“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: Roasted farm-fresh New England Veal
The Dish: Roasted farm-fresh New England veal tenderloin coated in a crust of puree of fennel, garlic and sage. The veal is centered with steamed Maine lobster served with cognac butter.
The Caterer: Sensations In-Flight Catering, Saugus, Mass.; (866) 233-5150; www.sensationsinflightcatering.com
Steven LaRosa and Michael DePaolis started Sensations in 2003 to serve corporate aircraft customers in the greater Boston area. Today, the company has 22 employees and kitchens and commissaries in Saugus and Bedford, Mass. Its fleet of delivery vehicles serves not only the airports of greater Boston but also those in New Hampshire and Rhode Island. In addition to catering, the company provides personal shopping services. Sensations says it has contracts with almost all of the major fractional-share companies.
LaRosa, Sensations' executive chef and co-owner, has more than 30 years' experience in the in-flight catering industry. He has been a chef at Alitalia, British Airways and Lufthansa airlines and at some of Beverly Hills' most upscale restaurants, including La Scala, Chasens and Perinos. DePaolis has owned restaurant and catering companies for seven years.
Sensations handles more than standard catering; it also arranges airborne theme parties and prides itself on satisfying unusual and demanding requests. Recently, LaRosa scrambled- at 11 p.m.-to find some specially requested pickled herring for a client.