On a sprawling farm four hours north of Manhattan, filled with vibrant colors and herds of cattle, the process of creating some of Delta's newest on-board dishes begins.
Battenkill Valley Creamery is a family affair, owned and operated by fourth- and fifth-generation farmers Don and Seth McEachron. The McEachrons opened their creamery in 2008, to process and bottle their own milk, and in 2011, began working with Five Acre Farms, who brings the best-tasting local food to grocery stores, restaurants and food shops. This partnership allowed Battenkill Valley Creamery to connect with new markets and customers, including Union Square Events and now, through its partnership, Delta.
Both Five Acre Farms and Battenkill Valley Creamery subscribe to the philosophy that healthy, happy cows make award-winning milk. Union Square Events Executive Chef John Karangis agrees with this philosophy, inspiring him to use the milk to create multiple dishes in his on-board menu with Delta, which will appear on select trans-Atlantic routes to Europe departing JFK International in the Delta One cabin June 1 through Aug. 31.
“One of the key components of our high milk quality is the health and happiness of the cows,” said Seth McEachron. “We’re animal lovers and take special care in raising our cows in a comfortable environment from the day they are born. They see a nutritionist to ensure that they eat a balanced diet, get frequent health checks to keep them fit and stress free and have regular pedicures for healthy hooves.”
Karangis’ commitment to locally sourced ingredients extends to the skies as he transforms Five Acre Farms milk into milk chocolate sea salt and strawberry lemongrass ice cream for Delta’s iconic Sundae Bar, as well as housemade Stracciatella cheese to accompany a salad of heirloom cherry tomatoes, tomato-rose water jam and baby watercress. In addition, the milk will also be used in the Five Acres Farms’ yogurt that will be served as a breakfast option.
“At Union Square Events, we create thoughtfully crafted meals for our guests at some of the most untraditional venues around New York City, from cultural institutions to city parks, and our new menu for Delta One cabins is another fantastic opportunity for us to put our unique skill-set to the test,” Karangis said. “We feel fortunate to have a partner like Delta that shares our support of local farms and commitment to quality ingredients, whether it is on the ground or at 35,000 feet.”
In addition to Five Acre Farms and Battenkill Valley Creamery, the menu will also feature local New York-based purveyors Cascun Farms and Gotham Greens.
Highlights from Union Square Events’ menu include Roasted Cascun Farms Chicken with corn and vegetable succotash and Gotham Greens salsa verde, Union Square Events Chili Lime Cashews and Pastrami Beef Brisket.
Karangis has also developed breakfast offerings, featuring Union Square Events Cold Pressed Juice with fresh greens, cucumber, green apple and ginger, and Steel Cut Oat Pudding with Five Acres Farms yogurt, apricot jam, cocoa nibs and goji berries.
Delta’s partnership with Union Square Events deepens its collaboration with Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. The airline partners with the hospitality company behind beloved New York restaurants like Marta and Union Square Cafe, the airline’s winter and spring menus on board, to feature seasonally-rotating menus designed by different chefs.
“Partnering with local suppliers and purveyors like Five Acre Farms and Battenkill Valley Creamery allows Delta to truly offer food straight from the farm to the tray table to our customers,” said Allison Ausband, Senior Vice President – In-Flight Service. “We are proud to partner with Union Square Events as we continue to offer fresh, local and seasonal food on board.”
Across its network, Delta’s consulting chefs such as Linton Hopkins and Michelle Bernstein, and select chefs from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group have artfully created menus using ingredients produced by local purveyors and artisan suppliers.
The latest menus pair with Delta’s 2016 wine program curated by Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson, which follows a similarly seasonal approach. This year, Robinson has sourced a number of locally-made wines from, in some cases, small, artisanal wineries that bring to the tray table a flavor and body uniquely their own.
About Union Square Events
Union Square Events (USE) is the catering and venue hospitality business from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). Based in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, USE creates experiences to savor that are rooted in USHG’s 30-year heritage of culinary excellence and Enlightened Hospitality. Through collaborations with a diverse portfolio of best in class clients and business partners, USE produces one-of-a-kind catered events and unparalleled dining experiences within a variety of cultural, corporate and entertainment venues throughout New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
About Union Square Hospitality Group
Founded by Danny Meyer, Union Square Hospitality Group is home to some the United States most beloved restaurants: Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard, The Modern, Cafe 2 and Terrace 5 (at the Museum of Modern Art), Maialino, Untitled and Studio Cafe (at the Whitney Museum of American Art), North End Grill, Marta, Porchlight, and GreenRiver. USHG also comprises the catering and venue hospitality business Union Square Events and the organizational consulting business Hospitality Quotient. USHG restaurants and chefs have earned an unprecedented 26 James Beard Awards. www.ushgnyc.com.