| 19.5°C Dublin

Clodagh takes tastes test at 25,000 feet to land delicious Aer Lingus deal

It was a case of up, up and gourmet for Clodagh McKenna.

The celebrity chef has revamped Aer Lingus' in-flight menu and had to put all her sandwiches and scones through a series of sky-high tests before they got the nod of approval.

Clodagh (below) and a team of tasters flew to 26,000 feet into the air to sample every item and ensure they're serving up top notch nosh.

"The taste of food changes dramatically when you're on board a plane," Clodagh told The Herald. "It's a mixture of the altitude and being in the cabin.

"It affects taste buds – you have to make the flavours stronger. We had to go up a few times to make sure it was perfect. It's a big menu and we needed a variety of people to taste it."

Clodagh says the pastrami and pickle sandwich was the hardest item on the menu to perfect.

She said: "I think we ended up changing it 25 times. We had to make sure the balance of flavours was just right.

"But now we've got it – it's a real New Yorker-style sandwich!"

The 37-year-old star regularly travels across the pond to New York to film for The Food Network.


She said: "I travel a lot, back and forth to the States and so on. So I was delighted to get involved in this project because I've eaten a lot of airline food.

"I wanted to bring Irish produce onboard so we have Gubeen cheese, Ballymaloe relish, oatcakes from the north of Ireland, Carroll's cooked ham.

"And there are freshly baked scones on each flight every day. Not made in a factory – hand made scones which I think everyone will really like."

Earlier this year, Clodagh launched her new restaurant Clodagh's Kitchen in Blackrock.

The eaterie has been a hit with yummy mummies and Ireland's socialites; the Seoige sisters pop in for brunch and Lorraine Keane and her family love the Sunday roast.

Clodagh said: "Things are going really well with the restaurant.

"It will be busy coming to Christmas but that's a good thing."