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Hi, I'm Jackie Tranchida and we're here at New York's
Institute of Culinary Education for the first ever Cabin Pressure
Cook-Off. [MUSIC] The rules are simple. Four chefs, three challenges.
In each round, one chef will be named the winner
but one chef will be eliminated. The chef who wins
the final challenge will join Delta's elite culinary team. So
let's meet our chefs. From Atlanta, we have Linton Hopkins,
executive chef at Restaurant Eugene. Hugh Acheson, chef and partner
of Atlanta's Empire State South. Kelly English of Restaurant Iris
and George Mendes of New York's Aldea. Welcome, chefs. Thank
you. Now, you're all renowned on the ground, but designing
meals to be served at 30,000 feet has a whole
new set of challenges. So, for challenge number one, take
your greatest strength, your signature dish, and re-imagine it as
an in-flight appetizer. You have 45 minutes chefs. You're now
free to move about the kitchen. [MUSIC] Open up a
can of coconut milk. What's that for? That is for
our harissa cafe au lait we're making. A little North
African spice. It's got a little coriander, some cumin, some
garlic, some fascia chili. Here's why I wanna cook for
an airline. It's a challenge. It's a whole new set
of people to cook for. It's people that I wouldn't
necessarily get to cook for in Memphis. I like to
cook for as many people as I can. I'm looking
left and right, and there are three amazing chefs next
to me. My mantra is Is focused, organization, flavor and
getting stuff on the plate, and racing against the clock.
I like winning. [LAUGH] My game is to just cook
what I cook and not really think about the other
people. It's like playing golf. You don't play the people
you're playing, you play the course. So what do I
see being poured into this? Alright, so we have freshly
squeezed orange juice a little Georgia Sorghum we will reduce
this down to a glaze. With the cooking underway let
us meet our judges. Chef Michelle Bernstein a James Beard
award winner and a member of Delta's culinary team. Andrea
Robinson she is one of only eighteen women in the
world To hold the title of Master Sommelier. And she
actually personally selects every wine served on Delta Business Elite
flights. David Swinghamer, Chief Development Officer of the same Shake
Shack and senior partner at the Union Square Hospitality Group.
And Christina Grdovic, publisher of Food and Wine. Welcome. Michelle,
what are some of the challenges that the chefs face
preparing meals for in flight service. The 30% lose of
your palate, of taste because you're up in the high
altitudes. You kind of lose your senses somewhat. Everything has
to taste a little bit more intense. How's it coming
along? Awesome. What is that beautiful fish you're cutting up?
This is a little bit Yellow Jack from the Gulf
of Mexico. Do you kind of go to the market
and let the fish of the day inspire you? I
go to the market and let All ingredients inspire me.
I don't think that we should tell the food what
it's going to be I think we should let the
ingredients tell us. Oh, what are you grilling up over
here? Some skirt steak and I've got some green papayas
I'm going to shave and you're going to make a
sort of Vietnamese inspired little salad. Now that's an interesting
little tool he's using to turn those. Oh, tweezers? Yeah.
That is the new tongs. All we use anymore. Any
more especially the youngsters. Are those peaches? Georgia peaches. He's
playing the hometown game. Yeah. He is Mister Georgia.>> Yeah.
Oh bacon! Yeah. It's unfair. It is unfair. I feel
that's a cheat ingredient. You always win with bacon. Well,
this is a competition, right? George has really good colors.
[UNKNOWN] The bright yellows and reds. Paul is very Latin,
I would say. How does this become. The George Mendes
dish. It's a take on, it's another interpretation of the
duck rice that we serve out there. It's going to
be reinvented as an appetizer once again. How come you
decided to do that? I think chicken's going to be
much more readily available in an airport, for one, and
who doesn't like chicken? Do you smell the shrimp? I
do. It smells delicious. I wonder if they're from the
golf. They smell like they are. All right chefs, you
have about 15 minutes. Linton's is really coming together. Wow.
George, okay that's clearly some sort of a breast on,
chicken. And he's making a croquette, like a crispy risotto.
There was a little chorizo there too. The rice is
such a beautiful color. Yeah. We're gonna cool it down,
and then we're gonna roll them up into little balls
for patties and fry them. All right chefs. Time is
winding down. You have ten minutes. Now as things wrap
up, you have to start thinking about plating. Right. And
obviously, this poses a new challenge, because the plates are
obviously much smaller on airplanes. [SOUND] Have you thought about
that yet? I have. And? We're just gonna shrink it
a little bit. [LAUGH] The plates were small. Definitely didn't
get much room to show off what we're trying to
do. Does anybody on this plane have peanut allergy? No.
All right, chefs. You have just over a minute. I'm
getting nervous. Yeah, I'm a little worried for George. [MUSIC]
All right, 10 seconds. [MUSIC] Chefs you have 5, 4,
3, 2, 1, hands in the air. [APPLAUSE] All right.
Hugh. You're up first. Okay. So this is a cold
beef salad with radishes and cucumber, shaved peanut on top
and a really simple shoyu and fish sauce vinaigrette. Definitely.
We got sweet, we got tangy and crunchy and the
sweet of the papaya really kinda tongues down the chili
pepper heat so you get a nice yin and- Yup.
Which is one of my favourite flavors in the world,
is like really ripe mango and stuff with really hot
cayenne pepper and just like the balance on it. Yeah.
I just want more of these carrots, these are- Yeah,
they're fun. Thank you. Thank you. Hello. Hi. Hello George.
So basically, what I did is a roasted chicken slash
comte chicken salad, I made it like little. Rustic rice
balls that are kind of mixed in with chicken thigh
meat and then there's some fresh orange puree. These crunchy
bits is this part of the confit or is that
something else. That's crispy chicken skin. Fabulous. This is so
interesting it just keeps growing. The oranges are a great
additive to this dish. It just brightens it up beautifully.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much.
How you all doing? Hi Kelly So what I made
today is what I think of when I think of
today's salad. We have peeled potato salad, some grilled yellow
tail jack, which is one of my favourite fish, some
gulf shrimp, and then in the coffee press we have
some cumin, some coriander, some toasted shrimp shells. I want
to see you on every flight pouring the sauce. [LAUGH]
That's right. And it's beautiful too, the colors and the
presentation. I can't figure out what the best bite is
here. The shrimp with the tomatoes, the fish with the
tomatoes. Christine if you had a mouth as big as
mine, you could probably get it all in there. [LAUGH]
Okay. This is beautiful. Thanks chef. Well thank you all
for having me. Thanks chef. What you have here, is
all of Georgia on a plate. So we have vidalia
onion. You have Georgia peaches. These are July Princes. Cured
smoked bacon, toasted pecans. Pecans actually come from the oldest
organic grown pecan trees in the state. One thing about
your cooking is that it looks so simple, but it's
so incredibly complicated and complex. Yeah, I can't get over
the char of the onion Onion with a smokiness of
bacon. Well thanks, I'm glad you're enjoying it. Yeah, thank
you, chef. It's great. [UNKNOWN] excellent. I think we should
talk about [UNKNOWN]. He came up first. Really good flavors.
It was really fresh. I couldn't stop eating it. I
loved the pickling. I thought that was excellent. Excellent, the
carrots really like the way that worked with the meat.
For me, I wanted each element to marry just a
little better. That doesn't mean it wasn't a great dish.
But there was just something about the experience of it
where I felt like I was just eating several different
things. George brought us a really complex, very. Interesting dish.
For me, I actually felt like the orange was almost
a little too much. But then, I couldn't help but
think about what it would be like on a plane.
And it would be great on the plane because you've
talked about the taste buds so the flavor was still
good. If I close my eyes, I would know that
that was George. That just really captures He shared his
personality and his background and all the culture was really
on that plate and I loved that. Let's talk about
Kelly because that gulf shrimp, that broth is just really
kind of calling me. The harissa cafe au lait. Oh
yeah. In the press pot. I mean coconut cumin. There
were at least three different perfect bites in that one
dish. Oh at least. So Linton, everything has a reason,
to be there. It does, it married so well. Each
item belonged on that plate. Starting with the presentation, that
was the one that we could see the furthest away.
And then when it came up close it was literally
a work of art. And they all have a story
and a source. And he'll tell you the name and
the farm, how long the grove's been planted and. [MUSIC]
Every single ingredient. We have four great chefs, four great
dishes. So, yeah, this is the hard part. I hate
this, but we definitely, I think we've. I think we
are there, right? Yeah. You got it. Yeah. I think
we have our answer. Yeah. [MUSIC] Hello, chefs. This was
a very difficult decision, as all of these dishes really
represented. You and your personality. So it's hard to pick
a winner. One did stand out as best. The winner
of the first round, [MUSIC] Is Linton. Thank you. [APPLAUSE]
[MUSIC] Sadly, that means that one of you three have
been cut. Chef Hugh, I'm sorry, but you're on the
next flight home. Hugh, the truth is, your dish. Which
was the most approachable, the easiest to eat. The only
difference is, you didn't show as much of your personality
as the other chefs did. I was shocked that Hugh
went home. I think the world of Hugh and somebody's
got to go though. I get that. I think that
the four dishes up there were all really good food,
mine included. And I thought mine had freshness since the
way I like to eat. Circumstances like this it's three
friends who I like a lot. They're all amazingly gifted
chefs who really brought their game and did really well.
Well. So they should be proud. Hugh is going home
but, Linton, Kelly and George are one step closer to
a spot on Delta's culinary team. Be sure to stay
tuned as the competition continues here at the Institute of
Culinary Education. On the next Cabin Pressure cook off. 15
Minutes left chef. One of you did rise to the
top. And the winner of the second round is. [BLANK_AUDIO]