James Beard Winner Mashama Bailey Is Taking Over This Airline's First-Class Menu

Whether you're the type of person who loves air travel or hates it, the one thing most passengers agree on is that airplane food is ... well, not always the best. The truth is it's tough to feed hundreds of people while flying in a metal tube in the sky and while there are a few ways to make your in-flight meals taste better, passengers are usually happier eating in the airports. This might be about to change!

James Beard award-winning chef, Mashama Bailey has recently taken on the challenge of designing Delta's first-class menu, and the meals they're planning to serve sound incredible. Bailey is the co-founder and executive chef of The Grey in Savannah, Georgia, and was once mentored by Gabrielle Hamilton while working at Prune in New York City. She says she learned to cook from the women in her family and then rounded out her training at ICE, (per The Grey's website.) Bailey's menu boasts beautiful, vibrant seasonal comfort foods like red snapper with summer squash, clams and saffron, or smoked pork with hominy, sweet corn and shishito peppers. So what will she be cooking up for passengers' in-flight meals?

Comfort in flight

According to Food & Wine, Chef Mashama Bailey is designing meals for Delta's first passengers that will help them feel comforted while they're away from home. Some of the meals she's designed so far are short ribs with kanni sauce and smoked collard greens. There is also a vegan vegetable tagine with roasted sweet potatoes. And for dessert? Buttermilk cornmeal tres leches with candied kumquat and mandarin oranges. Yum!

According to Delta News, these meals will be offered for first-class passengers departing from Atlanta this week. They'll begin on domestic flights where first-class passengers are served lunch or dinner. Additionally, they note that international Delta One travelers departing from Atlanta will have the option to pre-select meals designed by Bailey in advance of their flights. According to Delta News, the company's roots in Georgia culture are deep and they're thrilled to be offering some of Georgia's best culinary excellence to passengers. Chef Bailey expressed excitement to be partnering with Delta herself saying, "The menu for Delta customers takes local, in-season ingredients from the Low Country to new heights." 

That sounds like a perfect reason to upgrade your next flight out of Atlanta.