Bom appetite: TAP brings regional Portuguese cuisine on board


TAP Air Portugal, the flag carrier airline of Portugal, has a treat for its long-haul customers in business class. Over the next two years, the airline’s ‘Local Stars’ initiative will showcase the cuisine of talented Portuguese chefs, who will develop menus featuring a new range of regional delicacies. The initiative is a result of TAP’s collaboration with The Art of Tasting Portugal culinary platform.

Each of the chefs has created a bespoke three-course menu for the airline, designed to celebrate and promote the country’s distinctive regional seasonal ingredients. The menus will change every two months, from March 2023 to April 2025.

CateringPor, a Portuguese catering company, is overseeing the initiative, with support on sustainability methods, integrating produce from local suppliers and helping promote Portugal’s regional economies.

Patrícia Dias, co-founder of The Art of Tasting Portugal, said the benefits for the airline will go beyond just an improved inflight catering offer: “Promoting Portugal as a gastronomic destination, with its differentiation and quality, is an objective that The Art of Tasting Portugal offers with TAP Air Portugal. This partnership, which we are so proud of, reinforces this strategy of strengthening the national territory and the community that values it.”

Silvia Mosquera, TAP’s chief commercial and revenue officer, added that: “TAP is the largest showcase of Portugal in the world and our aircraft are one of the most powerful vehicles promoting Portugal.”

Long-haul business-class customers will be able to tuck into their new delicacies while watching specially made videos, available on TAP’s inflight entertainment (IFE) system. The videos have been created to complement the new menus by showcasing each region where the seasonal produce is sourced, along with footage of each chef cooking the dishes being served on-board.

Starting from March through to April 2023, TAP’s new culinary journey begins in Lisbon with the menu curated by Henrique Sá Pessoa, a high-profile Portuguese chef behind the two-Michelin-starred ‘Alma’ restaurant in Lisbon.

Sá Pessoa’s menu will be putting Lisbon’s favourite fish in the spotlight: the grouper. Commonly caught off the Lisbon coast and known for its mild flavour, grouper stew is one of Portugal’s best-loved dishes and a firm Lisbon favourite.

From May-June, Azorean chef, Cláudio Pontes, will take over and promote the island’s finest and rarest São Jorge cheese. And from July to August, chef Noélia Jerónimo will represent the Algarve with the region’s distinctive Octopus dish.

Waiting in the wings with new menus to feature later in the year are chefs Júlio Pereira, Diogo Rocha, and Óscar Geadas, representing cuisines from the regions of Madeira, Viseu and Bragança, respectively.

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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