Next Week American Airlines Launches New Celebrity Chef Domestic First Class Meals

American has 4 ‘cycles’ of domestic first class meals that they rotate. New meals debuted in August 2015, and were supposed to cycle for a year.

Petite Filet and Lobster Mac & Cheese, August 2015 – October 2016

New breakfasts rolled out this month but instead of changing other meals in August (as expected) or October (along with breakfast) the existing meals continued to rotate. But that changes November 1 with local Dallas chef Julian Barsotti coming onboard for American’s domestic first class catering.

Word of the partnership broke back in May but we’re only just now about to see what it looks like inflight.

Barsotti opened Nonna a decade ago, followed by Carbone’s Fine Food & Wine in 2012. His Barsotti’s Sprezza restaurant opened in Dallas this spring serving Italian comfort food. So the idea here is definitely Italian-American.

Here are the menus:


Entrée – Quinoa w/Roasted Vegetables, goat cheese, tomato salsa & crema
Entrée Salad – New School Nicoise w/Salmon

Nicoise Salad with Salmon, credit: American Airlines

Entrée – Red Enchiladas stuffed with Queso Fresco & Monterey Jack & Carmelized Onion
Entrée Salad – Saffron Orzo Salad w/Haricot Verts & Baby Squash w/Shrimp

Entrée – Rotolo of Ricotta, Spinach, Parmigiano, Mozzarella & Basil w/Marinara
Entrée Salad – Vietnamese Salad w/Teriyaki Glazed Chicken

Entrée – Sweet & Hot Pepper Crema, Summer squash, Basil, Italian Cheeses
Entrée Salad – Cucumber Greek Salad w/Chicken


Entrée 1 – Grilled Chicken w/Haricot Vert & Olives
Entrée 2 – Coconut Curry w/Zucchini, Asparagus, Peppers & Roasted Cauliflower

Entrée 1 – Peppercorn Crusted Tenderloin w/Cippolini Onion, Asparagus and Quinoa & Horseradish Cream
Entrée 2 – Classic Cheese Lasagna with Pomodoro sauce

Peppercorn Crusted Tenderloin, credit: American Airlines

Entrée 1 – Chicken Pot Pie
Entrée 2 – Poblano Peppers stuffed w/Manchego, Queso Fresco, Monterey Jack , Cotija Cheese, Piquillo

Entrée 1 – Grilled Chicken w/Couscous, Roasted Vegetables & Roasted Garlic Sauce
Entrée 2 – Cheese Capelletti w/Roasted Garlic Artichoke Sauce

International premium cabins got new celebrity chef meals a couple of months ago. And Los Angeles – Hong Kong, Sydney and Auckland and Dallas – Hong Kong have upgraded business class soft products including pajamas.

Food does matter on a plane. Some airlines do a really incredible job with inflight meals.

And while if you survey customers most will tell you they don’t care whether a meal is branded with a celebrity chef I’m on record disagreeing.

Collaborating with a celebrity chef is a way for an airline to market that they’re increasing investment in their meals. Rather than trading off with inflight food spend, it leverages increased spend by helping the airline capture value from the investment.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Sounds pretty disgusting to me. I’ve had a chance to sample the international meals last month – the entrees were fine, but the appetizers were awful. These entrees sound terrible.
    Coconut Curry w/Zucchini, Asparagus, Peppers & Roasted Cauliflower
    I’m throwing up thinking about it.

  2. Those are nice pictures, but we know the meals won’t look even close to that on the plane! lol

  3. Thats a lot of vegetarian food. I very rarely have a vegetarian meal. They don’t leave me feeling like I’ve got enough sustenance. Now I know you’re saying “oh he must be a fatso”. No, I’m a normal weight for my height, which means skinny in American.

    If they just brought back special dietary requirements for domestic this would be handled. Instead some of us are going to get stuck with these veg meals like it or not.

  4. Just flew LAX-NRT in American first class. Garbage food, the worst, an insult, simply bad. Rather than pumping a name chef they may want to put an extra dollar or two into the actual food product.

  5. those menus make me less likely to choose AA. I flew 100,000 in the first 6 months of this year and with the terrible service, constant delays followed by boarding early and the inedible food even in premium cabins, I am done.

  6. Only if AA would serve their Thia Curry Chicken soup they have in the AC, with white Rice, how hard would that be??

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