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Serving up a treat

There are limitations to what Ramsay will offer on the airline menu
There are limitations to what Ramsay will offer on the airline menu

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Gordon Ramsay, the only chef in Britain with three Michelin stars, is rising to the challenge of making airline food taste good.

From the glamorous surroundings of one of London's top hotels, Claridges, to the more modest kitchens of Singapore Airlines, Ramsay strives for top standards.

Singapore Airlines' first class and business class passengers flying to Asia will now enjoy Ramsay's creations, re-heated at 35,000 feet.

Making meals in bulk to be served 12 hours later is a tricky business. In the airline kitchen meals are cooked then chilled to keep them fresh, before being loaded onto a plane.

Ramsay is one of a handful of culinary masters designing Singapore Airlines' menus. In the battle for business, carriers are keen to outclass their rivals.

But is it really possible to recreate the Ramsay experience a mile high?

"The most fascinating change for me was watching how the standard of the food depleted the higher you became and watching the way that food dehydrates 10 times quicker," Ramsay told CNN.

"And obviously with airline food you go through thousands and thousands of kilos of asparagus as a opposed to a box of asparagus."

There are limitations to what Ramsay will offer on the airline menu.

"I'd never serve a ravioli lobster on a plane, because I'd never ever feel comfortable having to cook the lobster well done, because it becomes incredibly chewy and very difficult to eat," he explained as he cooked the dish in his London kitchen.

On the other hand, a dish cooked long and slow is perfect.

"I would definitely do braised belly of pork on a plane because it's cooked for 11 hours, 12 hours, a slow braise, so therefore the longer it cooks the better it tastes."

But is there any nutritional value in such a meal? For the business traveller to stay alert yet satisfied, nutritionist Clare Dodgshon advises a light one-course lunch.

Opting for a three-course meal means the body is going to have to work hard just digesting food, she said.

Red meats and deep-fried chicken are hard to digest, as are chips and deep fried rice -- both very fatty choices. On the other hand a granary roll releases energy slowly. And it's even better mixed with lean proteins like prawns and cold meats.

Choosing the right food can be the difference between dropping asleep in an afternoon business meeting and still signing deals at 5pm.



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