This Airline Only Flies Between NYC, France, and Italy, and Serves Michelin-Starred Food

La Compagnie partners with French chefs for its world-class menus and only pours organic wines.

<p>Courtesy of La Compagnie</p>

Courtesy of La Compagnie

As the saying goes, it's not about the destination but about the journey — especially for air travel. 

Some airlines are going above and beyond to offer passengers five-star amenities and memorable experiences 35,000 feet above ground. And that includes having a stellar dining program with chef-prepared meals and sommelier-selected wines. This year, our panel of food and travel experts selected La Compagnie, the French air carrier offering only business class seats, as the airline to experience.

Offering one-of-a-kind culinary experiences has always been a focus of La Compagnie, which was founded in 2014 and currently runs regular flights from New York to Paris and Milan, with seasonal routes to Nice. Flying on one of the airline's Airbus A321neo planes means enjoying unlimited WiFi service, relaxing on a fully reclining seat, and enjoying a multi-course gourmet meal, often created by Michelin-starred chefs as part of the airline's Chefs & Co. program, which is now in its seventh year. As part of it, La Compagnie and its culinary consultant, chef Christophe Langrée, partner with exemplary chefs to create seasonal dishes to complement the airline's existing menus.

Related: Visit the World’s Only Airport With a Brewery and a Michelin-Starred Restaurant

Last September, for example, chef Stephanie Le Quellec of two-Michelin-starred La Scène in Paris, incorporated two of her signature dishes to La Compagnie's menu: blue lobster with toasted buckwheat and vanilla tahitensis, and coffee-infused confit veal with porcini mushroom ravioli.

In April, Racine alum chef Frédéric Duca, who now heads Parisian hot spot Rooster, will give passengers a taste of his Mediterranean roots (he's from Marseille) with marinated salmon goujonnettes with espelette pepper quenelles, peas, and tarragon mayonnaise. In time for the Paris Olympics, La Compagnie will add a new sweet treat by French pastry chef extraordinaire Yann Couvreur.

Currently, Europe-bound travelers are treated to an aperitif as soon as they board their flight, followed by a light dinner of sweet potato soup, a choice of salad with salmon or chicken confit, a cheese plate, and a decadent dessert of cherry streusel tart. Pre-arrival breakfast includes a spinach and provolone cheese omelet or maple pecan pudding. And those traveling to New York from Milan and Paris start their journey with a four-course lunch featuring delicacies such as sautéed duck with endives and gingerbread or roasted quail with risotto and foie gras, as well as a selection of snacks like sweet tartlets and sandwiches.

The airline's wine program has been well received for exclusively offering 100% organic wines. In 2020, La Compagnie teamed up with two of France's most respected wine critics, Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve of Bettane+Desseauve, who curate monthly wine lists to pair with the food. The duo highlights up-and-coming, independent, and established French organic wine growers to encourage sustainable practices and introduce passengers to quality natural wines.

In an act of inclusivity, La Compagnie's latest partnership targets alcohol-free travelers. In December, the airline announced that it would start offering nonalcoholic sparkling wine by French Bloom on all of its transatlantic flights between New York and Europe. French Bloom is known for producing refreshing sparkling blanc and rosé wines from organic grapes with 0% alcohol.

And the airline doesn't stop there. While most airlines offer onboard entertainment in the form of movies, TV shows, and podcasts, La Compagnie plans monthly pop-up events like Champagne and cheese tastings or book signings. So, yes, you can expect your next journey to be just as memorable as your destination.

Global Tastemakers is a celebration of the best culinary destinations in the U.S. and abroad. We asked more than 180 food and travel journalists to vote on their favorites, including restaurants and bars, cities, hotels, airports, airlines, and cruises. We then entrusted those results to an expert panel of judges to determine each category’s winners. In many categories, we’ve included a Plus One, hand-selected by our expert panel, to shout out more culinary destinations we don’t want our readers to miss. See all the winners at

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