Celebrated Chef Mashama Bailey brings signature southern flair to Delta flights

Starting this week, Delta customers departing Atlanta will be treated to Southern-inspired meals designed by Chef Mashama Bailey, winner of the 2022 James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding American Chef” award and Executive Chef and co-founder of The Grey, an award-winning Southern restaurant in historic downtown Savannah, Ga.

Photo credit: Nydia Blas

“Delta’s roots in Georgia’s rich culture are a signature part of our own history, so partnering with the team at The Gray felt like the right fit from the start,” said Kristen Manion Taylor, SVP – In-Flight Service. Southern culinary experience Chef Bailey has propelled into the spotlight is something our culinary teams have admired for some time, and we know our customers are going to be wowed by the menu she’ll be delivering on board.”

Chef Bailey’s meals will be served exit-Atlanta for lunch and dinner in domestic First Class on flights where hot food is served. Additionally, International Delta One customers departing Atlanta will have the option to pre-select unique menu items designed by the chef in advance of their flight.

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“It’s an honor to partner with Delta to bring the foods I grew up on in my mother and grandmother’s kitchen to the skies,” said Chef Bailey. “At The Grey, we work to keep Southern, African-American food alive and well by Melding those rich flavors with new techniques and cuisines from around the world. The menu for Delta customers takes local, in-season ingredients from the Low Country to new heights.”

Chef Bailey’s new menu builds on Delta’s award-winning onboard dining experience featuring some of America’s most sought-after restaurants and chefs, including Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo and Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events.

Customers will enjoy Chef Bailey’s Port City Southern menu featuring dishes similar to those served at The Grey: a flounder and oyster dish with fumé blanc, green apple, potato, bok choy and turnips; short ribs with kanni sauce and smoked collard greens; tagine with roasted sweet potato topped with a chermoula sauce and, for dessert, buttermilk cornmeal tres leches with candied kumquats and mandarin oranges.

Under the direction of co-founders Chef Bailey and Managing Partner Johno Morisano, The Gray has become a must-visit destination for foodies who travel from far and wide to sample Chef Bailey’s take on Port City Southern food. With a recent expansion into Austin, Texas, the team at The Gray is at the forefront of the history and advocacy of the Southern foodways.

Chef Bailey and Morisano both serve on the global airline’s newly formed Delta Culinary Council, where they help guide Delta’s culinary strategy alongside a collective of chefs and industry experts. Additionally, Chef Bailey is featured on Delta Studio, the industry-leading seatback entertainment platform, as part of the airline’s partnership with MasterClass. In the 10-lesson class, she dives into the rich layers of cooking Southern food – its history, flavors, dishes and techniques – and shares her approach to preserving traditions while reinventing classic recipes.

MORE SEASONAL FIRST CLASS MENUS

Delta is also rolling out more seasonal menu refreshes across its network starting this week. First Class customers departing Los Angeles will enjoy a new vegan antipasti plate from Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo with roasted broccoli, romesco dip, yellow squash, gigante beans, red onion and mushroom. And customers flying out of Boston and Detroit will be treated to new menu items like avocado toast with ricotta, figs and truffle honey; prawn salad with cocktail sauce, hard boiled eggs and Kalamata olives; and a braised beef tart with potato mash , horseradish mousseline and thyme jus.

New menu items on other routes include a Korean-style Impossible® burger with mushroom and scallion bulgogi topping; chickpea, potato and spinach chana masala, roasted cauliflower with cilantro, basmati rice and naan; and for dessert, decadent chocolate chunk and sea salt cookies from Bell’s Cookie Co.

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