An unexpected meal by 1 Michelin Star Chef Dirk Maus in Germany

Lufthansa Dirk Maus

I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to experience this exclusive event – a meal prepared by Chef Dirk Maus of Restaurant Dirk Maus in Domherrenhof, Essenheim in Germany. He holds One Michelin Star and was invited to do a short collaboration – Lufthansa x Dirk Maus.

Lufthansa

His meals are only available between April – October 2012 for European flights on Business Class only (there is no First Class for domestic flights). I fulfilled *all three criteria* when I flew from Berlin to Frankfurt on the 25th of June 2012 and was pleased when the cabin attendant told me about the specially crafted menu by Dirk Maus.

Warsteiner Beer

The dishes are all from Rheinhessen – this is Chef Dirk Maus’ interpretation of the cuisine in the largest wine producing region in Germany. He’s taken the time to perfect his creations for 35,000 feet since things tastes different when you’re flying. My better half (who shared a delightful meal at the 2 Michelin Star Relais LOUIS XIII with me earlier this year) told me about how tomato juice goes well with flying and it actually has a scientific reason!

The two culinary treats awaiting for us on board was:

Chef Dirk Maus

Brennnesselsalat mit Grapefruit und Orangensegmenten
Nettle salad with grapefruit and orange segments

I had just recovered this batch of photos from a damaged HDD and also found the “tasting notes” which I have recorded on my phone as soon as the flight attendant told me that I’ll be having a meal created by a One Michelin Star chef. Heh. I liked the nettle salad – some of the leafy greens in there are quite bitter but it’s tempered well with the mild nettle and the juicy grapefruit and orange segments.

Auberginen-Ziegenfrischkäseterrine
Terrine of eggplant and goat’s cream cheese

I’ve eaten a lot of terrine and this is visually different from the terrine which I’m used to eating. The contrast between the white goat’s cream cheese in the middle and the aubergine outside was accentuated with a chunk of apricot in the middle. It makes for a very rich and rewarding experience – I didn’t know eggplant could taste this good and it’s seasoned well – salty, but not overtly so.

Dirk Maus HB

I wished that I was on a longer flight so I had a more substantial meal. This is just a small meal on a short hop on a domestic flight in Germany but I’m glad I had the chance to eat Chef Dirk Maus’ creations during such a limited time (and place) promotion. Eating a Michelin star meal at 35,000 feet is one of the more unusual places I’ve done it too (the other being our rented apartment in Paris). smirk

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13 thoughts on “An unexpected meal by 1 Michelin Star Chef Dirk Maus in Germany

    • Nope, I mentioned in the post that there’s no First Class for flights within Germany, only Business Class. :)

      It’s just like how we don’t have First Class on domestic flights for our national carrier, only Business Class.

      This was a lucky fulfilment of 3 (actually 4 6) criteria:

      • Flying Business Class
      • On a Lufthansa flight
      • To a European destination
      • From another airport in Europe
      • That is NOT a morning flight
      • Between April – October 2012

      That was the only time Chef Dirk Maus was creating the meals for the in-flight service. This is an inter-Europe promotion only, which is why we didn’t come across it when we flew to Frankfurt. We also didn’t get his meals when we flew from Frankfurt to Dresden coz it was a morning flight – we got a baguette, fresh fruits and a muesli bar for breakfast. The Dirk Maus menu is for lunch and dinner. He talks about it on his website too:

      http://www.dirk-maus.de/dirk-maus/profil/lufthansa-europakoch-dirk-maus.html

  1. Tomato juice goes well with flying? Err, to be honest, I dislike tomato juice. I only use tomatoes in my ABC soup, teehee.. I don’t drink much when I’m flying to avoid going to the restroom (I’m talking about domestic flight or any flight less than 2 hours).. That grapefruit and orange salad looks very refreshing, but to be honest again, I dislike salad, haha.. UNLESS that salad has salmon or potatoes or hard-boiled eggs or grilled chicken, hmmmm..

    • Yup, you can Google it! :)

      There is a reason you crave for umami and savory foods when you’re flying, which is why airlines stock up on tomato juice and serve up Bloody Marys before flights, which normally people don’t drink. It tastes A LOT better in the air than it does when you’re on the ground. That’s why V8 juice tastes so good in the air too.

      This menu had to be specially crafted for eating on a flight by Chef Dirk Maus. He talks about it in a promo video, I managed to find the English version:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaK02IXKbfw

      Basically what he says is already written down on the card and a special insert in the menu, which I also took photos of and the tasting notes is from a voice recording from that year too. Haha.

      These are photos I managed to recover – my HDD crashed and I thought the content was all gone since I didn’t backup but luckily the tools nowadays allow me to recover most of the important files (photos, documents etc).

  2. one of the criteria “Between April – October 2012″…so this was 2 years ago?

    will try out tomato juice on my next flight and see how tasty it goes..haha!

    • Yeah, this was on a flight two years ago! :)

      I lost all my photos from 2 years ago in a HDD crash and couldn’t recover them. I think there were 3 years worth of photos (from 2009-2012) inside and I only managed to get them back recently with more advanced data recovery software.

      I had no backups at that time, I make sure to backup every week (or when I take an important batch of photos e.g. after travelling) to avoid that happening again.

      Yeah, do try it out! Your taste-buds are dulled when you’re up in the air so you need more salt for food to be “salty” which is why a lot of airline food tastes “bland”. It won’t taste bland if you’re eating it on the ground, but the dulling effects of flying on your taste-buds is well researched.

      Let me know what you think of tomato juice next time you fly!

    • Yeah, it’s coz of the dulling effects of flying on your taste-buds! :)

      That’s why airline food often taste bland – it’s actually not bland but coz your taste-buds are desensitized when you’re up in the air, you need saltier food to taste the saltiness which is why umami enhancers works very well in boosting flavors.

      The same food would probably be overwhelmingly salty when you’re on the ground, which is why we don’t normally order tomato juice unless we’re flying.

      Yup, it was indeed a fortunate experience! I’ve been to several Michelin star restaurants and eaten food prepared by Michelin star chefs but never in the air, this was the first time.

    • Yeah, that’s usually the case! :)

      However, Business Class (and First Class of course) have better meals – had a lot of awesome meals on Lufthansa and Cathay Pacific flights (was upgraded to first class on a Christchurch to Denpasar flight).

      This is even better – it’s a Michelin star chef that created the meals. I see a lot of premium airlines going this route now – getting good chefs to create the onboard meals for Business/First Class.

      I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to eat Chef Dirk Maus’ creations – Business Class is the best seats for domestic German flights and it was exactly at the time of the promotion and it wasn’t breakfast so we go the Dirk Maus meals!

    • Yeah, I really didn’t expect that! :)

      We have had a great lunch at AQUA too – a 3 Michelin Star restaurant in Wolfsburg (a very small town in Germany close to Berlin primarily consisting of Volkswagen related staff). It was amazing and it’s even more amazing that such a small town has a Michelin star restaurant, much less a 3 Michelin Star restaurant!

      It’s not the best meal I had (still prefer the French food I had with my better half at the 2 Michelin Star Le Relais LOUIS XIII in Paris) but it’s up there. It was about 150 Euros but we bumped into the clients from regional so it was paid for by them. That was a nice surprise coz we didn’t expect to eat there at all – they had a reservation for a large table and I was invited to join in. Haha.

      This was even more unexpected coz I didn’t realize Chef Dirk Maus was creating meals for Lufthansa European flights for Business Class. There were a lot of criteria to meet – was on a Frankfurt to Dresden flight that didn’t have his menu coz it was breakfast and finally on the Berlin to Frankfurt flight, we were served this for dinner!

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