Want to pay a visit to the biggest restaurant in Riga? A place that serves more than 4,500 meals a day, made by a staff of more than 150 employees? Well, if you’re sitting onboard an airBaltic flight, then you’re dining there right now. All of the meals served by airBaltic are prepared fresh every day by the hard-working crew at LSG Sky Chefs, whose kitchens are housed right at the Riga International Airport.
At the Sky Chefs headquarters, a crew of seven chefs works at various stations just like at a real restaurant kitchen, complete with flaming stovetops, massive ovens, and scampering cooks holding aloft gigantic trays of food. The chefs here oversee food production for all airBaltic flights, as well as for the private jets that takeoff from the runway at the Riga airport. On a recent afternoon, one cook was busy flipping pancakes in a skillet, individually frying each paper-thin crepe to lip-smacking perfection. Beside her, another cook was frying chicken fillets on the stove, carefully turning each piece so as to create perfectly symmetrical stripes of char on the skin.
Near the stove area, another team of cooks was working hard on preparing the sandwiches and panini consumed by Economy Class passengers. The sandwich masters had covered the surface of their work area with dozens of pieces of bread, and were dutifully laying slices of meats, cheese, and tomatoes, and handfuls of fresh lettuce, on each sandwich.
After the meals are prepared by the cooks, they are loaded onto foods trolleys, which are individually assembled for each flight. The contents of the trolleys cannot be put together haphazardly, because every extra tray of food means excess weight onboard the aircraft. But this precision is precisely what makes the job of onboard catering different from—and more exacting than—the work of a restaurant kitchen. Nothing here is superfluous, everything is perfect.
So next time you are onboard an airBaltic flight, keep in mind that the meals available in Economy and Business Class were prepared fresh right before your flight, by a team of cooks in a kitchen whose size, yield, and workload would put even the largest hotel restaurant to shame. If you factor in the excellent service from airBaltic’s multilingual cabin crew, then you could say that airBaltic offers passengers not only the biggest but also the best restaurant in the skies.
And did we mention the view from the window?