High in the sky with Tomikawa
Always wondered why food sometimes seems to be so bland of taste in an airplane? Chef Masonori Tomikawa from Yamazato Restaurant felt the urge to change this and committed himself to improving the perception of in-flight meals. In cooperation with KLM he is now responsible for the in-flight meals on flights from and to Japan!
Just add some salt?
There is a big difference between the temperatures outside and inside an airplane. To overcome this difference, fresh outside air has to be heated to a comfortable (room) temperature. Because of this, the humidity in airplanes drops to 10%. This means that when you don’t drink enough, your skin and the mucous membranes will dehydrate. This can have an unfortunate consequence: when eating or drinking it will take longer for smell and taste receptors in the brain to be stimulated. This experience can be compared to having a cold; tastes and smells are weakened.
Balance is one of the key elements in the menus of Yamazato Restaurant. When seasons change, the menus change accordingly and this is typical for Japanese authentic cuisine. French vinaigrette for instance, will taste exactly the same in winter as in summer. In Japan however, subtle seasonal changes are made. Slightly more sweetness is appropriate in winter and more salt in summer, since we need the energy when it is cold and the salt when the sun dehydrates us. Therefore, adjusting dishes to different circumstances is a factor the Japanese haute cuisine is very familiar with. Chef Tomikawa also used these principles when composing the menu for in-flight meals. Small recipe adjustments ensure that passengers are able to taste the dishes the way they are supposed to taste when dining on ground level. You can taste Chef Tomikawa’s dishes in the air on flights to Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka.