(Posted 20th June 2022)
From 01st of July, Brussels Airlines’ Business Class long-haul flights passengers will enjoy a unique gastronomic experience created by Belgian chef Mario Elias, of the restaurant Le Cor de Chasse*.
Brussels Airlines has been a flying ambassador for Belgium for years. On board of its flights the airline offers a selection of Belgian beers, wines, pralines, waffles and cookies. The collaboration with Mario Elias completes this picture. The chef thus becomes the thirteenth Star Chef since the start in 2013, and succeeds to Tim Boury.
Said Mario when the cooperation was announced: “It was an intense collaboration and quite a challenge to put this menu together. At ten thousand metres altitude, recipes have to be adapted to different constraints. I am very proud of the result whereby I did everything possible to put together a seasonal menu with the best Belgian products.”
The best local products at the heart of Mario Elias’ kitchen
Mario Elias took over the restaurant Le Cor de Chasse*, then located in Barvaux-sur-Outhe, with his wife Aurore Matagne, more than twenty years ago. Nine years later, they moved to the beautiful castle farm in the picturesque and wooded Wéris.
Chef Elias comes from a family of cooks. His great-grandfather made ice cream that he sold on his cargo bike at the Belgian coast. His great-grandmother was a chef for a baron and in a hotel in Stadt, Switzerland. Mario’s parents have inherited this passion and run restaurants in Koksijde and Barvaux. And now the family tradition continues with Mario as chef, Aurore as hostess and son Jonah as sommelier.
Seasonal products from the local area, sourced from the best artisans, are used in a crafted interplay of flavours. Chef Elias likes to serve his dishes in different plates – which he also makes himself – to emphasise the various facets of the main product.
Philip Mortier, the responsible manager at Brussels Airlines for Inflight Products, added: “Mario Elias is described as a no-nonsense chef who is proud of his heritage and works with the best, mainly Belgian, ingredients. This fits perfectly with the ‘Belgitude’ that Brussels Airlines, as a Belgian airline, wants to stand for. We continue to invest in our customers’ travel experience and are delighted that they will soon discover Mario’s fantastic work on board.”
A carefully selected menu for the Business Class passengers
For the starter, the travellers in Business Class will be able to choose from smoked trout (accompanied by Jangaji of daikon and sour cream) or chicken fillet cooked at low temperature (with Barley, fennel and seaweed salad and caviar tomatoes). For the main course, they can choose from braised veal fillet (accompanied by candied aubergine, peas, mozzarella, cherry cream and toasted bread gnocchi), or saithe cooked on the skin (with green asparagus, risotto and Noilly Prat sauce with lovage oil), or soba noodles (accompanied by white asparagus, broccolini, cherry tomatoes and green curry sauce with coconut). The dessert is a pistachio ganache, pearl barley, raspberry custard and passion fruit coulis.
The wines accompanying the new Business Class menu were selected by Master of Wine Jan De Clercq.
Star Chef menu’s on board since 2013
In 2013 Brussels Airlines introduced its passengers on intercontinental flights to regional Belgian dishes prepared by renowned Belgian Star Chefs. The chefs create an entire menu based on local ingredients typical for their region. The first Belgian Star Chef was Geert van Hecke of the now-closed Bruges restaurant De Karmeliet.
Brussels Airlines serves the Eastern African destination of Entebbe in Uganda with daily A330-300 flights of which two route via Bujumbura / Burundi and 5 via Kigali / Rwanda. Each flight offers a three class configuration of Business, Premium Economy and Economy.
Passengers to Entebbe can also breath a sigh of relief, now that Rwanda has last week finally removed the requirement for a very extensive – and often perceived as unneccesarily intrusive – passenger locator form which health authorities in Kigali imposed also on transit passengers to Uganda, although they remained on board of the aircraft.