Bon Soirée welcomes ex-Ivy Restaurant Executive Chef Alan Bird

Wednesday 4th April 2018

  • Bon Soiree
  • Bon Soiree

Bon Soirée, a leading fine dining caterer for the private aviation industry, is pleased to announce the appointment of Alan Bird as Consultant Chef.

Alan joins Bon Soirée after 23 years at the Ivy, latterly as Executive Chef.  Hitherto he has overseen the kitchen and dining experience at members' club Soho House, London and established the club in Berlin.  

Bon Soireé's operator clients are set to benefit greatly from Bird's exceptional Michelin star restaurant experience, which began with him honing his culinary skills working alongside legendary Michelin 3-star chef Nico Ladenis.

"Bon Soirée is all about the food, which is why it was the right inflight catering company to get behind," commented Alan Bird.

He is currently focusing on understanding the challenges faced by flight attendants preparing a meal within the confines of a small galley on a business jet. The ingredients, crockery and glassware may be the same as those used on the ground, but it's there that any similarities with working in a traditional kitchen end, he notes.

Derek Freeman, Bon Soirée's Founder and Managing Director, and Alan Bell, the company's Executive Chef, are currently working with Alan to finalise their summer menus for 2018 and start on the autumn/winter range. The team has focused on seasonal ingredients and organic vegetables, but also ensuring dishes are as easy as possible for flight attendants to prepare. Derek pledges the menus will be Bon Soirée's most flavoursome and creative yet.

Innovative food labelling system

They will also be the most practical, because Alan Bird and Derek have devised a unique labelling system for the dishes. Alongside clear cooking instructions are colour photos detailing the presentation of the dish, while pictures of 14 different allergens are marked up with a tick.

Bon Soirée is also developing a simple toolkit encased in a leather pouch to help make a flight attendant's job as easy as possible. The kit, which Bon Soirée will be bringing to EBACE in Geneva next month, feature a palette knife, a temperature probe, wet wipes, a pinch pot of macron sea salt, slotted spoon, tweezers and a mini light.

"I am delighted to welcome Alan Bird to the team," stated Derek. "In the competitive world of private jet inflight catering, no one can afford to be complacent. We are learning from Alan and he is learning from us. He is also introducing our team to some top culinary experts - his contact book is second to none."

Derek Freeman himself is a highly proficient chef, trained to Michelin star standards.  He has worked aboard luxury yachts and in fine restaurants in France, Switzerland and Bermuda.

He launched Bon Soirée in 1997, along with a friendly Trip Advisor endorsed shopfront café, stocked with freshly baked pastries, quiches and cakes.  Today, Bon Soirée remains one of the industry's most reputable and flexible working aviation caterers. "We recognise that clients flying privately do so to be productive. That means they need to eat well too," Derek asserts.

Bon Soirée, which is well-located for Luton and other London-centric airports, has recently been expanding its client base in Europe. Its 40-strong staff are fully DfT trained for airside deliveries and its refrigerated vehicles are all security-sealed to enable 'straight-to-aircraft' delivery.

Alan Bird has featured in popular TV shows including the Good Food Live Show and Diners, Drive-in and Dives.  He is known in the wider catering world for his signature Shepherd's Pie. "If any client wants an adaptation, we would be delighted to oblige," he said.

Bon Soirée delivers airside direct to a client's aircraft 24/7.  Office hours are 6 am until 10 pm, seven days a week and the business is contactable outside of office hours by telephone.

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