Continental Airlines Introduces new BusinessFirst Menus on International Flights

Receives 2009 PAX International Magazine's 'Airline of the Year Food Service'

09.12.09

Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) recently announced new BusinessFirst menus for customers traveling on international flights following seven months of tasting and development. The first in a series of four different cycles of lunch and dinner menus debuts on trans-Atlantic, South American and trans-Pacific routes this month.

Different menus will rotate each month and will vary by region, each under the signature of a celebrity chef: James Canora of Delmonico's and NYC Culinary Events, Bryan Caswell of Houston's Reef, Michael Cordua of Houston's Americas and Paul Minnillo of Cleveland's Baricelli Inn.

In addition, new meals have been developed for BusinessFirst customers departing Europe with the creative input of top European chefs, Ralph Stockle of Die Scheuer restaurant in Hofheim am Taunus, Germany, and Gill Tournadre of Restaurant Gill in Rouen, France.

"Our customers are treated to a broad selection of international and regional fare in menus that fuse current trends with more traditional flavors," said Continental's Executive Chef Siegfried Lang.

A new meal choice on a typical Houston-to-Frankfurt flight includes broiled tenderloin steak accented with asiago cheese broth, brown butter gnocchi and marinated asparagus. Another choice is a Latin-inspired tamale-filled breast of chicken with ancho chile and corn sauce, roasted tomatoes and grilled yucca batons. BusinessFirst customers on a typical Copenhagen-to-Newark flight have a choice of four new main courses, including Cioppino fish stew featuring halibut, scallops, herbed shrimp and calamari with potatoes and roasted vegetables or a savory option of rack of lamb au jus with haricots verts, herbed vegetables and potato gratin. Continental has also introduced new pasta and poultry entrees.

Other featured changes include new hot canapes such as seafood-filled pastry blossoms, vegetable samosas and lamb kabobs flavored with honey and thyme. Soup demitasse selections include basil cream essence and tomato scallop bisque.

By popular demand, the dessert cart continues to feature Continental's signature ice cream sundae, as well as light petite dessert options.

"We are excited to refresh our award-winning BusinessFirst menus, while ensuring our customers receive the quality and consistency they have come to enjoy," said Continental's Vice President Food Services Sandra Pineau.

Continental has been awarded "Outstanding Food Service by a Carrier" in the Americas category by PAX International Readership Awards 2009. The awards, known as the Oscars of the travel catering industry, recognize excellence in performance achievement and product development. Winners are selected in a readership survey conducted by PAX International Magazine, which is recognized as a key signpost for the travel catering industry.

The new BusinessFirst menus enhance Continental's five-course gourmet meal which is presented restaurant-style, complete with linen, fine china and flatware. Local touches are offered in various markets, including sushi appetizers and a complete Japanese meal option on Tokyo flights, authentic local Asian noodle dishes on flights serving Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, a fresh pasta course on flights serving Milan and Rome, and an Indian-Vegetarian entree option on Delhi and Mumbai flights. Premier champagnes and regional fine wines and beers are offered, as well as barista-quality espresso and cappuccino on all flights served by Boeing 767 and 777 aircraft.

Maintaining an award-winning product requires menus and beverages to be constantly reviewed and updated. This is accomplished with the assistance of 16 chefs, known as the Congress of Chefs. They serve as advisors and periodically fly on board to be familiar with food service at 35,000 feet, allowing them to incorporate customer feedback into the development of new menus.

Continental Airlines is the world's fifth largest airline. Continental, together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more than 2,400 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 130 domestic and 132 international destinations. Continental is a member of Star Alliance, which provides access to more than 900 additional points in 169 countries via 24 other member airlines. With more than 41,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with its regional partners, carries approximately 63 million passengers per year. For more company information, go to continental.com



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