Haute Cuisine: Nigiri Maki

Business Jet Traveler » April 2009
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009 - 5:00am

The Dish: Nigiri Maki Chef Galine at Chefs de France on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten begins making this tantalizing Japanese platter by rolling sushi rice between his palms. Then he drapes the sushi with a thin slice of squid, octopus or eel and binds it together with a strip of nori, or edible seaweed. The result is makizushi (translation: "rolled sushi"), the best-known form of which in the U.S. is the California roll. A typical Nigiri Maki platter from Chefs de France features maki rolls of sweet shrimp, squid, flying fish roe and freshwater eel along with nigiri that includes salmon and tuna. The sushi rice is a white, short-grained product mixed with a light dressing of rice vinegar, sugar and salt.

The Caterer: Chefs de France, St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, 0590 29 15 99, www.chefs-de-france.com

Chefs de France is the creation of the husband-and-wife team of Nicolas and Aline Granier. Launched five years ago, the catering company serves the business aviation and yachting communities on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. The caterers operate from a two-story building that includes a small restaurant.

Nicolas, who trained in France, comes from a family of chefs. "I've spent all my life in restaurants," he said.

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“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]. ”

-Howard Guy of Design Q, a UK-based consultancy