Haute Cuisine: Air Culinaire

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 4:00am

Filet mignon is filet mignon, right? Not according to executive chef Salvatore Lano of the Air Culinaire kitchen in South Hackensack, N.J. His Signature Filet is center-cut choice USDA, seasoned and perfectly grilled. But what really sets it apart from ordinary filet mignon is the accompanying mushroom medley, which begins with sautéed, caramelized shallots and pearl onions and a variety of high-density mushrooms. To that Lano adds a red wine to create a rich brown demi-glace and, as a final touch, truffle oil and seasonings. In what the chef describes as a sort of backwards presentation, the mushroom medley serves as a lush bed for the steak, which is finished off with a fresh herb garnish.



THE CATERER:  AIR CULINAIRE, (866) 679-9341 (U.S.), +44-209-993-5522 (London, for callers outside the U.K.), www.airculinaire.com

Air Culinaire operates 13 U.S. kitchens and one in London. Caterers acting as vendors for Air Culinaire serve more than 1,000 airports worldwide under the CaterLink brand

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“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”

-Howard Guy of Design Q, a UK-based consultancy