“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”
Haute Cuisine: Filet of Minnesota walleye pike
The Dish: Filet of Minnesota walleye pike encrusted in pumpernickel, served on a bed of cranberry, wild rice with mixed fresh greens and rustic bread.
The Caterer: Atiki's Flight Catering, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Chicago, (888) 856-7884, www.atikiscatering.com.
Atiki's began seven years ago in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and recently branched out to serve Chicago as well. During its short history, the company has developed a reputation for innovative dishes that are cleverly presented. Principal Kristen Wasyliszyn honed her craft in small restaurants and hotels throughout Europe before returning to the U.S. and starting her business.
Atiki's standard fare includes cashew-stuffed chicken, filet medallions and grilled salmon and ahi. The caterer supplements such offerings with occasional seasonal favorites such as the pumpernickel walleye featured here. The dish was inspired by summer trips to Wasyliszyn's family cabin in northern Minnesota.
The company offers a variety of boxed lunches, several of which cater to low-calorie or low-carb diets or other special needs.
In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Atiki's serves Minneapolis International, St. Paul Downtown and Eden Prairie airports. Earlier this year, Wasyliszyn's partner and the firm's cofounder, Hassan Elatiki, opened the Chicago branch, which covers Midway, DuPage, O'Hare and Chicago Executive (Palwaukee) airports.