ATLANTA, Aug. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has added renowned chef Michael Chiarello to its team of food and wine experts. Chiarello is creating delicious, innovative menus to be offered in Delta's BusinessElite cabin on domestic flights connecting New York's John F. Kennedy Airport to Los Angeles and San Francisco beginning in September.  

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"Michael is known throughout the culinary world as a distinguished Napa Valley restaurateur and culinary innovator," said Joanne Smith, Delta's senior vice president – In-Flight Service. "His knack for integrating Southern Italian cuisine with his northern California's 'foodie' lifestyle make him a perfect fit for Delta's transcontinental BusinessElite customers."

Chef Chiarello's distinctive menu will be onboard beginning in September and includes three courses:  an antipasto plate, entree and dessert course featuring fine cheeses and gelati.

"I am excited to partner with Delta to help further their already strong in-flight culinary program by bringing a celebration of the Italian table to their customers," Chiarello said. "I am looking forward to welcoming Delta's BusinessElite customers with a flavorful selection of some of my favorite dishes."

A sample of Chiarello's menu items created for Delta customers include:

PRIMO (First Course)

Antipasti Misto

Prosciutto, roasted red peppers, grilled eggplant, and crostini with artichoke spread or Mozzarella rotola, grilled zucchini, roasted yellow peppers, and crostini with sun-dried tomato spread

SECONDO (Main Course)

Pan Seared Filet of Beef

With pesto, broccolini and carrot caponata

Chicken Vendemia

Verjus sauce with chive mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus

Fusilli Michelangelo

Corkscrew pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, fresh arugula, pine nuts, red chili flakes and parmesan

DOLCE (Dessert)

Selection of Old World Fine Cheeses

Prima Donna, Cambozola and Robiola; offered with fresh fruit


Assorted flavors including strawberry, pistachio, or chocolate hazelnut

Beginning August 19, Delta will introduce new meal trays, linens and glassware to First Class and BusinessElite as part of the service inspired by top restaurants around the globe. The new serviceware is more modern and was chosen based on direct feedback from Delta customers and flight attendants.  In addition, BusinessElite customers can look forward to new amenity kits.

"Our vision was to launch a contemporary line of premium cabin serviceware that enhances the dining experience, functions for all aircraft types and can be elegantly and efficiently delivered by our flight attendants," said Smith. "And taking a cue from our best customers, we've enhanced the BusinessElite amenity kit with a higher quality bag, softer eyeshades with a more comfortable strap and larger toothpaste."

These investments continue the airline's focus on the customer experience, including a $2 billion investment through 2013. In addition to these new onboard enhancements, Delta has completed installation of Wi-Fi on its mainline domestic fleet, will offer full flat-bed seats on more than 160 widebody aircraft, feature personal, in-seat entertainment for both BusinessElite and Economy class customers on all widebody flights, and complete new terminal facilities for international customers at its two largest global gateways – Atlanta and New York-JFK.  

Chef Chiarello graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He is the chef/owner of Bottega, his acclaimed restaurant in Yountville, CA, purveyor of NapaStyle, a multi-channel lifestyle retailer,  award-winning multiple cookbook author and highly rated vintner.  He has twice been named Chef of the Year by Food and Wine Magazine and by the Culinary Institute of America.  Chef Chiarello has also earned three Emmy Awards for Food Network's Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello, for which Michael co-produces, writes and stars, and has competed on Bravo's Top Chef Masters.  Chiarello will appear on Food Network's Next Iron Chef this fall, 2011.

Chef Chiarello joins Delta's current food and wine team which includes chef Michelle Bernstein and master sommelier Andrea Robinson.  Miami-based Chef Bernstein is a James Beard Award winner (Best Chef South 2007) and author of Cuisine a Latina (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008).  She is the owner, creator and executive chef of Michy's and Sra. Martinez restaurants.  Andrea Robinson serves as Dean of Wine Studies at the French Culinary Institute, where she graduated with honors from its professional culinary program, a master sommelier, and a chef. She is one of only 14 women in the world who have been made Master Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers. She was named the James Beard Foundation Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year in 2002.

Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year, and was named by Fortune magazine as the most admired airline worldwide in its 2011 World's Most Admired Companies airline industry list. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 355 destinations in 65 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline's service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, a world-class airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Delta is investing more than $2 billion through 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at

SOURCE Delta Air Lines

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