Chicken or Pasta? Not If Kerry Sear Has Anything to Say About It

Inside the world’s smallest Four Seasons kitchen
Toronto, Canada

Until recently, Catch restaurant in Guangzhou had the distinction of being the highest ground-to-table Four Seasons dining experience in the world.  Now, with gourmet meals being served on custom tray tables at 30,000 feet above sea level, Four Seasons takes the dining experience to an entirely new level, both in altitude - and with a quality of cuisine, presentation and service rarely seen in the skies.

Chef Kerry Sear explains: “Our aim is to recreate the hotel experience on the Four Seasons Private Jet, which means creating innovative meals using fresh ingredients, served on the finest tableware and linens, all with impeccable Four Seasons service. The only real difference is that occasionally we have to do a little juggling when there’s turbulence!”

No stranger to Four Seasons kitchens, Sear first joined the company in Vancouver in 1986 before transferring to Toronto and later Seattle, a city the English-born chef has called home for more than two decades and where he also owned a restaurant for 10 years.  Now, he oversees the food and beverage program for the Four Seasons Private Jet Experience – both on board and on the ground in coordination with Four Seasons hotels and resorts in each destination.

“I work very closely with the culinary teams on the ground to plan meals that are reflective of their destinations, but also provide a level of comfort and familiarity when taken on board the aircraft.”  With completely different menus every day featuring as many as three choices each for starters, mains, sides and desserts as well as lighter fare and snacks for 52 very lucky passengers, that means precision planning – and creativity.

“Because our on-board kitchen facility is somewhat limited, much of the prep work and initial cooking is done on the ground, in the hotel.  Then, once a guest chooses their meal in flight, we finish it in a special steam-equipped oven for extra moisture, and add the fresh touches such as fruits and herbs we’ve picked up in the last destination.”

For example, on a recent stop in Bora Bora, Sear was able to stock up on Tahitian vanilla, fresh coconut water and tropical fruits to create a bespoke cocktail and inspire the day’s dessert menu for the flight to Sydney – all washed down with Dom Pérignon of course, the exclusive Champagne of the Four Seasons Private Jet Experience.

For guests, every day brings new delights on the menu, and for the chef, new opportunities to test his culinary chops – whether it be adapting recipes for the confines of a jet kitchen, taking advantage of each destination’s best ingredients, navigating local food safety regulations, or surprising a guest with a special birthday cake.

“In many ways, each Four Seasons Private Jet tour is like competing in a season of Top Chef – it’s one challenge after another, but with so many rewards along the way.”