Lucky travelers in Delta’s BusinessElite section will have the option to choose a meal created by Jeffrey Held, Chef de Cuisine of Blue Smoke Battery Park City. Business passengers traveling between JFK and London-Heathrow will have access to a monthly rotating menu featuring Memphis baby back ribs, North Carolina pulled pork, and smoked black pepper sausage.
The classic Southern barbecue experience is rounded out with mini biscuits and mini cornbread loaves. Finally, diners will receive an indulgent mini Grilled Jalapeño & Salty Peanut Dark Chocolate bar for dessert. Held also designed a signature cocktail to complete the meal.
The Dine and Rest meals are designed to account for a 30 percent loss of taste that occurs during air travel, for which the smoke and saltiness of barbecue is well-suited. Delta, which has previously teamed up with chefs like Michael Chiarello and Michelle Bernstein to create satisfying meals for passengers, has seen lots of success with the Blue Smoke menu. Peter Wilander, Delta’s managing director of onboard services, noted that during test runs of the menu, passengers who had ordered other menu items often tried to exchange their meals once the smell of barbecue wafted over. “We didn’t want to create a non-restaurant experience,” said Mark Maynard Parisi, senior managing partner of Blue Smoke.