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Delta Air Lines Holds Cooking Competition to Find New Chef

Delta Air Lines(NEW YORK) -- If you thought airline food had become an afterthought, think again.  Delta Air Lines is partnering with Food & Wine magazine on an original culinary competition video series, called "The Cabin Pressure Cook Off," to find its newest chef.

The winning chef will consult with Delta on menus for flights departing Atlanta.

Four former Food & Wine Best New Chefs winners will compete: Hugh Acheson of Empire State South, Five & Ten and The National in Georgia; Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch Public House in Atlanta; Kelly English of Restaurant Iris and The Second Line in Memphis, Tenn., Kelly English Steakhouse in St. Louis; and George Mendes of ALDEA in New York.

The four-episode series will launch in October, airing on Delta's in-flight entertainment, and  The new chef will join Delta's culinary team, which includes Michelle Bernstein, Michael Chiarello, and master sommelier Andrea Robinson.

"We have been very focused on culinary design and the manner in which we provide more than 110,000 sophisticated, tasty meals each day on our flights around the world.  This opportunity allows us to try something truly unique," Joanne Smith, Delta's senior vice president for in-flight service, said.

The Cabin Pressure Cook Off will feature "culinary challenges" and will be filmed at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York.

Television personality Jackie Tranchida will serve as the host, and judges include Bernstein, Robinson, Union Square Hospitality executives David Swinghamer and Mark Maynard, and Food & Wine Publisher Christina Grdovic.

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