Air fare goes to new heights with Swiss International Air Lines' pop-up restaurant
You could enjoy a three–Michelin star meal from Swiss chef Andreas Caminada in the charming 18th-century castle that houses his restaurant. Or you could enjoy his cuisine on a tray above cruising altitude.
Tough choice, right?
Swiss International Air Lines cooked up the pie-in-the-literal-sky idea of serving haute cuisine at altitude. For one promotional flight only, they'll serve an exquisite gourmet meal to coach and first-class passengers. “We are delighted that, in collaboration with Andreas Caminada, we will be the first airline in the world to take the innovative ‘pop-up restaurant’ concept and offer it above the clouds,” said Frank Maier, the airline’s head of product and services, in a press release.
Swiss Air is one of the few airlines that still emphasizes its in-flight meal offerings. Caminada is Switzerland’s most prominent chef at the moment. “As Switzerland’s most decorated chef, and with his international reputation and his constant insistence on the highest quality and only the finest ingredients, Andreas Caminada is the ideal partner for us in this venture,” said Maier.
The tasty cuisine comes at a price, of course. For a mere $3,795, you can enjoy Caminada’s exquisite food—described by the Michelin Guide as “extremely refined, always artistic, often miniaturized and polished” while folded up like a sardine in anything-but-polished coach. If you want to enjoy your meal farther from the sweaty masses, $12,757 will get you a first-class ticket for the flight from Zurich to New York.
A promotional video shows Caminada standing in a giant onboard kitchen dicing to the hum of a jet engine, but that’s not exactly how this is going to work. A company spokesperson confirmed that Caminada will prepare most of the food prior to the flight, and dishes will be finished at altitude.
Each class will have its own set menu. Customers with dietary restrictions can opt for non-Caminada-cooked vegan, low-fat, kosher, or halal options. Chef-selected wine pairings will also be offered. And while the Swiss in-flight team will serve the meals, they won’t get a taste. The captain and crew get “crew” meals, which sounds like a classic recipe for mutiny.
Right now, the promotion is scheduled for a single flight on November 21. If you want to eat like a king while breathing recycled air and watching a second-run movie on an undersized screen, mark your calendars. If you just want to eat like a king without the guy in the window seat encroaching on your personal space, book a table at Caminada’s castle restaurant, Schloss Schauenstein.
Swiss is offering up the opportunity to win tickets for this flight on its website.