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Japan's ANA announces new in-flight meal collaborations with two Michelin-star chefs

ANA, Japan’s largest airline, has announced a new partnerships with two world-renowned chefs, Pierre Gagnaire and Toru Okuda.
This is the first time the 3-star Michelin chefs have collaborated with ANA. They will work with the airline’s in-house, expert catering team to offer the best of French and Japanese cuisines onboard flights from Japan.

The chefs join the close-knit circle of The Connoisseurs, launched by ANA in September 2013: a unique panel, bringing together 26 premier chefs, sommeliers, oenologists, sake specialists and ANA chefs. Under The Connoisseurs label, ANA is proud to offer its passengers an exceptional quality of service with a choice of exclusive dishes.

Mr Yutaka Ito, SVP Europe, Middle East and Africa, ANA said: “We are incredibly proud to welcome such prestigious chefs as as ANA Connoisseurs. Mr Gagnaire and Mr Okuda have worked together with ANA to develop innovative, quality dishes for our passengers, offering our guests five-star dining both in the air and on the ground served with the best of Japanese hospitality.”

ANA will also continue its partnership with renowned French haute patisserie, Pierre Hermé, into 2015.

The Gagnaire spirit on ANA: French haute cuisine
Pierre Gagnaire is an artist who enhances food raw materials to create a unique sensory universe, bringing his poetic touch to French gastronomy. Awarded 3 stars by Michelin for his restaurant in rue Balzac, Paris, Pierre Gagnaire is acclaimed all over the world for his art and his creativity. His collaboration with ANA is the continuation of a process: in 2010, he opened a restaurant in the luxury ANA InterContinental Hotel in Tokyo. He is also the mastermind behind a number of restaurants located in the main international cities.

From 1 December 2014, First Class passengers will be able to undertake a culinary trip across Pierre Gagnaire’s universe, for which he has designed three exceptional onboard menus. Example dishes include: as a starter, natural Taraba crab garnished with grapefruit and cucumber, accompanied by yuzu/sake mayonnaise; for the main course, a cushion of roast Hakkinton pork, accompanied by a slice of aubergine, tomme cheese from Savoy, chorizo and black rice with red pepper.

These new menus will be served on flights departing from Japan to Europe and the United States.

"This is a constructive, clever collaboration, since it’s based on trust and the professionalism of each partner. I have worked closely with ANA Catering to design dishes that are high quality, creative and easily prepared and served in the aircraft by the ANA staff who possess excellent technical skills and respect the host of Japanese cuisine codes.” Pierre Gagnaire explained.

Toru Okuda: an invitation to Japanese Kaiseki haute cuisine
Japanese chef Toru Okuda, also awarded 3 stars by Michelin, is a grand master in Kaiseki cuisine, an ancient Japanese culinary art which reveals the quintessence of the produce according to the seasons. Toru Okuda is already a well-known culinary figure in Tokyo, where his two restaurants have 5 stars between them. He also has an exclusive establishment in Paris, in rue de la Trémoille and is dedicated to disseminating Japanese haute cuisine around the world. The harmony of the flavours and the subtlety of the seasonings combining wasabi, miso or nori seaweed with sake are the hallmarks of Mr Okuda’s great artistry.

Available now, First Class passengers will taste a succession of eight culinary delights, both for the eyes and for the palate. Example dishes include: egg flan with steamed sea urchins and “yuba” tofu, and octopus and adzuki beans simmered in soya sauce.

These new menus will be served on flights departing from Japan to Europe and the United States.

"For me, ANA is the airline that symbolises Japan; I'm very honoured that they chose me to develop menus served onboard its flights. This gives me the opportunity to show the richness of Japanese products and offer my menu to passengers who may not have the opportunity to come to my restaurants. Designing dishes for an airline has many constraints, but with the skills and advice of ANA chefs, we were able to overcome what is considered impossible. I think passengers will enjoy my meals and will keep an unforgettable memory of their journey on board." said Toru Okuda

Pierre Hermé Paris: French haute patisserie
Pierre Hermé, one of the most famous pastry chefs in the world, has a special relationship with Japan. Indeed, it was in Tokyo that Pierre Hermé opened his first shop in 1998. Pierre Hermé now has 14 shops across Japan. ANA has worked with the “Picasso of Pâtisserie” since 2012 to devise exclusive desserts, served to First and Business Class passengers travelling from Tokyo to Europe, the United States and Asian destinations.

This is a true partnership. Pierre Hermé has not only trained ANA’s pastry chefs in the recipes, but has also instructed the cabin crew in the minutest detail on how to present each dessert on-board. ANA continue to develop ideas with Pierre Hermé and plans to offer further creations in its flagship lounge facilities at Tokyo Haneda and Tokyo Narita in 2015.

"I have especially designed Haute-Patisserie creations for the passengers of ANA. I hope these will fly you across a universe of flavours, sensations and pleasures for the time of your journey", said Pierre Hermé. "It was a pleasure to work with ANA, as they gave us the freedom to provide them with some original creations and worked with us to bring these creations to life for their passengers," Charles Znaty revealed, co-founder of the Company Pierre Hermé Paris.

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