Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Inside the Emirates catering facility in Dubai


The Emirates catering facility in Dubai is one of the largest and busiest airline catering facilities in the world. Last year, I had a chance to do the grand tour. I was only half-interested in the beginning, as I'm more partial to eating than to learning the ropes about catering; but it was actually extremely fascinating to see in real-time how thousands and thousands of passengers across airline classes are fed by the hour. I'm so glad I went.


HOUR BY THE HOUR

So many planes land in Dubai every hour and most of them are loaded with immaculately done meals that come out of the Emirates catering facility. And happily, many of the senior staff of this facility are Filipinos, as are the line workers. One of the highest ranking Filipinos at this facility has been living in the UAE for 25 years.

I thought I'd share some interesting photos with you, to give you a better idea about how one center feeds thousands and thousands of people, every single day of every single year. That's serious business, indeed, as there's no room for mistakes. A plane can't very well fly with a wagon of food missing or desserts left behind. So every single tray of every single wagon on every single plane has to be perfect -- and not just once, but dozens and dozens of times every day of the year.

GIANT RECIPE FILES

This is where it all begins. When a menu for any class (First/ Business/ Economy) is decided, they pull out a recipe from a big file book. Each recipe has a photo that shows everyone exactly how the dish should look, so that the dish will look and taste exactly the same, whoever is cooking and whenever it is being cooked.


FOOD IN FIRST

This are some of the main courses in First or Business:


A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE

The meals are laid out very nicely for display in one of the rooms, and you can easily see the difference between Economy, Business and First.


FILIPINOS DOING GOOD IN DUBAI

Some of the Filipino line workers putting together Economy class meal trays. They were very happy to see a Filipino visitor.


The finished products, ready to be loaded onto a plane.


One part of the economy class food line-up. Notice the huge tray of food and the spoon that's being used to ladle onto the trays the exact amount needed -- and needed quickly.


The finished products: someone's tasty Western-style breakfast on Business Class.




PHOTO OUTSIDE THE DUBAI MALL

And, no, this isn't the Emirates catering facility anymore. It's a photo I took outside the Dubai Mall that I'm rather proud of. My camera lens fogged up because of the drastic change in temperature between the cold air-conditioning inside the Dubai Mall and the searing heat outside. But I took photos anyway, and when they came out, they all looked like I had used a special lens -- resulting in a dreamy feeling.


Good night from somewhere pretty dreamy that I'll blog about a couple of days from now.

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1 comment:

  1. These meals remind me of the NYC catering service I have encountered in a friend's debut party. It makes me more excited to visit Dubai.

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