WITH its tender and aromatic meat, the satay served onboard MAS flights is airline food that passengers actually look forward to. It is the airline’s most successful food product; MAS is justly proud of it and keeps its recipe a tightly guarded secret.
The chef who came up with the recipe is Mat Som Yunos, who oversaw the preparation of the satay for the airline for 27 years. To keep the family recipe within MAS, Mat Som’s son-in-law has been encouraged to take over the job.
On most MAS sectors, sticks of chicken and beef satay are available, marinated in a blend of shallots, turmeric, garlic, galangal and lemongrass. On the “spice routes” (to the Indian sub-continent, etc.), lamb substitutes for beef. Coming soon is venison satay.
The beef and lamb satay are marinated for 24 hours in the chiller, cooked to 80% doneness and then blast-chilled. They are heated to the desired degree of doneness on board. Chicken satay is 100% cooked when it reaches the airplane.
Satay bound for the First Class sector is cooked on a traditional charcoal grill in small batches. Economy Class satay is cooked on a Teflon grill, at a rate of 3,000 sticks per hour. Twelve skewer experts and three grillers turn out between 17,000 and 20,000 skewers of satay per day, which are packed into Styrofoam containers before loading. – Flavours
A winning team
Executive Chef Zainuddin Haji Mohd Isa
Trained in Lausanne, Switzerland, Zainuddin was a member of the project team for event catering at Italy’s 1999 Formula One race in Monza. He has worked in various five-star hotels, as well as Lufthansa GmBh Sky Chefs (where he was the executive sous chef in the main kitchen division, which was tasked with churning out 30,000 meals a day) and handled the catering for the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. In 2002, Zainuddin’s efforts were instrumental in pushing the MAS Golden Lounge into third place worldwide among the World’s Best Airport Lounges.
Executive sous Chef Saiful Bahri
Saiful’s frequent travels have stood him in good stead when it comes to catering to the tastes of domestic as well as international travellers; he used to accompany former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad on his official trips around the world. Saiful was also F&B designer for meals on Business Boeing Jet flights from Asia to Europe, and served as a judge at the Langkawi Culinary Festival 1999.
Executive sous Chef Mazlan Othman
Mazlan believes in attention to detail and places a lot of importance on presentation. A former member of Hyatt Borneo management services in Brunei, Mazlan served dignitaries and heads of state, including the Sultan of Brunei. Among some of the awards that he has received are Guthrie Group’s Outstanding Leadership Award and Best Commis Rôtisseur in 1991, awarded by the Malaysian chapter of the Châine des Rôtisseurs (an international gastronomic society founded in Paris in 1950). He was also the second runner-up in the Concours de Commis Rôtisseur, awarded by the same organisation. – Flavours
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