TORONTO — Celebrated Canadian chef David Hawksworth is taking Canadian dining to new heights – literally.
Last week Air Canada announced the Vancouver-based chef was selected from a “shortlist of 30 fantastic Canadian chefs” across the country to design signature dishes to be exclusively featured on its flights in International Business Class (departing Canada) and Maple Leaf Lounges.
Hawksworth honed his talents in Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe, before opening his first eponymous restaurant in Vancouver in 2011. Hawksworth, who is the youngest chef inductee into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame, has won a string of awards, including Maclean’s Restaurant of the Year, and enRoute magazine’s top three Best New Restaurants.
“We recognize our role as a flag carrier flying around the world and we also have the opportunity to bring a point of view on Canadian cuisine to many places around the world,” Craig Landry, Vice President Marketing, Air Canada told about 50 customers and media in Toronto.
“Our search hit a high note in the west coast.…when we discovered an absolutely extraordinary chef, one that really won our hearts and stomachs,” said Landry.
“I’m so excited to be part of Air Canada’s culinary program and it’s an honour to work with Canada’s leading airline to take Canadian cuisine to new heights,” Hawksworth told the gathering. “Developing these dishes has been a process that has produced challenges and triumphs that are very different from a dinner service in our restaurant. I couldn’t be happier with the final results.”
Hawksworth will collaborate with and guide Air Canada’s flight caterers and Maple Leaf Lounge providers to create a selection of seasonal dining options including appetizers, salads, main courses and desserts.
At the event to introduce Chef Hawksworth last week, invited guests sampled a range of nine signature, contemporary creations that will be featured on flights beginning Oct. 1. They included Yellowfin tuna tataki appetizer served with scallion ginger vinaigrette, passion fruit and puffed rice; smoked Ontario duck breast paired with a waldorf salad, and for dessert, dark chocolate fondant, blackberry compote.
“This culinary partnership complements our investments in our state-of-the-art International Business Class product and service enhancements being rolled out across our Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner fleets,” said Landry.