Rhubarb, asparagus and Salt & Straw ice cream on a plane? If you’re in First Class, it’s on the summer menu
How does brioche French toast with rhubarb thyme compote, real maple syrup and scrambled eggs sound for breakfast? Or, if it’s dinner time, perhaps some miso ginger beef with mesclun mix, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and ginger vinaigrette?
These are just two of the dishes rolling out on our First Class summer menu on Saturday, a selection that focuses on simplicity, fresh ingredients and generous portions.
The meals will be served on any flight with a First Class cabin – Boeing, Airbus and Embraer aircraft – and will change every three months based on the season.
“Our guests have told us they want more fresh food, larger quantities and a wider variety of options,” said Todd Traynor-Corey, director of food & beverage. “With a focus on local and healthy food with complex flavors, as well as our thoughtful beer and wine choices, the menu has a distinctive West Coast vibe.”
West Coast suppliers favored
The menu, which will be available on flights until Sept. 15, will also incorporate new snack baskets to supplement meals or to replace an existing snack, which is something guests and flight attendants had been asking for.
All meals will incorporate fresh, in-season produce such as berries, arugula and leeks – supporting a trend of healthier and more sustainable foods that many of our guests have adopted.
West Coast companies will source ingredients, where possible. Supporting local companies include Roons, a bakery in Portland specializing in macaroons or Sweet Lady Jane, a bakery in Los Angeles as well as Cucina Fresca, based in Seattle, for ravioli and a Bolognese sauce. We also look to strengthen existing relations with companies such as Seattle Chocolates, by continuing to hand out a pre-arrival truffle on many meals.
One of the most exciting changes for the summer menu includes adding wildly popular ice cream from Salt & Straw, a Portland company that has a fanatical following amongst ice cream lovers.
After learning how flying can dramatically alter taste, Salt & Straw’s head ice cream maker Tyler Malek hand selected the best flavors to enjoy at 35,000 feet. The family-run business launched entirely new single-serve packaging specifically for Alaska, and we are their exclusive airline partner. The ice cream will be served as a dessert on flights between the East Coast and West Coast as well as flights to Hawaii.
Which meals are served will depend on the time of day, length of the flight and direction.
Guest feedback was key
The menu items were refined with the help of a focus group made up of four flight attendants, five guests and Chris McGinnis, a reporter from the San Francisco Gate news site, who had positive things to say about the selections.
Sample menu items
Snack basket: a mix of sweet and salty items including a banana, dark chocolate, Kind bars, almonds, jerky and popcorn chips.
- Breakfast Quesadilla: Griddled flour tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, black beans, mozzarella cheese, and sautéed bell peppers and onions. Served with roasted baby tri-color potatoes, fresh pico de gallo, and guacamole.
- Brie and Arugula Omelet: Omelet stuffed with sautéed leeks, arugula, and Brie cheese. Served with roasted fingerling potato slices, grilled asparagus, artichoke hearts, and crisp applewood bacon.
- Salad with Blackberries: Arugula, radicchio, fresh basil, blackberries, grape tomatoes, and crumbled goat cheese. Served with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. (Appetizer)
- Sweet Pea and Tarragon Ravioli: Ravioli filled with sweet green pea and tarragon puree. Served with grilled scallions, roasted tomatoes, grilled yellow squash and Portobello mushrooms, and a parsley cream sauce; garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese. (Entrée)
- Bulgogi Chicken: Korean-style chicken marinated with soy, ginger, garlic, scallions, and sesame oil. Served with mixed black and jasmine rice, Chinese broccoli, and spicy-sweet gochujang (red pepper) sauce. (Entrée)
- Afternoon Protein Plate: Cold platter with Brie cheese, hardboiled egg, grilled flatbread, baby carrots, breakfast radishes, sliced cucumber, stuffed peppadew peppers, lemon beet hummus and walnuts. (Short Haul Entrée)
- Salt & Straw Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons ice cream (Dessert)