I believe that Turkish Airlines have the best airline food in the world, their food never disappoints, and I’ve even visited their training centre for chefs located at Do&Co in Istanbul.
Do&Co call themselves a ‘Gourmet Entertainment Company’, and collaborate closely with Austrian Airlines, LOT, British Airways and others. I think their product speaks for itself, everything they do is quality, nothing is bought ready-made with everything is made from scratch (where possible).
I’ve flown Turkish Airlines in Business, Premium Economy (no longer offered) and Economy class. My most recent experiences have included trips within Europe and as far as Hong Kong. Onboard chefs add to the entertainment factor in business class and they work closely with the cabin crew to create some inflight flair. While Turkish might have the best food in the sky the downside is that their cabin crew let them down sometimes.
Maybe it’s a communication issue, or perhaps they are not as service orientated as other airlines. Whatever it is, I always keep my expectations low about the inflight service and sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised.
Expect restaurant-style dining, candlelight meals, creative meal concepts and excellent quality food. There’s no airline meal tray in business class, the meal is plated by the chef and condiments such as a bread basket, butter, salt/pepper, spices and oil are presented beautifully.
Business-class kids meals are fun and include a Turkish Airlines branded milk product.
Economy class meals are just as good as business class, albeit more compact. Printed menus feature on longer flights and on short flights you will still receive something to eat.
Expect to receive meals such as those above, a delicious eggplant stuffed with mincemeat or beef kofta with bulgur, or scrambled eggs with pita or chicken with mash potato and grilled vegetables.
On shorter flights, these picnic baskets are offered, pictured is a chicken caesar salad, a small sandwich roll filled with cheese and vegetables, plus water and dessert.
These toasted focaccias are delicious and normally served on short domestic hops within Turkey.
Overall the meal experience in economy class is fantastic, compare this to what you get in other parts of Europe on similarly timed flights, and you soon realise that Turkish are very generous with their meal offerings. The fact that everything is fresh, tasty and of high quality is a further bonus.
Here are a few teaser shots from a staff training session that I attended in Istanbul at the Do&Co training centre. I watched as the newly hired chefs were inducted into their new roles and trained in inflight service. I was also fortunate enough to take a tour of the kitchen and watch how they make all this amazing food for all the flights.
I highly recommend the meals on Turkish Airlines; it’s always a pleasure and surprise to see what they may offer you.