US airline Pan Am was hailed as the “glitz and glamour” of the airline industry during its operational years. Part of this allure was the service on board, with meals said to rival “the fanciest French restaurant”.
Cabin crew were not only trained in the appropriate way to serve meals, they also had to cook much of the food fresh onboard.
However, things did not always run so smoothly when trying to whip up a meal 30,000 feet in the air.
As part of the preparation for his new book Food and Aviation in the Twentieth Century: The Pan American Ideal, Dr Bryce Evans, associate professor in History at Liverpool Hope University spoke with a number of former flight attendants.
One of them recounted a particularly stressful incident in the galley which left her somewhat red-cheeked.
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Helen Davey, a flight attendant between 1965 and 1986, revealed how cooking hundreds of eggs to order proved tricky during flights hit by turbulence.
Speaking to Dr Evans, she said: “Bouncing up and down, I was determined to cook those stupid eggs perfectly, against all odds.
“Somehow, my fellow flight attendants and I got into a ‘zone’ and we managed, row after row, to deliver beautiful, fluffy scrambled eggs and sausages.
“Each dish was topped off by one bright green sprig of parsley, otherwise known as ‘Pan Am roses,’ because no meal was considered complete without it.