On long-haul flights, such as from Sydney to Abu Dhabi, Etihad's first-class offerings include an eight-course, 10-wine tasting menu—a four-hour long dining experience.
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First-Class Whisks

January 2013

Abu Dhabi—Etihad Airways, the national airline of Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, is beefing up its already snazzy Diamond First-Class offerings by hiring more than 100 classically trained international chefs to create and serve meals in the air.

Etihad zoomed onto the international commercial aviation horizon in 2003 by royal decree and is now the fastest growing airline in the world, with one of the youngest fleets in the skies today. In spring 2013, the airline will launch a Washington, D.C. route, which will be the airline’s third in the United States, and second with Diamond First-Class. At Etihad, safety, luxury, and halal food are the order of the day. First-class tickets are not inexpensive—so expect to trot out the truffles and lay on the foie gras.

First-class chefs are trained and based in Abu Dhabi and, while in the air, are provided with a pantry stocked with prime cuts of meat, sauces, par-cooked items, spices, and freshly chopped vegetables. The airline has recently purchased 200 free-range hens and three beehives, thus providing eggs and honey for the airborne pantry. Tools not typically seen on an aircraft, such as a whisk and foamer, are also at their disposal. The program is offered in first-class on flights to and from New York City, London, Sydney, Melbourne, and Paris, with more being added each month.

Applicants must be fully qualified professionals, trained under reputable culinary institutions and/or apprenticeships. Etihad Airways requires a minimum of six years’ professional experience in restaurants and hotels, though the majority of the chefs have at least 10 years’ experience. Many come from Michelin-starred restaurants. These talented chefs also take part in creating first-class menus, which, in addition to international cuisines, also feature “Taste of Arabia” offerings.

Chefs selected for the program are rewarded with training, tax-free competitive salary, medical coverage, uniforms, and a variety of airline benefits and discounts, as well as a room in a two- or three-bedroom apartment in Abu Dhabi.

To apply, visit www.careers.etihadairways.com.