PAL jazzes up menu
Have you ever chosen an airline because of its food? I confess I have. On my last trip to the United States, I chose to fly Japan Airlines because I felt like having Japanese food over anything else.
If I was returning home after months or even years abroad, I would certainly choose Philippine Airlines (PAL), if only to have a taste of home even while up in the air. And on one of my previous trips, I was delighted to see that Chef JP Anglo’s Negrense dishes like chicken inasal had made it to the menu, even in economy class!
Details like these make an airline memorable. Sometimes you might even forget how terribly turbulent the ride was or how delayed your flight was if you are comforted by the food. Maybe that’s why some airlines offer unlimited champagne!
That is why having an excellent executive chef is of utmost importance for an airline. Capt. Stanley Ng, president of PAL, recognizes this. At the start of this year, he welcomed Chef Vallerie Castillo-Archer, formerly executive chef of the swanky Yamashiro restaurant in Hollywood, as PAL’s head of catering operations, to redesign its in-flight menu.
Aside from her experience not only as executive chef of a Hollywood restaurant but also as an entrepreneur who managed her own pastry business, Capt. Stan noted Chef Val’s creative vision. “I am confident that she will pave the way for innovation and enhancement to the PAL inflight dining experience for our passengers to enjoy,” the PAL president said.
The business class menu was redesigned in time for PAL’s 82nd anniversary last March. Chef Val proved to be creative indeed, introducing Ilocano cauliflower adobo in vegan sauce, ube waffles with chicken sausage and adlai champorado.
Capt. Stan’s favorite is the miso seabass, inspired by Yamashiro, which requires that the fish be marinated for 48 hours. For the meat lover, there is the classic fillet mignon but topped with Tanduay rum sauce.
Chef Val has been wise enough, however, not to touch the PAL arroz caldo, which has become iconic. She might want to consider an adlai version, though, seeing as she has already done that with champorado!
Domestic flights now also have a jazzed-up menu, which you can purchase: beef sisig wrap; smoked corned beef in hoagie with red and green apples; Tagaytay salad wraps with egg and cheese; and Bacolod chicken barbecue roll with egg and cheese. Now that’s a great sandwich and wraps menu!
For international flights, specifically flights to the US and Australia, they are offering Pinoy chicken barbecue and longganisa. I love that this can be the first taste of the Philippines for visitors, whether investors or tourists, as this is authentically Pinoy. In fact, I always recommend Aristocrat chicken barbecue to friends visiting from abroad. The menu also includes a classic leche flan, which is always a winner! Flights around Asia will also soon have a new menu.
With all these new dishes to choose from, PAL is definitely on the right track to winning travelers over. Bravo to PAL president and chief operating officer Capt. Stan and Chef Val for knowing how to navigate their way to people’s hearts: through the stomach! The deliciousness of the Philippines comes shining through!