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  • Joe Breitfeller

ANA Announces Addition of Three New Chefs to ‘The Connoisseurs’ Culinary Program

Updated: Jan 11, 2020

All Nippon Airways (ANA) announced Tuesday that they have added three new chefs to their popular ‘The Connoisseurs’ program started in 2013. From March 2020, new menus will be available on international departures for First and Business Class passengers.

ANA First Class 'The Connoisseurs' Western Chefs Menu Example - Courtesy ANA

On Tuesday, ANA announced the addition of three new chefs to their popular ‘The Connoisseurs” culinary program founded in 2013, bringing the total number of world-class chefs participating the program to nineteen. The new menus will be available to First and Business Class passengers from March 2020 on international departures from Japan. The airline will also work with Japanese chefs in Seattle and Mexico City to create unique regional menus for departures from those gateways. In Tuesday’s announcement, ANA Executive Vice President, Hideki Kunugi said,

“ANA seeks to set the standard for service and in-flight meals are a huge component to the passenger experience of flying with ANA. It’s only natural that ANA would seek out the world’s best chefs to develop menus that will appeal to the distinct tastes of our First Class and Business Class passengers. We will continue looking for culinary partners that aspire to the same level of excellence as ANA so that every aspect of the flight experience is crafted for maximum comfort and enjoyment.”

The first of the new ‘The Connoisseurs’ partners from December 2019 are Michel and Sébastien Bras. Hailing from the Aubrac region of France, the Michelin-starred father and son duo bring masterful contemporary cuisine inspired by their home region. In 2002, the team opened Bras Toya Michel & Sébastien at the Windsor Hotel TOYA Resort and Spa, which received two stars in the 2017 Special Edition of the Michelin Guide Hokkaido.

The Connoisseurs Menu Example, Michel and Sebastien Bras - Courtesy ANA

ANA Business Class passengers departing Japan for Asian destinations between June and August 2020 will be treated to the western-influenced cuisine of award-winning executive chef Hideki Takayama. Mr. Takayama has won the prestigious “Bocuse d’Or International Cuisine Competition – Asia-Pacific” twice, and his full ANA menu will be announced in May 2020.

The two additional new ‘The Connoisseurs’ chefs will create menus for ANA Business Class passengers departing Mexico City and Seattle. From Mexico City, passengers will enjoy a specially curated menu by Yasuo Asai, who opened ASAI Kaiseki Cuisine in the Polanco district of Mexico City in 2016. Chef Asai’s menu, which incorporates Mexican ingredients in Kaiseki Japanese cuisine, will be available between June and August 2020 and his complete menu will also be announced next May.

Passengers departing Seattle between September and November 2020 will enjoy the unique Edomae-style sushi of renowned chef Shiro Kashiba. Mr. Kashiba is the head chef of SUSHI KASHIBA, opened in Seattle in 2015. Chef Kashiba is renowned for blending the traditional art of Japanese sushi with seafood native to the US Pacific Northwest and in 2019 was appointed “Goodwill Ambassador to Spread Japanese Cuisine” by the Government of Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). Chef Kashiba’s full menu will be posted on ANA’s website in August 2020.

Source: ANA