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November 30, 2009updated Feb 08, 2013

Three Michelin Star decorated Nils Henkel debuts as Lufthansa Star Chef in January and February 2010

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

East Meadow, NY – Lufthansa passengers departing on long-haul flights from Germany next year can look forward to menus designed by its newest Star Chef — Nils Henkel, head chef at the Dieter Müller restaurant at “Schlosshotel Lerbach“ in Germany, according to a press release received by Elite Traveler.

Voted Chef of the Year 2009 by the German restaurant guide Gault Millau, Henkel’s gourmet creations will be served in First and Business Class during January and February, 2010.

Henkel’s dishes harness the broad spectrum of herbs and flavors. His cooking is rich in contrasts and characterized by a light, modern touch. His culinary arrangements are noted for their spicy textures, remarkable in tasteful precision. The First-Class menu kicks-off with saddle of veal involtini, with horseradish, cucumber relish, horseradish ice-cream and mustard grain vinaigrette served from an étagère – or smoked eel with pear compote and green beans. After an assorted salad, guests have a choice between braised shoulder of beef served with Zweigelt vinegar jus, marrow balls, carrot and lovage confit or fried halibut in crab and dill sauce with North Sea crab and marinated potatoes with dill oil.

Further choices include roulade of quail and spring chicken with liquorice and spice jus, bok choy, Muscovado sauce and pureed eggplant. For dessert, passengers will be treated to caramelized brioche with braised quince, Muscovado sauce and caramel ice-cream with fleur de sel, or a slice of milk chocolate and honey pie. Further dessert selections include sliced pineapple with cubeb pepper and cilantro, or an assortment of cheeses.

In Business Class, guests can begin with slightly cured char on orange basil sauce with fennel salad and oranges. The choice of main dishes includes, among others, steamed filet of cod in caldeirada vegetable stock, potato brandade, cilantro, bell pepper and zucchini.

The highlight among the desserts is gateau of Tanariva chocolate with pear compote and spiced crumbles.

Inspired by the honest, homely dishes prepared by his mother, Nils Henkel chose cooking as his future profession while still in school. To him, cooking is “an expression of joie de vivre and a craft culture devoted to freeing and re-defining produce from its primary state.” He is a gourmet architect with a fine feel for trends which he blends discretely into his own creations. He began his career in 1986 as a trainee chef at the ”Romantik Hotel Voss Haus“ in Eutin, Germany. After working at a variety of renowned restaurants, such as ”Landhaus Scherrer“ in Hamburg, Henkel joined the team at the “Schlosshotel Lerbach“ in Bergisch-Gladbach near Cologne in 1997. In spring 2008, Dieter Müller made him chef de cuisine at his Michelin-starred eponymous restaurant at the hotel.

A member of Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe since 2006, Nils Henkel is the proud owner of numerous coveted awards. For 2010, his restaurant again earned three Michelin stars, as well as 18 points from Gault Millau, five points from Feinschmecker, five spoons from Aral, five toques from the Bertelsmann restaurant guide and five diamonds from Varta.

Lufthansa Star Chefs Program

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Lufthansa passengers have been on a high in the world of haute cuisine since the launch of Lufthansa’s Star Chefs program in January 2000. Imaginative menus in the skies from chefs at the pinnacle of the world’s cooking fraternity have turned their flights into truly heavenly delights. To date, such international celebrities as Harald Wohlfahrt
(Baiersbronn), Dieter Müller (Bergisch Gladbach), Daniel Boulud (New York) or Paul
Bocuse (Lyon) have been engaged to provide savory star-chef menus in the aircraft cabin. Additionally, since early 2005, internationally renowned chefs from elsewhere on the world map have been serving special in-flight fare, focusing on regional specialties on selected long-haul routes to Germany.

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