Delta Airlines has jumped on the cooking show bandwagon that passengers departing from Atlanta, Georgia may be rather delighted about. Four former winners of the Food & Wine magazine’s New Chef competition will be part of Delta’s special video series, “The Cabin Pressure Cook Off” to find Delta’s newest chef. Passengers can watch the four chefs compete as part of video inflight entertainment or on starting in October.

The winning chef will create a menu for Delta flights out of Atlanta, servicing about 110,000 passengers daily. The contestants were all winners of Food & Wine’s annual competition and each run a popular restaurant in major cities including New York, Memphis and Atlanta, but they each have their own style from gourmet burgers, seafood to Mediterranean.

The competition will be judged by Delta’s Consulting Chef Michelle Bernstein and Master Sommelier for Delta Andrea Robinson both of which the winner will join forces with, and also Union Square Hospitality Executives, David Swinghamer and Mark Maynard and Food & Wine, Publisher Christina Grdovic. No other airline has done something like this yet. It is a clever way to change-up the menu a bit, is but also strategic. Food and Wine magazine is published by American Express Publishing and Delta is a partner of American Express with co-branded cards since 1966 such as the Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card which is currently offering a 30k point bonus after spending $500 in the first three months of having the card.

Currently on the Menu

On Delta flights from NYC to San Francisco, you should expect the same dining experience as you would on international flights. The menu options for BusinessElite for international flights sounds pretty good and considering I haven’t flown with Delta since 2007, I wouldn’t mind dining in with them on a long flight.

The menu changes every few months, but here are the current July offerings:

  • Grilled filet of beef served with port wine sauce, potato wedges and grilled asparagus

  • Pan seared chicken breast with barbecue onions, scallion mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables

  • Rigatoni Pasta, tossed with tomato sauce, white beans and kale

  • Cold plate of beef tenderloin and gravlax with deviled egg, roasted beets and daikon pepper slaw

If you want to pre-order your meal, and are on Premium Economy, you can do so on select coast to coast flights from NYC to Los Angeles or San Francisco.

I’m not sure that a cook-off or new chef will motivate travelers to fly more frequently with Delta, but Delta has purchased a three-page advertising space in an upcoming issue of Food & Wine to promote the series and the chefs. Regardless, look for it as part of your Delta inflight entertainment starting in October!


Which airline do you think offers the best meals?

About the author

Rand Shoaf

Introduced to traveling at a young age, Rand has since traveled to over 45 countries. Learning how to maximize credit card sign-up bonuses in college has allowed him to earn millions of travel miles and points. Using the same tips and tricks he writes about here has ultimately allowed him to explore the word for pennies on the dollar.