Foodborne illness is a growing concern in the U.S., and one that flight departments and FBOs should take seriously. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 48 million cases each year in the U.S., 128,000 of them severe enough to require hospitalization, 3,000 of them fatal. Travel medical services provider MedAire notes that gastrointestinal illness accounts for the largest percentage of calls from its private aviation customers, with 77 percent of them regarding passengers.
Aerolux began with a range of refrigeration products, in particular a wine chiller, but according to the Lancashire, UK-based company, customer demand has driven development of a growing line of new products. These include everything from Nespresso-approved coffee maker to skillet to four-slice toaster to rice cooker to freezer to convection oven.
Business aviation catering provider Air Chef Holdings has rebranded all of its divisions under one new name, Air Culinaire Worldwide, and moved its headquarters from Columbus, Ohio, to Tampa, Fla. “Before our rebrand, we had different names that were known for separate things by our clients,” said Air Culinaire president Paul Schweitzer. “The purpose of this new name is to make it easier for our clients to identify us as a global catering resource, regardless of where they travel.”
One solution to both the safety and cost of food in business aviation is to cook from scratch. Flight departments such as Aramco and the military (Air Force One) have been cooking gourmet meals on board aircraft for years with the goal of providing safe food for their passengers.
The challenge is finding cabin crew who can cook well. Terry Fuhrmann, supervisor of flight services for Aramco, explained that the company hires chefs, even without aviation experience, because “we can train them to become safety managers and first responders in the cabin.”
Food preparation on a business jet is often a challenge. The new multi-function AAD4-27 induction oven from Iacobucci Group (Booth No. 2526) subsidiary Modular Galley System (MGS) is designed to make on-board food preparation easier.
While much of the business aviation industry remains mired in a slumping economy, Air Culinaire has just expanded to a new location in Signature Flight Support at Memphis International Airport, bringing to 85 the total number of airports served by the Arlington, Va.-based caterer.
Air Chef, launched just two years ago, is bidding to become the premier business aviation caterer in the U.S., and it is making plans to expand abroad as well. The company, headquartered in the Columbus, Ohio suburb of Worthington, was the brainchild of president Paul Schweitzer and CEO Scott Liston, who created the business plan and raised the outside capital.
Among the changes at PAMA is a restructuring of the annual event. “We have parted ways with Cygnus and are now in control of our trade show,” board chairman Clark Gordon told AIN. “We are implementing regional events rather than national.”
While NBAA is drawing thousands of visitors to Atlanta, the city has a thriving culinary scene that befits its status as “the capitol of the south.” World-class restaurants offer an astounding variety of cuisines, sure to please any palate, from eclectic seafood houses, to classic wood-paneled shrines to slabs of beef, to cozy eateries serving up the finest southern-style food.
Edward Taylor, a 16th-century New England Puritan not given to excess, nevertheless saw fit to describe the spiritual in terms of the flesh when he wrote of the sacraments, “It’s food too fine for angels.”