Singapore Airlines (SIA) recently organised the World Gourmet Forum 2019 that highlighted the company’s in-flight food and beverage initiatives for this year. We spent a day with SIA’s International Culinary Panel (ICP) to taste the choicest of ingredients blended carefully into exotic dishes to suit global palates. And guess what, we met celebrated chef Georges Blanc from France who served us roasted chicken breast on morel polenta, courgette and asparagus. This dish designed by him will be made available to guests travelling in suites, first class and business class of SIA from September 2019 onward. To say that it was divinely would be an understatement. We caught up with the legend for a quick chat. By Priyanka Chakrabarti
A Grand Master of French cuisine, Chef Georges Blanc received his third Michelin star back in 1981, and he went on to receive Gault and Millau’s highest rating till date – Chef of the Year. Speaking of his journey into the culinary world he said, “When I was young, I wanted to travel the world and go on adventures. Although I am a fourth-generation chef, I didn’t really want to be a part of my family restaurant business. I always wished to be a pilot in the air force.”
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Did you always want to become a chef?
Not at all. When I was young I wanted to join the air force but unfortunately, due to medical reasons, I couldn’t make it. Thereafter, I entered the food business, and I’ve had a fantastic career so far. I am very happy that I made the right choice.
How long have you been associated with Singapore Airlines?
Right from the beginning. It’s been decades now!
How has the experience been?
I really like what I am doing for this company. It is one of the best companies to work for in the world. I trust them and they trust me. It’s a great bond. Also, ICP is a fantastic idea because we have chefs from all around the world in this panel; and, different parts of the world need different kinds of cuisine.
How many recipes did you create for Singapore Airlines’ guests?
I create almost 50 different recipes every year for them. So far I think I have created 1000 recipes for their guests (right from the beginning). Also, my recipes are mainly focused around Western cuisine.
What was your last meal?
I had chicken rice and chilli crab. That’s a staple for me whenever I visit Singapore.
Do you like Indian food?
Sure! Last January, I was invited by Mr Oberoi and I shared a lovely dinner with him. I really like quintessential Indian spices.
What is your favourite cuisine?
I think, Japanese and French cuisine is my favourite. Japanese cuisine is very healthy, light and fresh, and chefs get inspired by the spirit of this cuisine. I also like Thai, American and Indian cuisine.
Do you travel a lot?
Not as much as I used to in the past.
What is your favourite food destination in the world?
Oriental hotel in Bangkok used to be a favourite spot but today, you get delectable cuisines all around the map; everywhere you go, you will come across such talented chefs!