Best in the Business: Air New Zealand ups inflight dining ante with brilliant, new ‘Aotearoa on a Plate’ menus

by James Wilkinson

Air New Zealand has unveiled its latest culinary and beverage menu that showcases the largest range of New Zealand suppliers and native ingredients than ever before.

The ‘A Taste of Aotearoa’ offering is the next evolution of Air New Zealand’s popular Aotearoa on a Plate dining concept.

Inspired by the rich heritage and diverse bounty of New Zealand, the new menu brings together indigenous flavours and contemporary cuisine, according to Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer, Leanne Geraghty.

She says the new menu is onboard Business Premier cabins now, and is available on all long haul flights out of New Zealand.

Geraghty says the new onboard food and beverage offering was inspired by manaakitanga – the Māori tradition of hospitality – and is a true celebration of Aotearoa New Zealand’s incredible culinary heritage.

“We believe it’s our privilege to showcase the best our country has to offer and share that with the world – and one we take very seriously,” she says.

“Whether it’s on a plate or in a glass, we want to serve up an authentic taste of New Zealand onboard and in our lounges.”

Geraghty says customers traveling in the airline’s premium cabins will have the opportunity to indulge in an unparalleled exploration of New Zealand’s exceptional flavours.

“Our country’s unique flora and produce are a treasure trove of flavours and ingredients that have inspired us to create a dining experience that celebrates the special flavours of Aotearoa,” she says.

Some of the delicious A Taste of Aotearoa cuisine found on select premium menus departing from New Zealand include:
-Superfood Salad with horopito dusted New Zealand salmon;
-Creamy kawakawa mushrooms on rye toast, sautéed spinach and grilled tomatoes;
-Ahia smoked moki on kawakawa blini; and
-Grass fed New Zealand lamb rump with horopito rub.

“There’s something truly magical about the native flavours of New Zealand – from the peppery spiciness of horopito to the earthy goodness of kawakawa,” she says. “By infusing our dishes with native ingredients, we pay homage to the traditional uses of these ingredients while creating a modern and memorable dining experience for our customers.”

The menu showcases fresh and locally sourced ingredients, and serves as a chance to introduce visitors to New Zealand to the wonders of our local food producers.

“Working hand in hand with renowned local suppliers, the menu is bursting with New Zealand grown produce,” Geraghty says.

“Other menu items showcasing New Zealand include Ahia smoked moki sourced from the people of Ngāti Porou, Ōra King salmon from Marlborough, New Zealand hāpuka, smoked mussels from the Coromandel, cheeses from Oamaru and Hawke’s Bay extra virgin olive oil.”

Customers traveling in premium cabins will be able to experience ‘A Taste of Aotearoa’ on select flights departing from New Zealand, such as New York and Chicago.

The menu will be identified by a distinctive icon, ensuring passengers can easily identify the featured dishes and savour the unique flavours of Aotearoa during their journey.