Delta soars with new Southern-inspired meals from Chef Mashama Bailey

. (Photo by Camilo Freedman/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
. (Photo by Camilo Freedman/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

While a destination might entice travelers with delicious bites, getting to that locale does not have to be bland and boring. In a recent announcement, Delta revealed that Chef Mashama Bailey has curated Southern-inspired meals for select flights.

Food in flight comes with many connotations. Putting aside the old jokes, the reality is that some airlines try make the travel experience a flavorful one. Instead of just another sandwich, celebrated chefs are creating dishes that draw inspiration from their own menus. It might not exactly be the same as sitting at their tables, but it changes the flying experience.

For Delta, the Chef Bailey partnership grows from the company’s location. As Kristen Manion Taylor, S.V.P. – In-Flight Service said, “Delta’s roots in Georgia’s rich culture are a signature part of our own history, so partnering with the team at The Grey felt like the right fit from the start.” When guests begin to sample the offerings, the hope is that culinary teams can impress guests with both food and culture while traveling.

Chef Mashama Bailey, James Beard Award Winning Chef of The Grey, curated a Delta menu that highlights Southern-inspired meals. Playing off some of the dishes from her restaurant, the dishes are inspired by the Port City Southern menu.

According to Chef Bailey, “At The Grey, we work to keep Southern, African-American food alive and well by melding those rich flavors with new techniques and cuisines from around the world. The menu for Delta customers takes local, in-season ingredients from the Low Country to new heights.”

What is on the Delta menu curated by Chef Mashama Bailey?

Offered on “exit-Atlanta for lunch and dinner in domestic First Class on flights where hot food is served” as well as a pre-selection for International Delta One customers, the four selections are flavorful, creative, and will have many guests longing for another bite.

The four dishes are as follows:

  • A flounder and oyster dish with fume blac, green apple, potato, bock choy and turnips
  • Short ribs with kanni sauce and smoked collard greens
  • Vegan vegetable tagine with roasted sweet potato topped with a chermoula sauce
  • Buttermilk cornmeal tres leches with candied kumquats and mandarin oranges

Looking at these offerings, the nod to fresh produce is clear. More importantly, the dishes build flavors in innovative ways. Each ingredient builds a complete flavor profile. While still being approachable, it invites guests to push themselves a little out of the comfort zone. From using fruits to bring acidity to vegetables that add heartiness, some people would love to have these dishes at their own table.

While Delta has spent years getting travelers there, these new menu options have food climbing higher. Isn’t it time to enjoy the in-flight dining experience one bite at a time?