May 25 2017  |  Catering

Finnair showcases food culture with new collaborations

By Rick Lundstrom

Children from Cygnaeus elementary school in Turku give input on Finnair meal design

In conjunction with Finland’s upcoming centennial anniversary, Finnair is launching three new food collaborations for its meals.

The collaborations, designed to promote Finland’s healthy and hearty food, are done in cooperation with the ELO Foundation, an association dedicated to the promotion of Finnish food culture.

For business class passengers flying out of Helsinki on long-haul flights between October 4 and January 9, Finnair’s Signature Menu chef, Eero Vottonen, has put together a 100 years-themed menu. The menu features Baltic herring, a Karelian stew and a cep mushroom soup flavored with cured elk. Vottonen, supported by the ELO foundation, finished sixth out of 24 participants at the prestigious Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon, France last January.

“When creating Finnair’s centennial menu, I reflected on what Finland and its food culture represent for me,” says Vottonen, in yesterday’s announcement. “It’s a big honor for me to collaborate with Finnair on this initiative and I’m excited to have the opportunity to introduce the tastes of Finland to thousands of passengers travelling through Finland with Finnair.”

For business class passengers flying to Helsinki on most long-haul flights between October 4 and January 9, Finnair will offer elements inspired by the Finland 100 years menu, which was specially designed by the ELO Foundation to commemorate Finland’s centennial anniversary. The Finland 100 years menu served on Finnair’s flights will feature elements such as pickled salmon, rainbow trout and a Karelian stew with beef and pork. Variations of the ELO Foundation’s 100 years menu will also be served at Finnish embassies around the world to commemorate Finland’s centennial celebration.

For economy class passengers on long-haul flights from July 5 to January 9, Finnair has partnered with the ELO Foundation and the Cygnaeus elementary school in Turku to create meals promoting Finland’s school meals. Finland is world-renowned for its excellent school system, which also includes a free school meal for all children from grades one to nine, as well as for students in high schools and trade schools.

The meals were selected by students from the Cygnaeus school in Turku during a workshop at Finnair’s catering unit, and tailored to fit the aircraft environment. The meals selected by the students include traditional Finnish favorites such as potatoes and meatballs as well as macaroni and meat casserole.  

“Our main objective in partnering with the ELO Foundation on these great initiatives is to help promote Finland’s healthy and delicious food culture to hundreds of thousands of international passengers flying with us this year,” says Maarit Keränen, Head of in-flight service at Finnair. “For example, healthy and balanced school meals are an essential element of the well-recognized Finnish school system, and we are proud to highlight these tasty meals as part of our in-cabin service.”

Finnair will also celebrate Finland’s 100 years by offering rye bread and Karelian pies during the meal service onboard its long-haul flights. Both items were in the top three when nearly 50,000 Finns voted in a public call to find Finland’s national food as a tribute to the country’s centennial anniversary.

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