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American Airlines Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Chefs' Conclave

For 20 years, American Airlines has been dishing up palate-pleasing fare for customers with the help of its Chefs' Conclave. Determined to remove the stigma attached to airline food, in 1988 American became the first airline to enlist the expertise of prominent and well-respected chefs to help craft the direction of its inflight food service.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080626/LATH528)

Today, with the guidance and talent of the Chefs' Conclave members Nancy Brussat of Convito Cafe & Market, Dean Fearing of Fearing's, and Stephan Pyles of Stephan Pyles, the American Airlines food and beverage program continues to delight.

"It has been a real pleasure working with the members of our Chefs' Conclave to develop menus exclusively for the dining enjoyment of American's customers," said John Tiliacos, American's Managing Director - Onboard Products. "With the help of our Chefs' Conclave, our in-flight cuisine truly reflects the culinary trends from restaurants nationwide."

From the beginning, the chefs were instrumental in developing American's food philosophy. Their advice -- balance menus toward healthy, lighter fare, and do only what can be done well in-flight.

"There are many things to consider when developing a dish to be eaten at 35,000 feet. It requires an understanding of dishes that can translate well to the large catering kitchens, dishes that can be reheated to optimum taste in airplane galley kitchens, and dishes that reflect both national and international flavors," said Chef Brussat. "I always consider simplicity first, just as I do when developing dishes for my market customers to take home and reheat."

With three members, the Chefs' Conclave brings together a broad range of invaluable expertise and culinary interests, while keeping the group small enough to remain manageable and involved in American's menu design process. Each chef's personal touch is evident within the items they design for American Airlines.

"It has been a pleasure working with American Airlines for the past 20 years, sharing some of my favorite dishes and introducing American's customers to a variety of flavors that we enjoy using here in Dallas," said Chef Fearing.

Recently, American Airlines implemented an initiative to provide variety within its First and Business Class cabins. American consistently refreshes its selections by rotating various menus throughout the year.

"Just as in my restaurants, variety and quality are paramount to American's premium class customers," said Chef Pyles. "Over the past 20 years, I've had the great pleasure to participate in a number of menu development workshops to create exciting new culinary options by incorporating local flavors and spices of the region. I look forward to working with American Airlines for another 20 years."

About American Airlines

American Airlines is the world's largest airline. American, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® airlines serve 250 cities in over 40 countries with more than 4,000 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 1,000 aircraft. American's award-winning Web site, AA.com, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in over 140 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, the AmericanConnection® airlines, AA.com, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are registered trademarks of American Airlines, Inc.

About Nancy Brussat

A member of the American Airlines Chefs' Conclave since 1989, Nancy Brussat is a pioneer in Chicago's gourmet food industry. As the proprietor of award-winning food and wine markets and bistro Convito Cafe & Market, newly named after the merger of Betise Cafe and Convito Italiano, Brussat delights guests with her famous onion soup gratinee, tuscan white bean soup and signature pasta dishes. Frequent trips to Italy and France, to explore the regional wines, cuisine and character of the two countries created Brussat's enchantment with Italian and French cuisine.

About Dean Fearing

The creator of "Elevated American Cuisine - Bold Flavors, No Borders" with his namesake restaurant Fearing's, chef/partner Fearing has developed one of the hottest restaurant concepts across the country. Named "Restaurant of the Year" and "Table of the Year" by Esquire Magazine shortly after opening in 2007 and then receiving continued praise from The New York Times, Newsweek, Texas Monthly, among others, and a James Beard Foundation nomination for "Best New Restaurant," Fearing's has created quite a buzz with distinct dining venues, a spectacular farm-to-market seasonal menu, and personal presence of Fearing himself.

The exuberant, ever-friendly Dean Fearing was winner of the James Beard Foundation Restaurant Award for "Best Chef in the Southwest" and has been with American Airlines' Chefs' Conclave for 20 years.

About Stephan Pyles

A fifth generation Texan and pioneer of New American Cuisine, Chef Stephan Pyles has created 14 restaurants over the past 22 years. Pyles has been consulting with American Airlines since the Chefs' Conclave inception in 1988.

Pyles was the first Texan inducted into The James Beard Foundation's "Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America" and Bon Appetit has credited him with "almost single-handedly changing the cooking scene in Texas." In 2006, Esquire named Pyles "Chef of the Year" and included the restaurant, Stephan Pyles, in their list of "Best New Restaurants." The February 2007 issue of Texas Monthly named Chef Pyles newest restaurant, Stephan Pyles, "Texas's Best New Restaurant of 2006."

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SOURCE: American Airlines

CONTACT: Charley Wilson, Corporate Communications of American Airlines,
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