Let’s face it the majority of us are in no way a Chef even a Cook, however the level of food and plating we are required to serve requires some extra special attention and another level of attention to detail. Think Caviar and Foie Gras, intricate plating with tweezers and syringes, smears and dots. A flight attendants’ knowledge of and Plating can lift you to a whole new level of service that is expected and should be standard when flying privately.
So as a private flight attendant what can you do to up your game on board? Given we have small spaces not a lot of equipment and most likely short on time, all of the elements are working against you but don’t let that stop you we have a few ideas that will take you from plane food to restaurant level fine dining.
KNOWLEDGE! Update yourself, what’s trending? What are the great restaurants doing? Where are you? What is local? What is in season? Most of the time we are getting catering from local caterers wherever you are in the world so learn about what they do and their specialities before you order catering. Learn about the basics of cooking and plating take up some basic culinary training, if your ever stuck on board for inspiration having a great knowledge of the basics is something you can always rely on, and the classic plating techniques never go out of style
MIS EN PLACE! This is the preparation and planning of your food, time, ideas and ingredients before service. In a Kitchen this would mean a work plan in conjunction with the menu with times of the elements of the dish, but this is not a kitchen this is a Galley and as I said before the elements are working against us. So, if your more of a DIY flight attendant this is having everything chopped and portioned out ready to cook and plate. If you’re not that way inclined or you rely on standard catering have a plan in place of what you will be receiving know your elements.
TOOLS! Look as cabin crew we never want to carry around the world anything extra then we absolutely need to and that is totally understandable, but there is a few things you can carry around or stock your galley with that can take your plate from plane food to a sit down fine dining experience. Piping bags great for every course, potato, sauces, creams, helps you get a more refined placement. A brush, paint away friends a painted stroke of a condiment will elevate that boring dessert, Chef’s tweezers provide strategic and intricate placements of garnishes and elements that can wow your diners. The list goes on.
CREATIVITY! As a flight attendant we are generally short on time, but a little creativity can take just a minute, Your plate is your canvas use that imagination. Free form plating with consistency across all plates guests is quite impressive and creates intrigue amongst diners in a dish. Watch trends is it rustic or is it influenced by a season or environment? You can create a garden on your plate with simple elements and keeping that creativity consistent across the plates for each diner shows the work that went into that dish.
STOP! If you think you should stop, stop! You don’t want to create confusion sometimes simplicity is key and gives a diner comfort, so know your audience. Fine dining tends to run with a 40/60 rule where the 40% is your dish and the 60% is negative space this creates a fresh and clean dish focusing on the key ingredients of the dish almost like a Frame.
So there you have a little insight into the importance of food and plating from a flight attendants perspective. If you want to expand your knowledge further, we at commercial2corporate have some great courses which will go into more detail, in our Silver Service Course you will get hands on experience to create and eat a menu from grocery items created for the Private Jet environment. You’re a Private flight attendant your expected to do and know it all so up our game on board!