The Lufthansa Star Chef Programme
Lufthansa passengers have been on a high in the world of haute cuisine since the launch of Lufthansa’s Star Chefs programme in January 2000. In-flight creations by culinary luminaries at the pinnacle of the world’s cooking fraternity have turned their flights into truly heavenly delights. To date, such international celebrities as Harald Wohlfahrt (Baiersbronn), Dieter Müller (Bergisch Gladbach), Daniel Boulud (New York) or Paul Bocuse (Lyon) have been engaged to provide savoury star-chef menus in the aircraft cabin. Additionally, since early 2005, internationally renowned chefs from elsewhere on the world map have been serving special inflight fare, focusing on regional specialties on selected long-haul routes to Germany. Moreover, under the Lufthansa Classics title. Traditional German dishes are served in the cabin on a monthly rotary basis.
Léa Linster the Lufthansa Star Chef in January and February 2011
One of few women to breach the top echelons in gourmet cuisine is creating menus to delight the palates of premium passengers in First and Business Class on Lufthansa long-haul flights in January and February 2011: Léa Linster from Luxembourg is the Lufthansa Star Chef in those two months. She cooks exceptional dishes without the frills that bring out the unadulterated taste of the individual ingredients. So the title of one of her treasured cookbooks “Einfach und genial“(‘Simple and Ingenious’) aptly describes the in-flight food she is creating for Lufthansa. Among the highlights are her madeleines, which Business Class passengers will enjoy with their coffee. They come with a booklet of recipes to inspire passengers to try their own hand at making them at home.
The choice of starters served from an étagère in First Class includes duck foie gras and chicken in aspic with celery salad and beetroot vinaigrette, salmon tartar with lemon confit and fennel salad or mouse of tomatoes and bell pepper with pine nut pesto. After white onion cream soup with parmesan croutons or leaf salad with fried oyster mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper and toasted pine nuts, passengers can choose between four main dishes. Two are dishes created by Léa Linster: filet of sole with crayfish on tarragon sauce with leaf spinach and tagliatelle, flour dumpling with black salsify or spring chicken on rosemary sauce with Brussels sprouts and rösti. On offer as dessert is Léa’s crème brûlée with macadamia nut ice cream or carrée of mousse au chocolat served with orange sauce. The cheese to round off a delightful repast includes bleu d’Auvergne, fougerus, comté or Livarot. Under the Lufthansa Classics label, passengers will be served Königsberger Klopse or meatballs in caper sauce, beetroot and parsley as an alternative to the Star Chef menu in January. The alternative Lufthansa Classics dish In February is marinated pot roast with red cabbage and potato.
In Business Class, too, passengers can savour Léa’s culinary delights. The choice of starters includes venison terrine with green bean salad and mustard sour cream sauce, cold-served trout sweet and sour with mixed vegetables and Venus rice salad or mixed leaf salad with tomato, bell pepper, zucchini, pumpkin and carrot. The main dish created by Léa Linster consists of pike quenelles and king prawns in lobster sauce with leaf spinach and tagliatelle or wild mushroom ragout with chive dumplings. Stuffed profiteroles on chocolate syrup and vanilla sauce as dessert plus an assortment of cheese make for a fitting finish. The main dish in Lufthansa Classics-style in Business Class in January is beef roulade filled with vegetables, green peas, carrots and mashed potato and, in February, chicken fricassee with mushrooms, asparagus and vegetable rice.
The Luxembourger chef Léa Linster has achieved wider popularity through her media presence on TV, her newspaper and magazine columns and a series of cookery books. But she earned her international acclaim in gourmet circles through daily, prize-winning work in the kitchen of her restaurant Léa Linster Cuisinière, a prestigious eatery in her home town of Frisange. An erstwhile Bocuse pupil, Léa Linster opened in 1991 another restaurant, the Letzebuerger Kaschthaus, in neighbouring Hellange, which specialises in down-to-earth Luxembourg cuisine and which can only be booked for private parties. In the “Madeleine by Léa Linster“pavilion in Kayl, her latest project, she offers first-class cooking at moderate prices. Léa Linster won her Michelin star only five years after inheriting a cafe-cum-restaurant from her parents and transforming it into a gourmet temple. She has meantime held that star without interruption for more than 20 years. She is proud of winning the coveted”Bocuse d’Or“in 1989. She is the first and to date the only woman to have earned this legendary culinary trophy. Her credo is that cooking is not just a technical skill but an art in itself, which requires love and passion to be practiced successfully.