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UNITED INTRODUCES FINE INTERNATIONAL CUISINE AT 35,000 FEET

 UNITED INTRODUCES FINE INTERNATIONAL CUISINE AT 35,000 FEET
 CHICAGO, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines announced today the introduction of an entirely new, contemporary meal service on its international flights.
 Beginning Nov. 1, passengers flying on United's intercontinental routes will enjoy a panoply of new tastes that Pat O'Brien, vice president, catering, described as "excitement for the senses."
 "United's international passengers are a demanding lot, and many are used to fine cuisine and attentive service," explained O'Brien. "So we set a simple goal for ourselves: to make the onboard dining and service experience one that exceeds the expectations of the world's most experienced customers."
 This ambitious goal required United to go to unusual lengths in its design of the new menus and service. In addition to relying on the creative talents of its own executive chefs, the airline sought the help of a group of professionals from the restaurant and hospitality industries, including certified master chefs from around the world.
 The panel, which was charged with assessing United's existing meal service and recommending improvements and enhancements, included Charlie Trotter, chef-owner of Charlie Trotter's Restaurant in Chicago. Michael Whiteman, who helped develop the master plan for the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center and the Windows on the World Restaurant at the World Trade Center in New York, participated as well, along with Ina Manaster of Culinary Foods, one of the leading U.S. suppliers to hotels, restaurants and airlines.
 Also invited was Victor Gielisse, chef and co-owner of the Actuelle Restaurant in Dallas, and one of only 44 certified master chefs in the United States, and Heinrich Weber, a third-generation restaurateur from Munich trained as a baker, patissier and butcher/sausage maker with extensive experience in resort hotels and passenger ship lines.
 "To our knowledge, no airline has ever undertaken a systemwide redesign of its menus in such a short period of time, nor has one ever assembled such a 'brain trust' of master chefs to accomplish it. United welcomed this challenge as our chance to effect a transformation in our meal service that would parallel the major strides we have been making in routes, passenger service and aircraft," O'Brien observed.
 After an evaluation of United's existing fare, the panel offered creative ideas for updating preparation techniques and introducing new ingredients to satisfy contemporary tastes.
 The result is a total of approximately 100 new entrees as well as entirely new lines of salads, pastas and desserts that emphasize the presentation of foods in their natural state, with as little processing or alteration as possible. The new, healthier entrees are prepared with less salt and fat, employing techniques like grilling and pan-searing instead of frying.
 United's new meal service will also feature more grains, vegetables, legumes and pastas, as well as colorful condiments like salsas and relishes. Lighter sauces and glazes that enhance flavors instead of masking them will also be emphasized.
 In America, menus for outbound international service were designed at a "summit" meeting of United chefs and outside experts in Seattle. Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, a pre-eminent Chicago restaurant company, developed a new line of salads for the airline's outbound international flights, featuring unusual ingredients like cilantro, eggplant and grilled onions.
 Separate creative sessions were held in Frankfurt, Rio de Janeiro and Singapore to design new menus for United's European, Latin American and Asian service, respectively. Teams worked intensively with local contract chefs from the kitchens that supply United flights originating in the regions. Their charter was to create new and exciting meals that cater to local tastes and make use of popular, locally available ingredients.
 Seeking suggestions and ideas from contract chefs represented a significant break with the past. Traditionally, airlines simply send contract caterers a set of specifications for the meals they provide. In this process, however, United sought to put to use the local chefs' expert knowledge of their cultures and their fellow countrymen.
 In Latin America, local catering chefs from Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Caracas and Santiago were asked to bring along their own favorite recipes and food ideas. In Europe, Shaun Hill of the Giddeley Park Hotel was asked to design tea service to be offered as the second meal on United's flights originating in London. And the Far East presented its own unique set of challenges as the Asian team attempted to create some dazzling new tastes for the wide range of locations to which United flies in that region.
 Also included in the project was a complete redesign of the special meals United offers passengers who request them for religious or dietary reasons -- or just for a little variety. The airline announced that by the first quarter of next year it will offer not just one vegetarian meal, for example, but four different ones. United will also replace its "diet" meal option with several different choices to accommodate several kinds of diets, like low salt, diabetic, low fat and no cholesterol.
 By Dec. 1, new meal service will also be available on intra-regional flights in Europe and Asia, and passengers on flights between the United States and Central America and Mexico City will see a changeover by Feb. 1 of next year.
 "We see our new approach to menu design as an ongoing process," O'Brien observed. "It doesn't end with the rollout of the new service. We're always interested in customer comments and in ways we can make onboard service even better than it is. As we see it, when you fly on United you should receive the best onboard service in the airline industry.
 "We want our customers to hold us to the highest standards," he continued, "and we are committed to being good listeners when they give us feedback. If we ever fail to satisfy them, it's time to go back to the creative process once again."
 -0- 10/30/92
 /CONTACT: Joe Hopkins, 708-952-5770, or evenings, 708-952-4088, or (investors) Pamela Hanlon, 708-952-7501, both of United Airlines/
 (UAL) CO: UAL Corp. ST: Illinois IN: AIR SU: PDT


CK -- NY035 -- 7040 10/30/92 10:32 EST
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Date:Oct 30, 1992
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