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I@MyLastBite My Last Bite Food Travel Writer Blogger Jo Stougaard

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American Airlines New 1st Class Menu

Last week American Airlines (AA) invited me to an exclusive menu tasting in Texas. They have new, seasonal food and wine menus rolling out in July for selected Domestic and Transcontinental First Class Flights, as well as new snacks in their Flagship Lounges

Beef Filet, Lobster Mac & Cheese (domestic 1st class)The event took place at LSG Sky Chefs in Irving which is near the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (AA HQ). Along with media were several of the airlines most loyal frequent flyers, who were on hand to share their input. The fun kicked off with a round of champagne as we listened to airline executives talk about improvements for the AA passenger experience.

I was surprised to see a familiar face as we began tasting food. Celebrity Chef Sam Choy was there showcasing his new transcontinental menu, which included spicy crab, steamed sea bass and wagyu meatloaf (photos below). AA wine consultant Ken Chase entertained all with his spirited presentation, and noted how important it is for wines to compliment the regions where AA travels (Malbec in Argentina for example), and that it also exposes passengers to new wines as well. His pro tip: To stay hydrated while flying, drink three glasses of water per one glass of wine.

I travel often, and when I visit my folks in Scotland I usually fly economy. American Airlines is a partner to British Airways, so at least one of my flights (either to or from London) are on AA. If I get the chance for an upgrade (it happens!), it’ll be interesting to experience it all with a new point of view. The majority of the dishes I tasted were fantastic and I’d happily order them in a restaurant. Only one seemed overly salty, which is normal (in food prep) when serving at 30,000 feet since “taste buds and sense of smell are the first thing to go”. I did mention it and was told they are still working on adjustments. 

As the only L.A.-based writer invited, I was asked to simply share the experience on social media, which I did on twitter, instagram and facebook. The new American Airlines campaign is called #GoingForGreat, and my main takeaway from the afternoon was a truly sincere effort by the AA team.

Photos:

American Airlines 1st Class Tasting
Menu

Peruvian Causa (S. America Flagship Lounge Snack)
Peruvian Causa with west coast Dungeness crab, ahi amarillo, basil and cilantro oil (South America Flagship Lounge Snack)

Mac & Cheese Fritter (N. America Flagship Lounge Snack)
Mac & Cheese Fritters (North America Flagship Lounge Snack)

Edamame Hummus (transcontinental 1st class)
Edamame Hummus w toasted garlic baguettes by Chef Sam Choy (Transcontinental 1st class)

Steamed Sea Bass (transcontinental 1st class)
Steamed Sea Bass with soy glaze and ginger cilantro pesto rice by Chef Sam Choy (Transcontinental 1st class)

Spicy Crab (transcontinental 1st class)
Spicy Crab w sushi rice, avocado and wasabi aioli by Chef Sam Choy (Transcontinental 1st class)

Wagyu Meatloaf (transcontinental 1st class)
Wagyu Meatloaf with sriracha ketchup, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and candied onions by Chef Sam Choy (Transcontinental 1st class)

Lentil Chili, Polenta Cake (domestic 1st class)
Vegetarian option: Lentil Chili, Polenta Cake (Domestic 1st class)

Shrimp & Grits (domestic 1st class)
Shrimp & Grits (Domestic 1st class)

Beef Filet, Lobster Mac & Cheese (domestic 1st class)
Beef Filet, Lobster Mac & Cheese (Domestic 1st class)

Beef Filet, Lobster Mac & Cheese (domestic 1st class)
This paired so well with the Malbec (Domestic 1st class)

Salted Caramel Ice Cream (domestic 1st class)
Salted Caramel Ice Cream (Domestic 1st class)

American Airlines 1st Class Tasting
Wine tasting

American Airlines 1st Class Tasting
American Airlines Wine Consultant Ken Chase

Chef Sam Choy!
Chef Sam Choy! We totally bonded over our love for Okinawa (my birthplace).

Thank you for having me American Airlines!

Event date was June 22, 2015. All photos here.

Round trip flights from Los Angeles to Dallas were provided by American Airlines.

I met some really nice folks at the event, including Benet Wilson and Jeanne Hoffman. Read Benet’s recap of the event Airways News. Jeanne blogs at Le Chic Geek.

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Game Of Thrones – In The Kitchen

Inspired by the Official Game Of Thrones Cookbook, I had so much fun cooking up dinner for the season 5 premiere back in April. 

Game Of Thrones In The Kitchen
I started with Sansa Salad with Edible Flowers

Game Of Thrones In The Kitchen
Fingerfish (aka cornmeal-fried sardines)

Game Of Thrones In The Kitchen
Chicken Thighs (instead of duck) with Cherry & Lemon Sauce

Game Of Thrones In The Kitchen
Strawberry Lemonsweet (I added vodka)

Game Of Thrones In The Kitchen
And of course Sansa Stark‘s favorite… Lemon Cakes! I made the candied lemon sauce via recipe but used store-bought cupcakes as the base.

For the season 5 finale this weekend I’ll be making the beef and bacon pie…. and dreaming of Jon Snow. Golly, I hope he makes it to season 6!!!

The Inn At The Crossroads (Official Game Of Thrones Food Blog) is full of recipe ideas and photos.

Official Game Of Thrones Cookbook

Game Of Thrones

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Low Carb Bacon Grilled Cheese

Bacon-Wrapped Cauliflower Bread Grilled Cheese
That’s right… LOW CARB grilled cheese wrapped in bacon.

Instead of bread I make the sandwich with “cauliflower bread”. It does takes a wee bit of effort to make, but it’s so worth it. I use this recipe (step-by-step photos) on The Iron You website.

After cooling the cauliflower bread, just add cheese then wrap the sandwich in bacon. Check out the short BuzzFeed video (and photos) here.

Making Cauliflower "Bread"
Cauliflower mix ready for oven.

Making Cauliflower
Cauliflower “bread” after about 20 minutes in the oven.

Bacon Wrapped Cauliflower Bread Grilled Cheese
Once it was wrapped in bacon and cooked, I didn’t miss real bread at all.

Cauliflower bread recipe

Bacon-wrapped grilled cheese video

If you’re on instagram, I tag all my low carb dishes with #LowCarbJo. Enjoy!

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#FeedSoCal 2015

Please help spread the word for our friends at the L.A. Food Bank!

#FeedSoCal

(via @LAbitesHunger)

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Chef April Bloomfield

Chef April Bloomfield

Chef April Bloomfield‘s latest book, “A Girl And Her Greens” is out now, and the recipes look fantastic. I’ve made the mushroom on toast (Madeira Cream Sauce & Mushrooms) several times already. Also, if you haven’t seen her on “Mind of a Chef” (season 2), I highly recommend it. It’s available on iTunes here.

April Bloomfield’s Website

Photo taken at Lucques restaurant in Hollywood.

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Ceremony

Ceremony (Studio City) Scouting Report for L.A. Times

Fan of the movie, “Chef”? Check out my L.A. Times Food Scouting Report here.

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Filed under Eating Out, L.A. Times