Maybe you don’t know Servair. But actually, if you already travelled from Paris, you surely ate during your flight meals prepared by Servair. Indeed the company is the world’s three caterer. It provides other services such as cleaning of aircrafts, assistance for passengers with reduced mobility or on-board shops. During the Flyertalk event at CDG, we had the opportunity to visit Servair unit 1 which handles long-haul flights’ catering. A visit which ended with a buffet tasting with an exclusivity, the new business menu of Air France imagined by Guy Martin !

Servair employee ready to open the door of this A380-800 Air France to load the catering © Sophie Figenwald

The Servair Company

Servair is present in 19 countries and at 56 stopovers. There 54 Servair kitchen in the world which deliver every day 230 000 meals. More than 100 airlines trust their catering services.

But as you know, each meal served in each airline is different that’s why Servair proposes :

  • Standard and custom-made menus,
  • Buy-on-board meals,
  • cultural cuisine (Kosher and Halal dishes),
  • special dietary meals such as vegeterian or medical meals,
  • AB certified organic menus,
  • international cuisine (Japanese, West India, Chinese, Indian…),
  • and finally, wine services.

In France, you can enjoy Servair meals if you fly from Paris (Charles-de-Gaulle as well as Orly and Le Bourget) and Lyon.

Finally, Servair works in collaboration with worldwide known Chefs lead by Joël Robuchon under the name « Les Toqués du Ciel » to bring creativity, pleasure and innovation in catering !

« Les Toqués du Ciel » Jacques Le Divellec, Joël Robuchon, Michel Quissac, Bruno Goussault and Guy Martin in the Servair magazine of May 2012

And now, let’s come to the tour of the Servair Unit 1 to discover how meals for long-haul flights are prepared !

Tour of the Air France and Japan Airlines kitchens

Before having the right to get in the kitchens, we obviously had to prepare ourselves : mobcap on the head, a mask, a white coat and protections over shoes. Funny but above all essential for hygiene !

Getting prepared !

The tour began with hangars where milk, wines and crockery are stocked.

Wines served on-board Air France long-haul flights
Air France cups

Then we went in front of the impressive goods storage space !

After having explained us that each airline has its own storage space according to its specificities, managers accompanied us to the kitchens where Air France business meals are prepared.

In every kitchen we came into, trays with examples of menus were disposed on tables. It was always very appetizing !

Example of trays which were presented to us

You can see on the pictures that some dishes were here presented in aluminium containers but don’t be afraid, passengers of business classes don’t receive them so. Actually, meals are in aluminium because they need to be reheated by flight attendants who then place them on nice trays with cold dishes.

We then came in Japan Airlines kitchens. We immediately recognized a typical cooking with very nice crockery !

JAL tray for business class with on the left what needs to be reheated

After having visited kitchen of business classes, it’s time to discover where meals for economy classes are prepared. We just arrived at the time when breakfasts for the next morning were in preparation.

Part of the breakfast served in Air France economy class

Logistics is here different because of the quantity produced. It is less manual and more automated than for business class meals.

We also had the occasion to see the big pianos, impressive !

Once all trays are complete, they are charged in trolleys and wait to be taken by loaders to the aircrafts. Each trolley has a bar code to be tracked.

Vietnam Airlines trolleys’ storage space

Buffet Tasting…

Let’s come to another very interesting part, buffet tasting !!

We were warmly welcomed by Managers, Chefs with in particular Pascal Pugeault, the first assistant of Guy Martin and the Air France wine expert, Olivier Poussier. Everything was so well organized and so beautiful ! After having been in the kitchen, seen all the meals being prepared, we were all hungry and impatient to taste all the appetizing dishes which Servair Chefs prepared for us and especially the new business class meals of Air France imagined by Guy Martin, available on board from June. An exclusivity for Flyertalkers who, as experts, were also invited to leave comments and appreciation of these new meals.

The buffet was separated in two rooms. One for cold starters and desserts and one for hot meals with the recipes of Guy Martin. I think a picture is the best way for you to imagine how it was presented.

Table of presentation of the meals, showing how they’re presented onboard
Some of the deserts and dishes available in Air France business class © Sophie Figenwald

After the starters with foie gras, salmon and vegetables seasoned with ginger, we left the first room for the second one to taste Guy Martin recipes ! Each time, Chefs explained us what we were eating, how it was prepared and so on. It was so delicious, especially with wines recommended by Mr Poussier. Very nice combinations of flavours that I’m sure will convince all business class travelers ! After this tasting, it was time for excellent desserts with especially the apricot-nougat cups. No need to say how good it was… again… 🙂

A few words about Air France new « à la carte » meals !

This time at Servair was also the occasion to discover the new « à la carte » meals of Air France and to see how they are presented.

In the Voyageur and Premium Voyageur cabins, Air France proposes you to pay a supplement to get a special meal of your choice among three possibilities. This option is only available when departing from Paris CDG to Dubai, Hong Kong, Libreville, Los Angeles, Luanda, and Tokyo. But it will certainly be extended to other flights in a few months ! You can order these meals when booking online or in the « manage your reservation » section on Air France website until 24h before your flight.

For 18€, 22€ or 28€ you can enjoy a traditionnal meal, a 100% bio (organic) meal or the « Sélection Le Nôtre » meal… Discover the content of each meal on Air France website by clicking here !
And a few photos of the presentation of these three à la carte meals :

Traditional meal
BIO (Organic) meal
« Une Sélection LENÔTRE » meal

And that’s how I’ll end this article !  Thanks to the Servair Chefs and Olivier Poussier for their kindness and the communication of their passion. We all spent a great time with you !

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