KLM and Richard Ekkebus cooking amidst the stars
Passengers on board a KLM flight to Hong Kong were treated to a surprise meal cooked by Master Chef Richard Ekkebus. The dinner formed part of his final test to qualify as an SVH-certified Master Chef. Carrying the title of Master represents the highest level of professional recognition in Dutch catering.
After touch down, the SVH Committee (Stichting Vakbekwaamheid Horeca) announced that Richard had successfully completed the first part of his Master’s test. KLM has been serving its World Business Class passengers meals created by Richard Ekkebus since December 2012.
Never before has a (Dutch) chef cooked dishes ‘live’ on board an aircraft as part of his final test to become a Master Chef. Richard was specially flown in from Hong Kong to the Netherlands to complete the ‘mise en place’ (preparations) for the flight from Amsterdam to Hong Kong.
For several years now, KLM has been serving World Business Class meals created by leading Dutch chefs. By joining forces with chefs and sommeliers of this standing, KLM continues to invest in its inflight service. With Richard Ekkebus of Restaurant Amber** in The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong, KLM reaffirms the impeccable level of quality it offers its passengers. Meals were previously served on board by SVH Master Chef Jonnie Boer (Librije ***, Zwolle, the Netherlands), SVH Master Chef Mario Ridder (De Zwethheul **, Schipluiden, the Netherlands) and Sergio Herman (Oud Sluis ***, Sluis, the Netherlands).
The ‘inflight committee’ consisted of Jonnie Boer SVH Master Chef, Onno Kokmeijer (Ciel Bleu ** at the Hotel Okura Amsterdam) and Carsten Klint, secretary of Master Chef titles at SVH. The second part of the Master’s test will take place at Restaurant Amber in The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, where Richard will be assessed by the committee in relation to more than 100 aspects of his craft. Richard is the first Dutch chef working abroad to be tested for his Master’s certificate there as well.
The menu served in the air was specially comprised of Richard Ekkebus’ signature dishes.
- White asparagus with lobster, served with orange, carrot and mustard dressing
- Ceviche of heirloom tomatoes and watermelon topped with Spanish Bellota ham and crusty sourdough tomato delight
- Dutch fillet of sole engorged with North Sea crab, served with cauliflower confiture and typically Dutch Opperdoes potatoes and seaweed
- Blanquette de veau; braised veal smothered in cream sauce, flanked with summer vegetables and spaghetti topped with morel mushrooms
- Panna cotta with black pepper and red currants marinated in hibiscus
- Chocolate cake with crème brulée and dark chocolate ganache
(*) The menu was prepared from MSC-certified fish and meat bearing the ‘beter leven’ (better life) stamp of approval awarded by the Dutch Animal Protection Society.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was founded in 1919, making it the world’s oldest airline still operating under its original name. In 2004, Air France and KLM merged to form AIR FRANCE KLM. The merger produced the strongest European airline group based on two powerful brands and hubs – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Retaining its own identity, the group focuses on three core businesses: passenger transport, cargo and aircraft maintenance.
In the Netherlands, KLM comprises the core of the KLM Group, which further includes KLM Cityhopper, transavia.com and Martinair. KLM serves all its destinations using a modern fleet and employs over 33,000 people around the world. KLM is a leader in the airline industry, offering reliable operations and customer-oriented products resulting from its policy of enthusiasm and sustainable innovation.
KLM is a member of the global SkyTeam airline alliance, offering customers an extensive worldwide network. The KLM network connects the Netherlands to every important economic region in the world and, as such, serves as a powerful driver for the economy.
SkyTeam is a global airline alliance providing customers from member airlines access to an extensive worldwide network offering more destinations, more frequencies and more connectivity. Passengers can earn and redeem Frequent Flyer Miles throughout the SkyTeam network. SkyTeam member airlines offer customers access to over 490 lounges worldwide.