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Delta kicked off its sponsorship of the annual New York City Wine & Food Festival this week by celebrating the city’s culinary diversity with Fusion Taste-Off, an exclusive culinary event for SkyMiles members, media and influencers in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

Chef and SkyMiles member talking at Fusion Taste-Off
“Delta’s ongoing support of the New York Wine & Food Festival allows us to align with the passions of fellow New Yorkers and underscores our commitment to offering distinctive cuisine at 30,000 feet,” said Henry Kuykendall, Delta's Vice President – New York. 

Delta engaged chefs from four of the city’s most celebrated restaurants in a spirited competition to create a fusion dish combining elements from two distinct cultures. The airline’s culinary partner Linton Hopkins moderated the event that featured Bryce Shuman (Betony), Jeremiah Stone and Fabian Von Hauske (Contra and Wildair), Elise Kornack (Take Root) and Hannah and Marian Cheng (Mimi Cheng’s Dumplings). 

Chef Linton Hopkins
Chef Hopkins is part of a renowned culinary team, hand-picked by Delta, to design menus for Delta One customers highlighting regional cuisine. Hopkins artfully creates menus using ingredients produced by local purveyors and artisan suppliers to incorporate flavors of the season. His menu is currently featured on outbound flights from Atlanta to select European cities.

At the event, Chef Hopkins encouraged Delta’s guests – most of whom were millennials, in an effort to engage an emerging generation of SkyMiles members – to “vote on deliciousness." 

Fusion Taste-Off's winning dish
They sampled the four competing dishes:  the Scato Supreme, a scallion pancake octopus taco by Hannah and Marian Cheng; the Pizza Pierogi, a pierogi/Hawaiian pizza combination by Jeremiah Stone and Fabian Von Hauske; the Latzza, a fusion of pizza and latke by Elise Kornack; and the Mighty Mighty Pretzel, a soft pretzel with cheese fondue by Bryce Shuman.   

Based on guests’ taste buds, the evening’s two finalists were the Scato Supreme and the Latzza, which will be presented at the festival’s Grand Tasting on Oct. 14-16. Festival attendees will sample the two dishes and choose the ultimate winner, which will be served at the chef’s restaurant for a limited time.