In Con­ver­sa­tion... with Stephen Tem­ple­ton, dnata

Stephen Tem­ple­ton, dnata cater­ing's new global head of culi­nary, talks grand am­bi­tions and con­tem­po­rary style

Onboard Hospitality - - Contents -

i've come from a restau­rant and event hospi­tal­ity back­ground at Rhur­barb in the UK, cater­ing for VIPs and celebri­ties who al­ways ex­pected us to be at the fore­front of trends, in­no­va­tion and style. Now it is time to bring that level of con­tem­po­rary high-end cater­ing to the air­line world.

It's time to move away from that chicken and beef sta­ple and bring cool, con­tem­po­rary no-fuss food on­board where sim­ple, qual­ity, sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents be­come su­per­stars, pre­sented with a wow fac­tor that makes the meal a key rea­son to book a spe­cific flight.

cre­at­ing a dnata Dna

I started work­ing with dnata Cater­ing as a con­sul­tant six years ago, feed­ing the high street de­mands and trends we saw at Rhubarb into the op­er­a­tion. Now the goal is to take that a step fur­ther. With an ev­er­grow­ing net­work of 65 cater­ing lo­ca­tions across 13 coun­tries, the big­gest chal­lenge is to cre­ate a global cul­ture that ev­ery­one con­nects with and un­der­stands, plus clear goals and a way of work­ing which ev­ery mem­ber of staff can iden­tify with and which sup­ports a spe­cific dnata Cater­ing style. We are cre­at­ing a dnata DNA which will be recog­nised as our hall­mark world­wide and the qual­ity of the food will be at the heart of every­thing.

on trend

Chefs be­come chefs be­cause they like to cook and want to be cre­ative with food. They want to be proud of what they pro­duce and that means buy­ing great sea­sonal prod­uct and work­ing with it in ex­cit­ing ways. We will sup­port them in that com­pletely, em­pow­er­ing them to re­spond to cool culi­nary trends such as smok­ing, sous­ing, dry­ing and pick­ling. In the wider culi­nary world ev­ery­one is us­ing these tech­niques and air­line cater­ers must ap­ply mod­ern twists to their of­fer too.

spe­cial meals

The is­sue of spe­cial meals is mas­sive. On a re­cent flight out of Dublin, over 60% of the pas­sen­gers re­quested a spe­cial meal. For too long air­lines have had this trend on the back burner and seen it as a nui­sance but these life­style eat­ing choices are here to stay and we have to em­brace them, cre­ate li­braries of dishes that work, and present spe­cial meals so they look as good as any other meal. We will draw on the un­doubted tal­ents of the team and in a cut-throat mar­ket present the most ex­cit­ing and in­no­va­tive choices on­board.

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