Celebrity jet chefs cook for the style-high club
For those who fly in style, there's a new way to make sure they wine and dine in style.
Jet Chefs is a new program from the private aviation company Smart Jets, which is trying to differentiate its service by offering clients something more, something you won't find flying commercial.
"Individuals in the top 1 percent have a net worth of over $30 million, so this is our target consumer," said Sergey Petrossov, co-founder and CEO. "These individuals are willing to pay for a quality experience, they are willing to overpay to have what they want."
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Petrossov said he expects people chartering private jets want high-caliber meals to enjoy on their flight or at their destination. So he's creating the Jet Chefs program as a way for clients to order exclusive meals for their exclusive flights.
Mile High Meals or When You Land
Here's how Jet Chefs will work. When a client books a charter plane through Smart Jets, they can use an app to customize the type of meal they want, where they want it, and how much they're willing to spend. Based on what's requested, Jet Chefs will go to work creating a high-end meal to take on the flight or at the destination.
You want to spend $600 for a special seafood lunch from an exclusive restaurant in San Francisco? Jet Chefs said it will be waiting for you when you get on board.
You want to spend $3,000 on a catered meal from a celebrity chef when you land in Miami? Consider it done.
"If they want somebody [chef], they are going to have that somebody. There are some people who just want what they want and they are going to have it. That is why we have to work with a network of celebrity chefs and network of restaurants where the celebrity chefs are located."
The price will depend on what's ordered, the chef or restaurant that's requested, and how much those flying are willing to pay.
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"If they want something specific or custom order, of course those are handled on a case by case basis," Petrossov said.
'Ace of Cakes' is on board
Duff Goldman, the pastry chef out of Baltimore who stars on the Food Network's "Ace of Cakes," is an ambassador for Jet Chefs and will be one of the celebrity chefs making his services available, for the right price.
"I think the demand for this is huge," said Goldman. "People are asking us all the time, 'Can you make us a cake? Can you make us a basket of baked goods? Or can you and some of your chef friends make us some food to bring with us?' You know most of the time when you get on a jet, you are getting a warmed boxed lunch, you are not getting anything fantastic."
But why would Goldman, or any other celebrity chef who has established themselves want to spend extra time and effort catering special order meals for charter jet customers?
The answer: money and exposure.
Goldman noted the Jet Chefs program has the potential to be another revenue stream for well-known chefs and the restaurants the own. Think of it as another way to cater a special meal.
"Some of my cakes cost $150. Some of my cakes cost $2,000. You know it just depends on what people are looking for," Goldman said. "This is one aspect of what I do, and it is just a whole other level of people I can bring cakes to."
Small meals for small spaces
For those who charter private jets, it's well-known that flying in style is often filled with trade-offs. Yes, a private jet means you can fly in comfort and go when it works best for your schedule, away from crowds of a commercial airplane. On the flip side, meals on private jets are hit and miss. One factor is the limited space inside many chartered planes.
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Goldman and Petrossov noted that top-shelf meals on the go don't require a big spread.
"Because we are presenting in a confined space, it just means that we have to get creative," said Goldman. "We might have to get really Japanese and present in a bento box. You can make delicious food and put it in a bento box."
Whether or not Jet Chefs soars with charter jet customers will ultimately come down to whether or not those who fly exclusively are willing to pay for something truly exclusive. Yes, those who have private jets have deeper pockets, but whether they're willing to dig deeper for what they eat on their flights remains to be seen.
—By CNBC's Phil LeBeau; Follow him on Twitter: @Lebeaucarnews