“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]. ”
Haute Cuisine: Grilled Hawaiian Escolar
The Dish: Fresh, grilled Hawaiian escolar, marinated in lemon juice, olive oil and herbs, garnished with fresh vegetable.
The Caterer: Kahler In-Flight Catering, Rochester, Minn.; (507) 280-6200; www.kahler.com.
The Mayo Clinic's patients include dignitaries from all over the world. Often, while they recuperate, their entourages stay at the Kahler Grand Hotel, which is connected to the clinic via skyways. One such patient was President Ronald Reagan, who came to Mayo in 1990 after a horseback-riding accident. Reagan asked Kahler to provide catering for his private aircraft. Similar requests from other patients followed and, today, Kahler does catering for many private jets. The company fields many special dietary and eccentric requests. Some clients want meals prepared on their own china while others request unique adaptations of popular cuisine. One customer recently asked Kahler to create a dish like one from a fast-food chain but using gourmet ingredients. Anyone for a Kobe beef Big Mac? The caterer encourages such unusual orders; in fact, it has no standard menu. "The service is tailored to each client's needs," said Kahler's Sue Johnson. Besides escolar, popular requests include smoked Scottish salmon and kabsat laham, a Middle Eastern staple made from sautйed lamb simmered with cardamom, cumin, cinnamon and tomatoes blended with rice and served with yogurt.