Decline in CW Catering 2018 Vs 2024

Old May 27, 2024, 2:52 am
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Decline in CW Catering 2018 Vs 2024

While clearing out my photos I came across the menu from my LHR-ORD flight from 2018. When compared to the last posted LHR-JFK menu from 2024 two things stuck out for the mains

The decline in the quality of cut:

2018 Fillet of Beef or Guinea Fowl Breast

2024: Fillet of Pork or Cod

Difference in sides/sauce

2018: potato fondant/dauphinoise, peppercorn jus/Madeira rosemary sauce

2024: celeriac gratin/Bombay potatoes, cider jus/infused tomato coconut sauce.


2018


2024

Now I appreciate that steaks on a plane are a divisive matter. But it's clear that there has been a drop off in my opinion. For me the 2018 options jump out as being both interesting and high end. Which is ironic as with Club Suites the hard product is so much better.

This before we get to there being one less option for starter and dessert.

FYI - I had the Guinea fowl in 2018 and it was a delight.
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Old May 27, 2024, 4:16 am
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As much as I love dauphinoise potatoes (notwithstanding my recently discovered lactose intolerance...) I would say celeriac gratin is a much healthier option as is cod. So for me these changes are not necessarily worse but would agree chicken vs. guinea fowl is clear tradedown.
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Old May 27, 2024, 4:38 am
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Originally Posted by dodgeflyer
As much as I love dauphinoise potatoes (notwithstanding my recently discovered lactose intolerance...) I would say celeriac gratin is a much healthier option as is cod. So for me these changes are not necessarily worse but would agree chicken vs. guinea fowl is clear tradedown.
I suspect the answer, as always, is cost rather than health benefits. Raw ingredients prices have skyrocketed since 2018 and the substitution of cheaper meats and even cheaper cuts of meat is widespread in restaurants. Goodbye fillet steak & scallops, hello belly pork & blade of beef.
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Old May 27, 2024, 4:53 am
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Originally Posted by Cw novice
While clearing out my photos I came across the menu from my LHR-ORD flight from 2018. When compared to the last posted LHR-JFK menu from 2024 two things stuck out for the mains
The big difference between 2018 and 2024 for me is the use of the trolley to serve starters, drinks and so on back in 2018. I quite liked that service. You could see the choices, often ask for a couple (I always received a separate salad and starter), stop the trolley on the way back and I quite liked seeing the crew team up to serve rather than serving each seat on an individual basis as they do now.
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Old May 27, 2024, 4:53 am
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Originally Posted by Kgmm77
I suspect the answer, as always, is cost rather than health benefits. Raw ingredients prices have skyrocketed since 2018 and the substitution of cheaper meats and even cheaper cuts of meat is widespread in restaurants. Goodbye fillet steak & scallops, hello belly pork & blade of beef.
When I do my online butchery order it's now bavette instead of ribeye and short rib instead of a rump roast.

But in terms of the additional cost to BA I would wager it would be about a tenner per passenger per meal. Are passengers flying J really going to notice that in their ticket price.
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Old May 27, 2024, 4:54 am
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Il’ll be blunt: I personally do not think there has been a decline in cw catering standards between 2018 and 2024 apart from the short lived menus jfk got when it first got do&co.

cw food is better today than it was in the 2010s if not as good as the inaugural do&co menus which were excellent.
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Old May 27, 2024, 4:57 am
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Originally Posted by Kgmm77
I suspect the answer, as always, is cost rather than health benefits. Raw ingredients prices have skyrocketed since 2018 and the substitution of cheaper meats and even cheaper cuts of meat is widespread in restaurants. Goodbye fillet steak & scallops, hello belly pork & blade of beef.
You're of course not wrong but when the substitute is with something healthier, what's wrong with that? It seems very 1980s-esque to expect fillet of beef with a madeira sauce as the point of reference for luxury. And I would say that the fillet of beef [purely anecdotally] was in decline long before 2018 as many were seeking alternative cuts which pack more flavour. I now find that fillet is increasingly offered as part of a T-bone for instance where it benefits from the flavour of the sirloin and bone itself.
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Old May 27, 2024, 5:06 am
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Originally Posted by dodgeflyer
You're of course not wrong but when the substitute is with something healthier, what's wrong with that? It seems very 1980s-esque to expect fillet of beef with a madeira sauce as the point of reference for luxury. And I would say that the fillet of beef [purely anecdotally] was in decline long before 2018 as many were seeking alternative cuts which pack more flavour. I now find that fillet is increasingly offered as part of a T-bone for instance where it benefits from the flavour of the sirloin and bone itself.
I suppose also it comes down to how you travel too. I am a once every 2 year Longhaul J person and do look forward to the meal as part of that, few glasses of red then port with cheese. Then a few movies with a whisky.

This is eastbound only obviously.

For the person on business doing Longhaul J once a month it must get samey and can see the point about the healthy option. I do like the AA salad too.

What both menu's perhaps lack is a 4th menu choice and if they had the following:

Beef/Lamb
Poultry
Fish - Salmon/Cod/Sole
Veggie Option

I think they could cover more bases. Pork I don't consider to be worthy of a place on a J menu.
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Old May 27, 2024, 5:09 am
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Originally Posted by dodgeflyer
You're of course not wrong but when the substitute is with something healthier, what's wrong with that?
The healthier options are often less tasty.
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Old May 27, 2024, 5:13 am
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Originally Posted by BlueThroughCrimp
The healthier options are often less tasty.

i certainly wouldn’t say so. For instance, on the recent menu the op posts, for my taste, the cod was by far the best main and very flavourful. The trout starter which is also quite healthy is very good too.
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Old May 27, 2024, 5:18 am
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Originally Posted by orbitmic
i certainly wouldn’t say so. For instance, on the recent menu the op posts, for my taste, the cod was by far the best main and very flavourful. The trout starter which is also quite healthy is very good too.
Agree with this a punchy vinegarette can be far more flavoursome than a cloying salty gravy/sauce .

If I was choosing on the current menu it would be the cod over the pork
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Old May 27, 2024, 5:21 am
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Originally Posted by Cw novice
Agree with this a punchy vinegarette can be far more flavoursome than a cloying salty gravy/sauce .

If I was choosing on the current menu it would be the cod over the pork
That’s where tastes differ. A “punchy vinegarette” would be vastly overpowering and I’d rather have a gravy/sauce.
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Old May 27, 2024, 5:29 am
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Originally Posted by Cw novice
I suppose also it comes down to how you travel too. I am a once every 2 year Longhaul J person and do look forward to the meal as part of that, few glasses of red then port with cheese. Then a few movies with a whisky.

This is eastbound only obviously.

For the person on business doing Longhaul J once a month it must get samey and can see the point about the healthy option. I do like the AA salad too.

What both menu's perhaps lack is a 4th menu choice and if they had the following:

Beef/Lamb
Poultry
Fish - Salmon/Cod/Sole
Veggie Option

I think they could cover more bases. Pork I don't consider to be worthy of a place on a J menu.
These days I am also only a 2rtn per year l/h traveller as all work is s/h. But I find I still prefer the healthier options (and have kcal from drinks instead ) as between snack, 3-courses it all just get a bit much sometimes. Now, I don't think fish on plane (unless cured one way or other) make a particularly delisicous meal but choosing between two bad meals, I like to think I pick the healthier one.
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Old May 27, 2024, 5:34 am
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Have also found the JFK-LHR inbound in 2018. This was back in the sleeper service days.

Just had starter, dessert and nightcap

From memory the seafood starter was particularly nice as was the strawberry strudel.
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Old May 27, 2024, 5:34 am
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Originally Posted by dodgeflyer
As much as I love dauphinoise potatoes (notwithstanding my recently discovered lactose intolerance...) I would say celeriac gratin is a much healthier option as is cod. So for me these changes are not necessarily worse but would agree chicken vs. guinea fowl is clear tradedown.
Celeriac gratin is not a healthier option if you are allergic to it.
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