Aviation and cuisine go hand in hand for Hugo Pantano, executive chef for LATAM Airlines Group. Pantano has more than 20 years’ experience in the airline catering industry, from cost and production planning to food safety and lounge service strategies. Before moving on board, he spent six years, from 2001 to 2007, as executive chef and head of production for Gate Gourmet in Santiago, Chile, working with international chefs and designing menus for airlines and other local businesses.
Today Pantano helms the catering for all of LAN Airlines’ and TAM Airlines’ classes of service, as well as designs the food and beverage menus for lounges located in Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Miami, Santiago and São Paulo. With the goal of creating a unified onboard dining experience, Pantano works closely with Hector Vergara, Latin America’s only master sommelier, to pair the wine selections with the meals served in the Premium Business Class cabin. As executive chef, Pantano heads LAN’s Chef Panel, consisting of chefs from Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, in charge of designing and implementing the airline’s culinary strategy.
Pantano is featured in Recipes That Conquer the World, published by The BUE Trainers, one of the most prestigious culinary schools in Buenos Aires, for the institution’s 20th anniversary. Clearly Pantano has the recipes to conquer the friendly skies.
What three go-to ingredients are always in your home kitchen?
It’s difficult to select three, as it depends on the time and the season. Three classic, go-to ingredients year-round are olive oil, sea salt and eggs — you can even whip something together with just these three ingredients. For baking, I would say chocolate, dulce de leche and vanilla extract.
What’s your favorite season for cooking, and why?
All seasons are different, especially in Chile and Argentina, which have distinct seasons. If I had to choose, summer. Summer is the season that allows you to cook outdoors on the grill using charcoal or firewood. All you have to do is find the right spot and invite some friends.
Aside from your current position, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?
Tough question! I’m already in the best job I’ve ever had, as I have the ability to travel, discover cities and restaurants around the world and immerse myself in different cultures and languages. It is the cultural richness that surrounds cuisine in Latin America and the rest of the world that motivates me every day.
What’s the first meal you ever cooked?
My childhood was about the art of baking. My uncle had a bakery in Buenos Aires, so on the weekends I would go there to make breads, pastries and croissants. My passion for working with dough continued as I began preparing fresh pasta, like my grandmother, from whom I developed the same passion. But technically speaking, the first thing I actually cooked was quiche Lorraine. I was fascinated by it, so I made it for my family.
What are your first thoughts when you hear “farm-to-table”?
Return to our roots and recover quality products from local producers — this favors local producers and artisans, ensuring the best possible product for cooking. This is a comprehensive and powerful approach, as seasonal products offer quality and freshness and are free of preservatives and pesticides. This is a rising concept where we increasingly see families cultivating their own produce in small spaces like their homes. In my home, I grow all types of herbs, peppers, tomatoes and more.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Panama City with us.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Boca Raton Resort & Club recently announced a new partnership with Major Food Groups, creating one of the best culinary destinations in the United States. Major Food Groups is the company behind some of the hottest restaurants, including Carbone, The Grill and Parm. This partnership will launch multiple dining concepts as part of the resort's $150 million transformation.
The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”
The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.
Pride Month is in full swing and to celebrate the community, make a colorful cocktail everyone will enjoy. These colorful ingredients will get the party started during Pride or any time of the year. Start this recipe the night before to create the rainbow ice cubes.
Wyndham’s Stay Two Nights, Earn a Free Night promotion allows Wyndham Rewards to earn up to three free nights. Members who book directly and stay two consecutive nights or more can earn 6,500 bonus points upon completion of the stay. Bonus points, combined with the minimum 1,000 base points earned on qualified stays, equals a free night in the form of 7,500 points. Members can take advantage of this promotion up to three times for a total of three free nights. Book by Sept. 2, for travel through Sept. 6.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Hotel San Luis Obispo partners with Harmony Cellars for the SLO in Harmony offer. The offer includes 15 percent off a two-night stay Sunday–Thursday, a complimentary wine tasting for two at Harmony Cellars, club member discounts at the winery for the day and the opportunity to explore the town of Harmony, California, population of 18 and located 30 miles from San Luis Obispo. Book online.