Strange and Expensive Items Ordered On Board Private Jets
For most, travelling by private jet is an opportunity to enjoy some great food at altitude; however, we’ve been speaking to the experts at On Air Dining about some of the most unique and expensive requests they’ve ever had to cater for. CEO Daniel Hulme takes us through his most memorable moments.
Seafood is a popular request from our clients, so it’s something we have a lot of experience in, but even so we can still be surprised once in a while. We once had a client who wanted a bespoke dish made for him from a very specific type of soft shell crab that can only be found in the Norwegian Arctic Circle. To ensure we got it right I flew out there with a team of divers to source the required shellfish before flying them back to the UK for our chefs to create a dish from.
It is also not uncommon for us to be tasked with sourcing some of the world’s best caviar for our clients. We work closely with King’s Caviar, our long term supplier, which enables us to access some of the world’s rarest caviar, ideal for satisfying even the most discerning of palate. In fact we recently sold some Albino Sterlet Golden Caviar for a Saudi bound flight, 100 grams of which will set you back around £3,000.
One of our best clients once asked us to supply them with 100 sushi rolls, the difficulty stemming from the fact they wanted the chef to come up with 50 different sushi types. Of course our chefs were well up for the task, especially as it was for a birthday party being celebrated on a corporate airliner. Thanks to our restaurant partner, Sumosan, we managed to honour their request and create 50 different types and only two of each type, for £1400.
We also get a lot of fast food orders, but each needs to be recreated to be able to be served on board an aircraft. One of our clients, operating on a US based corporate jet, asked us to source seven Subway meatball sandwiches which had to be de-constructed with the submarine roll and filling having to be conditioned separately inside our aircraft friendly unique containers. They were then reconstructed on board.
On another occasion we were catering for children's birthday party on board a private jet when we were asked to source 15 Happy Meals from McDonalds. This seemed a relatively straight forward request until we realised the client wanted two different toys per Happy Meal. As McDonalds are unable to give two toys per meal, we ended up having to buy 30 Happy Meals and then sharing out the extra toys and ensuring each child had two different ones.
One of our most unique requests came about after the crew and passengers on a privately operated jet had a bit of a dare going. We were asked to provide chocolate covered grasshoppers for them to test their mettle, and we were more than happy to oblige.
But it’s not just the food that can raise eyebrows; we’ve also had some very interesting drinks orders. There are some that simply test our sourcing skills, with two particularly rare, and therefore expensive, examples springing to mind. The first is an 1836 Magnum bottle of Remy Martin VSOP Champagne Cognac. We were able to source this due to our partnership with Honest Grapes and the bottle came from Remy Martin’s own cellar in France. Its value is estimated at more than £20,000. The second was a request for a very rare bottle of Champagne, Frerejean Frères Cuvee Hussards 2007. This was a particularly challenging request as it is not on general sale. With the help of our wine specialist, we were able to courier a bottle direct from the vineyard in France and unfortunately, on this occasion, we are unable to disclose the value as the item is not for sale.
It’s not just rare vintages that stretch our skills, we’ve also been asked to source Kopi Luwak coffee before, and KL Ruby is the most expensive coffee in the world at around £200 a cup. It’s collected from wild cats roaming free in the Sumatra Jungle and due to our partnership with Bespoke Beverages we can source both KL Ruby and KL Diamond. This same client then asked us to create a bespoke dish for him using the KL Ruby coffee and our chefs were more than up for the challenge. We created a desert using the KL Ruby extract and gold leaf which costs around £250 a portion, so is the most expensive desert we’ve created so far.