Helsinki-based airline Finnair, as part of its 90th anniversary celebrations, recently announced a limited-time, signature gourmet menu created by Finnish chefs Pekka Terävä and Tomi Björck. Available this fall on business class, long-haul flights (including those from Chicago, Miami, and New York), the menus will offer classic Finnish cuisine with a modern twist and include complimentary prize-winning wines.
"In-flight dining is an important part of a distinctive travel experience," said Maarit Keränen, head of service concept at Finnair. "Both Pekka and Tomi have a fresh style that is distinct from the mainstream. Pekka Terävä's classic Nordic flavors are a natural fit with Finnair's identity; while Tomi Björck's Finnish take on Asian cuisine supports our Eastward outlook. I believe that the new meals will delight Finnair's customers and raise the international profile of Finnish culinary culture."
Pekka Terävä, a chef at Helsinki's Michelin-starred Restaurant Olo, designed a menu featuring classic Finnish cuisine, such as reindeer filet and organic barley. "My menu is influenced by the purity of Finnish nature, taking advantage of Finnish natural ingredients — such as seasonal vegetables, wild game and fish," explained Chef Terävä.
In contrast, Tomi Björck took a modern approach with his Thai and Japanese-inspired menu, which features meat and vegetarian dishes, such as butternut squash dressed in Asian spices, Japanese ramen noodles, and spicy salmon. "My chosen ingredients are meant to reflect the passion in modern Asian cuisine," said Björck, the owner of the award-winning Farang and Gaijin restaurants in Helsinki.
Finnair connects 13 cities in Asia with over 60 destinations in Europe, and flies more than 8 million passengers annually. The airline, which is a pioneer in sustainable flying, operates a young, modern fleet and has the highest score of a publicly disclosing airline in the worldwide Carbon Disclosure Project. Finnair is also the only Nordic airline with a four-star Skytrax ranking and has won the World Airline Award for Best Airline Northern Europe for the past three years.