Lufthansa- A Touch of Class Above the Clouds

BY STEPHEN ASHTON

In this age of airline challenges and cutbacks it is refreshing to find elegance, courtesy and service to be the order of the day on Lufthansa international airlines.

From the moment you board a Lufthansa flight in the US, you become immersed in European culture. And the timing is perfect on flights leaving from the West Coast of the US. On the evening departures, particularly after a sometimes arduous preparation, one is ready to relax and let the pressures of life at home recede like the lights of the city below.

One of the great pleasures of traveling on such a long flight, in this case from San Francisco to Frankfurt non-stop, is that you have plenty of time to linger over a superb meal. With as many a seven courses, each presented in the finest manner of a great restaurant, dining aboard becomes a most pleasurable experience.hors_doeuvres_103-0394_img_200_200

Attention to every detail is evident in the First Class cabin: from the fine wine glasses to the designer salt and pepper shakers; the glass and china plates to the perfect red rose at every place-setting. It is clear that Lufthansa has sought out not only world class chefs and sommeliers to put together their service, but also consulted with the finest of restaurateurs to assure the level of excellence and good taste they strive for.

“We want to provide a tasteful framework in which the tableware and service harmonize with the food and drinks on our menus created by top international chefs,” says Thomas Sattelberger, Lufthansa’s Executive VP of Product and Service.

The Lufthansa “Connoisseurs on Board” consists of three tiers: “Star Chefs”, “Taste Europe” and “Vinothek Discoveries.”

“Star Chefs” are truly world class and they create gourmet menus that frequently change. Some of the those featured are the Austrian “Chef of the Decade,” Helmut Österreicher and the “World Master of Culinary Arts” Thomas Keller of Napa Valley’s famed French Laundry Restaurant.

A unique contribution to the “Connoisseurs” program is a series of exquisite dishes created by the prestigious chefs of the exclusive organization “Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe” and in particular the “Jeunes Restaurateurs d”Europe Deutschland.” A select few chefs, who must be owners of their establishment and are from 25 to 35 years of age.

On our flight a delicious Beef Tenderloin Roulade filled with Porcini Mushrooms (see photograph and recipe) was created by Chef Clemens Baader. (It is a favorite of our Co-Pilot, which is always a good recommendation!)

From the Caviar to the Key Lime Pie (see the full menu in the Captions to the photographs) the Food and Beverage experience on Lufthansa is top flight.

Stretching out on the fully reclining sleeper seats, nestled in your Lufthansa sleeping shirt and pants, comforted by pillows and blankets, the passenger can doze off for a restful undisturbed sleep.

In spite of the turndown in worldwide air travel, Lufthansa has posted a refreshing bit of news: a three quarter of a billion dollar profit even in 2002 and at the same time cut its debt by 66 percent.

Markus Del Monego, a winner of the title “World’s Best Sommelier”, selects all the wines and constantly expands the range of wines offered on board.

About me: Stephen Ashton is a filmmaker, writer, photographer and winegrower. He lives in California’s North Coast in the heart of the wine country. His stories have appeared in American Cinematographer Magazine, Food & Beverage International Magazine, the San Francisco Examiner, Film Festival Today, MovieMaker Magazine, Film Festival Reporter, The Desert Sun (Palm Springs daily), Envee Magazine, and others. Mr. Ashton is also the Founder/Director of the Wine Country Film Festival, the wine country’s oldest and longest running celebration of world culture where cinema, cuisine, community, and conscience converge for enlightened dialogue and culture exchange. He is the

Publisher/Editor of Reflections On… Family of Publications. He is the proprietor of Ashton Vineyards which features award winning hand made artisanal Pinot Noir and Syrah. His production company is Phoenix Productions and you can see a brief selection of short films at the YouTube Phoenix ProductionsCA Channel.