Award-winning restaurateur Michael Meredith is set to take his culinary expertise to the skies as Air New Zealand’s newest consultant chef.
Renowned for his adventurous approach to food and degustation menus at Auckland’s fine dining restaurant Merediths, the Samoan-born chef will work with the airline to design dishes for its Business Premier menus.
Meredith joins Air New Zealand’s current consultant chef Peter Gordon, of SkyCity’s Sugar Club and The Providores and The Tapa Room in London, who has partnered with the airline for more than 20 years.
The role is a first for the top chef, who took out Metro’s Restaurateur of the Year and Best Fine-Dining Restaurant award for Merediths this year.
“It’s a huge privilege to be given the chance to showcase my take on New Zealand cuisine to people from all over the world. I have a lot of respect for Peter and to create a menu alongside him is an honor.”
“There’s a bit of pressure but I’m also really excited to see what we can do together. I think Air New Zealand punches above its weight in all aspects of its inflight experience, including food.”
Air New Zealand General Manager Customer Experience Carrie Hurihanganui says New Zealand has built a reputation around the world for its fresh, high-quality and diverse cuisine and great New Zealand wine.
“For many visitors to our country Air New Zealand offers their very first taste of New Zealand and we take this responsibility very seriously.
“Michael will bring a fresh perspective to the table. We’ve long held a farm to plane philosophy where menus are crafted around the best seasonal, fresh produce on offer. Michael has a similar ethos at Meredith’s and we’re excited to see how he translates his expertise from the restaurant to meals served at altitude.”
The airline’s Business Premier menus will include both Michael Meredith and Peter Gordon designed dishes from early next year.
Peter Gordon, known as the “godfather” of fusion for his ability to pair food influences from around the world, said Meredith’s appointment is another step in Air New Zealand’s work to offer an unparalleled inflight experience.
“There are definitely some interesting challenges with airline cuisine, it takes a lot skill and thinking outside the square to work with how the palette changes at 30,000ft, and to prepare fresh ingredients to taste their absolute best on a long-haul flight.
“Michael is extremely talented and I’m so pleased he’s coming on board. New Zealand’s biodiversity is extraordinary and Air New Zealand is a fabulous platform to show it off to the world.”
Air New Zealand first formed a relationship with Meredith last year when it signed on as the first corporate to appoint his community initiative Eat My Lunch as a preferred supplier for staff catering.
The online business works on a ‘buy one, give one’ model, where for every lunch purchased, another is given to a Kiwi child in need.