WATCH: French Michelin-starred chef Frédéric Simonin ready to serve customers flying from Paris to SA with his signature menus

French Michelin-starred chef Frédéric Simonin. Picture: Frédéric Simonin Instagram

French Michelin-starred chef Frédéric Simonin. Picture: Frédéric Simonin Instagram

Published Jan 30, 2024


For the first time, Air France is entrusting the creation of the à la carte menus in its long-haul Premium Economy cabin to a leading French Michelin-starred chef, Frédéric Simonin.

On departure from Paris, Simonin has created two dishes for the plane customers to choose from, including a vegetarian option.

The dishes include the salmon risotto with orzo pasta, wild dill, and lemon sauce; and trofie pasta bake with porcini mushrooms and hazelnuts.

New Air France à la carte menu. Picture: Thomas Hericourt

Commenting on the recent role, he said he agreed to work with Air France quite simply because it is a prestigious company that represents France and its values.

“When you know Air France, you know its reputation and when you know that it flies to the four corners of the world, it is quite emotional. I like to work with a wide variety of products in the kitchen. Nothing is left to chance in the cabin.

“So, we like to use seasonal produce and we try to make sure that our dishes awaken customers’ taste buds so they really enjoy their time on board.

“Unlike some of my colleagues who discovered a passion for cooking at an early age, for me it came with time. I learnt to love what I do, and I still love it today at my age,” said Simonin.

The award-winning chef learnt the ropes in top restaurants and alongside great chefs, from Ledoyen (one of the most storied restaurants in France) to Joël Robuchon (French chef and restaurateur), before becoming the Best Craftsman of France himself in 2019.

To prepare these menus on the flight carrier from Paris to South African shores, he worked with Servair, the world leader in in-flight catering, choosing fresh, local, and seasonal produce, as well as fish from sustainable fisheries.

To accompany each meal, the air carrier offers its customers a wide range of beverages, with or without alcohol, including a wine and champagne list specially selected by an expert and World’s Best Sommelier of 2013, Paolo Basso.