Lifestyle Awards 2013
Wellness & Relationship
Triviality of Detail
The Humble Opinion
A sommelier's post
Getting the Green
The World is Small Enough
A Life Well Wasted
Of Crime and...
You know you are old when...
How many roads must a man walk down?
Learning from the Outside
Five Reasons to NOT fly Business
The whole idea of travel is to expand the mind. In my case, it also expands the girth. People find it funny when I complain about how much I travel or eat.
Some don’t believe it, others marvel in a way that you normally reserve for circus freaks. I am proud to say then that I look marginally better. Or wait, am I disillusioned there too!?
But the fact remains that I do eat a lot and I enjoy it too. When I haven’t ever liked food I have been honest about it. Don't believe me? – Try it.
Next time you see me somewhere, walk up and ask me about something I had and if I can visualise it, I will tell you exactly what I said on the show. Told you, circus freak!
But there are two problems with this kind of heavy-duty eating and drinking.
The first is the amount of sit-ups you have to do every morning. The second is the level of quality you come to expect of every meal you ingest.
The one place where food can be a serious affair not just gastronomically but also technically is in-flight. Nothing comes close to the standards and norms that have to be maintained and managed at an in-flight kitchen and catering facility.
It is one thing to cook and serve
a la minute
and entirely another thing to cook, preserve, hold, transport, hold, reheat, and then, serve.
I was recently in Singapore (for other work, not my show, but it still involved a lot of good food and wine) and I got a walk and talk around the Singapore Airlines In-flight catering facility.
Right from the entrance things were tight and controlled. Health checks were mandatory and stringent, correct clothing absolutely necessary and we all shuffled along quietly and observantly.
We combed our way through different kitchens and packaging portions of the facility. It was all so methodical and mannered and monitored. There was an air of utmost sincerity about it.
The omelettes section was churning out fluffy omelettes in an assembly line pattern, no two more different than my two eyes.
The Japanese kitchen was preparing Bento boxes with the precision of a watchmaker.
The aim of the entire team was clear: They were all unified in the idea of delivering consistent quality of the highest standard.
A pity then that the food once plated or packed has to be blast frozen to prevent contamination.
This is what makes a lot of it insipid. A good airline researches this aspect to realise which ingredients survive this process and which don’t.
The proof then, is literally in the pudding.
With fewer complaints about food quality then even a fine dining restaurant and more meals churned out in an hour than a large cafeteria may do in a week, Singapore Airlines sure knows where the focus should lie.
And then came the wine selection process. This was a lot more relaxed.
Three wine luminaries of the world were huddled in a room at a tiny table, teeth stained to the point of eerie, conversing in quick, soft words, sipping and spitting.
It was almost like some formal cult ritual. From the corner of their eye, they noticed us moving around them, the same way lions eye you at an open safari. It was fun yet formal.
Finally, they shared the process with us. “If we like it, we shortlist it,” it was that simple.
But when you think that every year they work their way through more than a thousand wines, the simplicity takes on a new definition.
At last, a handful were selected and were soon be served on board across their three service classes. All in all, the focus here too is on the same level of delivery.
I guess the one word that would describe the entire service aspect of this airline for me is this: Focus.
And if I ever manage to earn my way into their first class suites, I know for a fact that I too will be “focussing” on all those lovely Second Growth Bordeaux red wines that they serve on board.
That should be the sensible ‘Indian’ way to justify the hefty ticket price, nevermind the heftier number of sit-ups next morning I will be setting up myself for with such an intoxicating endeavour.
Globetrot with Magandeep Singh
On AROUND THE WORLD IN 85 PLATES
I love your show, it is very enlightening. I never knew my idiot box could ever be so helpful. Thank...
Some how i like this show very much, I like the way maghandeep explains about the food, some times w...
Hi, Mr. Magnadeep Singh ji , I m kalpna singh from Delhi city , Mr. magandeep i was watching ...
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