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October 5, 2009updated Jul 10, 2015

Leela/Lufthansa Partner Up

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

One of India’s most renowned luxury hotel groups is partnering with another industry leader. The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts has joined forces with Lufthansa, the European airline offering the most flights to India, to provide authentic Indian cuisine to travelers. For the next two years, First and Business Class passengers on Lufthansa flights to and from India can enjoy royal Indian cuisine prepared by two chefs of the award-winning Leela group as part of the airline’s Star Chefs program.

Lufthansa passengers can dine on prawn curry masala with thalimpu sadam or lal mans, a Rajasthani meat dish, or Alleppy fish curry. For vegetarians the menus offer an appetizer of moong dal pakoda chat with Imli Chutney, followed by khade masale ka paneer (cottage cheese) with jeera rice and dal tadka, and for dessert kacha golla.

With over 36 years as a chef at some of India’s finest luxury properties, Corporate Master Chef Farman Ali has distinguished himself as a pioneer in preparing fine Indian cuisine and presides over the kitchens at the group’s flagship Leela Palace Kempinski Bangalore. His culinary mastery ranges from Hyderabadi, Marwari, Kashmiri and Awadhi cuisines to those of Gujarat and the northwest frontier. “Royal menus from the four corners of India and culinary fare of bygone eras have always fascinated me,” says Ali. Under his stewardship, the property’s signature Indian restaurant, Jamavar, was ranked one of the world’s top dining places by Forbes Magazine.

One of India’s leading culinary ambassadors, Surender Mohan is Corporate Sous Chef at The Leela Kempinski Mumbai where he is at the helm of the award-winning Jamavar. He trained in the royal kitchens of one of India’s Maharajas and was a gold medal winner at the China Gourmet Expo. “When I cook, India comes alive,” Mohan explains. His culinary skills impressed former President Bill Clinton when he visited The Leela in Goa.

“We look at our partnership with Lufthansa as excellent synergy and branding for The Leela,” says Rajiv Kaul, The Leela’s Senior Vice President.

“Our aim is to make each of our flights a truly memorable experience for our passengers, and this includes savoring the cooking skills of our famous Star Chefs from around the world,” explains Jens Bischof, Lufthansa’s Vice President, Americas. “Together with our selection of world-class wines, fine Masala teas and friendly personalized service, guests are assured a unique dining experience.”

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