this company will give you a ch...
£40000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...
£18000 - £35000 per annum + Award-Winning Benefits & Uncapped Comm: Flight Cen...