Chef Mashama Bailey Is Behind Delta Air Line’s New Southern-Inspired Menu


Jeff Schear/Getty Images for James Beard Foundation

If you’re someone who flies out of Atlanta often and prefers to book your air travel through Delta Air Lines, you’ll be excited to learn that they’ve rolled out a new in-flight menu crafted by a Black woman. With talk of short rib and sweet potatoes on that menu, this isn’t the usual uninspired food people find on flights.

Delta is partnering with chef Mashama Bailey. She is quite accomplished as an executive chef and the co-founder of the The Grey restaurant in Savannah, Ga., and she was awarded the 2022 James Beard Foundation’s award for “Outstanding Chef.”

This Black Woman Chef Is Behind Delta Air Line’s New Southern-Inspired In-Flight Menu

She’s helping to elevate the onboard dining experience for Delta travelers, crafting gourmet Southern-inspired dishes made with locally sourced produce. The menu includes tasty meals like a flounder and oyster dish with fume blac, green apple, potato, bock choy and turnips. There’s also short rib with kanni sauce and smoked collard greens (yum!), a vegan veggie tagine with roasted sweet potato covered in a chermoula sauce, buttermilk cornmeal tres leches with kumquats and mandarin oranges, and more.

In layman’s terms, it’s good food!

If you like what you taste while at 30,000 feet and want to learn more about Bailey’s cooking techniques, she’s featured on Delta Studio as part of the air line’s partnership with MasterClass. Travelers can watch her teach a 10-lesson class on the tricks to cooking Southern food, the history behind it and methods that bring it to tables around the country while preserving traditions.

This Black Woman Chef Is Behind Delta Air Line’s New Southern-Inspired In-Flight Menu

Chef Bailey is the latest food creative from a popular restaurant to bring new flavors to Delta’s onboard dining experience, an award-winning one, joining the likes of chefs Danny Meyer, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. Delta couldn’t be more excited about what she’s cooking up.

“Delta’s roots in Georgia’s rich culture are a signature part of our own history, so partnering with the team at The Grey felt like the right fit from the start,” Kristen Manion Taylor, S.V.P. – In-Flight Service in a statement. “The innovative, 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.” 

So next time you fly out of A-Town, know that you don’t have to wait until you reach your destination to eat well.


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