VIRGIN AMERICA UNVEILS NEW ONBOARD MENU AND CELEBRATES SUSTAINABLE AND LOCAL CUISINE AT ITS NEW TERMINAL 2 HOME
Noted for its own award-Winning In-flight Menu, Virgin America Welcomes Delicious, Sustainable and Local Food Concessions at its San Francisco Home

San Francisco – April 8, 2011 – Virgin America, the California-based airline known for its fresh, award–winning in–flight cuisine, today launches its spring in-flight menu and joins with San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to celebrate the food at its new home at San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2 (T2). Virgin America is an anchor tenant at SFO’s new T2, which aims to be one of the most sustainable airport terminals in the world.  Part of SFO’s sustainability efforts included recruiting Slow Food® vendors that serve local and sustainably–sourced cuisine.  Today the airline announces the rollout of its new spring onboard menu in conjunction with the unveiling of new vendors at SFO which include restaurants from Food Network Host and Bay Area-based chef Tyler Florence and Iron Chef Cat Cora.

The food purveyors and restaurants in SFO’s next generation Terminal 2 (T2) fire up the ovens and display their wares today for a “Taste of T2” – a special event highlighting the delicious cuisine options that will be available to passengers traveling through SFO.  Inspired by San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building, T2 offers a beautiful food marketplace and retail street featuring the best of the Bay Area’s retailers and restaurants offering locally-sourced, organic menu items.  T2 will feature notable local establishments such as Andalé, Napa Valley Farms, Vino Volo, Peets Coffee & Tea and The Plant Café Organic. As part of SFO’s sustainability efforts, all T2 vendors are also are required to use compostable utensils and containers.

Since its launch, Virgin America has aimed to serve local and sustainable cuisine onboard.   The airline’s menu helped it capture the “Best Domestic Airline for Food” award in Travel + Leisure 2009 World’s Best Awards.

Virgin America’s menus are crafted using an assortment of sustainable and fresh ingredients, including local fruits and vegetables, premium meats and artisan breads

The new Main Cabin and Main Cabin Select menus are available “on-demand” to Virgin America flyers via the airline’s innovative touch-screen seatback entertainment platform.   The Red ™ In–Flight Entertainment system allows travelers to order a variety of cocktails, snacks and meals right from their seatback touch-screen any time during a flight.  Virgin America is the only airline in the U.S. with a touch-screen seatback menu that enables “anytime” ordering during a flight. 

The latest menu is available through June 2011. Selections featured will vary by route, but include:

First Class Breakfast (all First Class meals are complimentary)

  • Fresh Tropical Fruit: Fresh hand cut tropical fruits of mango, papaya, kiwi, pineapple, and fresh berries all tossed with passion fruit puree and topped with toasted coconut.
  • Herb Egg Quesadilla with Chorizo: Fresh grilled southwest flatbread filled with a cage free egg  and herb omelet, poblano chilies, chorizo sausage, tomatillo puree, sour cream, Monterey jack cheese, sweet balsamic onions and maple roasted sweet potatoes served with an heirloom tomato pico salad, roasted pumpkin seeds and cotija cheese.
  • Fresh Tropical Fruit with Yogurt, Granola: Fresh cut pineapple, mango, sliced kiwi, orange and grapefruitsections, papaya, green grapes and fresh berries with Greek–style yogurt garnished with pomegranate, served with vanilla scented nut granola with low fat milk.
  • Mini Tea Sandwich, Fruit & Cheesecake: Miniature vegetable Rueben sandwich and vegetable Greek pitaserved with dolmas, dried fruit, fresh berries, grilled vegetables and fresh baked raspberry cheesecake.
  • Grapefruit Brulee: Fresh juicy pink grapefruit topped with caramelized sugar served with fresh raspberries.

First Class Appetizers and Entrees:

  • Exotic Lettuce Bundle: Fresh exotic salad greens rolled in a bundle with fresh cucumber, served with a spring peach vinaigrette and teardrop tomatoes.
  • Lemongrass Chicken: Fresh breast of chicken, marinated in lemongrass, ginger, cilantro and tamari, served on a red quinoa pilaf with almonds, and ginger. Served with a side of broccolini, sugar snap peas and peppers on a thai leaf with a coconut curry sauce.
  • Marinated Beet Citrus Salad: Roasted yellow and red beet salad, tossed with Mache lettuce, orange segments, capers, Belgium endive and crispy chickpeas, served with whole grain mustard vinaigrette.

First Class Desserts:

  • Apple & Fig Compote with Bacon Toffee: Compote of figs and apples served with white chocolate mousse and smoked bacon toffee.
  • Chocolate Whiskey Cheesecake: Layered vanilla and dark chocolate and whiskey cheesecake with a graham cracker crust and garnished with a fresh berry.
  • Thai Coconut Tapioca: Light and fluffy tapioca infused with fresh Thai basil, lemongrass and coconut milk, topped with lightly spiced fresh mangos.

In Main Cabin and Main Cabin Select, guests can select their meal and snack options at the touch of a button using the Red system’s interactive seatback entertainment platform at any time during their flight.  The on-demand ordering system is only offered by Virgin America and is part of the airline’s standard, award-winning service model.  Prices for the new Main Cabin seasonal menu options range from $5-9, and are complimentary in Main Cabin Select.  These include:

  • 18 Rabbits Granola with Fruit, Milk and Yogurt:  Toasty 18 Rabbits granola served with fresh tropical fruit and low fat fruit yogurt.
  • Umpqua Oats: A great kick start to the day or an anytime snack, Umpqua Oats are all natural and delicious withnuts, fruit and a dash of brown sugar.
  • Spanish Tuna Salad Sandwich: Filet of albacore tuna tossed with Spanish olives, artichokes, capers, paquillo peppers, fresh basil, oregano and mayonnaise served on traditional New England anadama bread (wheat withmolasses) with crispy lettuce and ripe roma tomatoes.  Served with a Ghirardelli chocolate.
  • Chipotle Chicken Hand Roll: Southwestern flavored tortilla filled with chipotle marinated chicken strips, adobo cheese spread, frisse lettuce, bell peppers and fresh cilantro rolled with smokey cabbage slaw and a Ghirardelli chocolate for dessert.
  • Fruit & Cheese Selection: Camembert, white cheddar, Swiss, Muenster and herb goat cheese served with red seedless grapes, dried fruit and nuts and rustic crostini crackers.
  • Vegetable Cobb Salad: Mixed baby lettuce, tomatoes, European cucumbers, ripe olives, broccoli, chickpeas, andcorn kernels. Served with olive oil vinaigrette

In addition to the fresh offerings onboard, Virgin America flights offer prepared meal boxes in four  varieties:

  • Comfort (Vegetarian): Mott’s applesauce, Madi K’s blend of almonds, raisins and chocolate, Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies, a Clif Organic Energy Bar, Sun butter, Late July Organic Crackers and Dickenson’s strawberry preserves.
  • Hearty:  Old Wisconsin beef salami, Late July Organic Crackers, Oakfield Farms cheddar cheese, Snyder’s mini pretzels, Welch’s fruit snacks, and Thin Addictives Cranberry Almond cookies.
  • Protein:  Bumble Bee lemon pepper tuna, Athenos whole wheat bagel chips, Wild Garden sundried tomato hummus, Partners crackers, Fisher mixed nuts, Ocean Spray Craisins and a Toblerone chocolate.
  • Jetset Kid Pack: Coming in May, this fun children’s box contains Giddy Strawberry Dip’ems Snacks, Ritz Peanut Butter Crackers, Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Goldfish , Fruit By The Foot, Dolphin Ear buds and Glide Puzzle.

Each meal box is available for $7. Virgin America also offers a wide selection of cocktails and snacks on-demand including a special selection of ‘Cocktails with Altitude’ which were created by Virgin America’s in-flight teammates. Virgin America also recently added Blue Moon Beer to its drink selection, as well as San Francisco’s very own Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate.  Snacks include offerings such as 479 Popcorn Fleur Del Sel Carmel, Jelly Belly Jelly Beans Fruit Bowl mix and Popchips and are available for $3-4.

Culinary offerings in T2 will include:

Napa Farms Market: Napa Farms Market is a celebration of locally grown and produced artisan foods and wines.  It celebrates the Bay Area’s freshest culinary traditions by bringing such well-known artisan brands as Equator Coffee, Three Twins Ice Cream, Acme Bread, Cowgirl Creamery Cheese, Kara’s Cupcakes, Mighty Leaf Tea, Frog Hollow Farms produce, Napa Valley Vintner’s Association wines and Tyler Florence’s Rotisserie of Napa together in one emporium. Additionally, San Francisco-based Vino Volo wine bar, which opened its first location in 2005, will adjoin Napa Farms Market. The market, an extension of the Bay Area’s innovative food community, lets travelers create their own picnics-to-go, find special gifts to bring home a culinary memory of San Francisco or relax over a fine glass of wine. Napa Farms Market has been developed and will be operated by Tastes on the Fly, LLC.

Tyler Florence’s Rotisserie of Napa: In 2010, Chef Tyler Florence opened his 2nd  Bay Area location, Rotisserie & Wine in Napa, CA. It features uncomplicated recipes, bright flavors and fresh plates of food; a place where great product meets tried-and-true-techniques. The inspiration for the menu is taken from the Southern dining concept of “meet and three” – a selection of meat and 3 sides for a meal. The Terminal 2 outpost of Rotisserie will be part of Napa Farms Market.

Lark Creek Grill: Lark Creek Grill, the 14th restaurant in the Lark Creek Restaurant Group, will offer many Lark Creek classic dishes and a wide-ranging menu to please all guests with choices from garden-fresh sandwiches to sustainable seafood to sizzling steaks. The offerings are designed with the airport passenger in mind – fresh, healthy and portion-appropriate. It will feature an all-American wine list and full bar, and service will be cognizant of the traveler’s need for speed without feeling rushed. In addition to table service for approximately 120 guests, Lark Creek Grill offers takeaway options. Lark Creek Grill has been developed and will be operated by Tastes on the Fly, LLC.

Vino Volo: Vino Volo revolutionized the airport wine experience by developing comfortable post-security retreats for travelers combining a cozy wine lounge, restaurant and boutique wine shop. They offer wines by the glass, in tasting flights and by the bottle. In SFO, their home airport, they will offer a rotating menu of 22-24 wines grouped by tasting flights. The Vino Volo wine bar will be a part of Napa Farms Market.

Kara’s Cupcakes: Kara’s offers the most mouth-watering cupcakes in San Francisco. Founded by executive pastry chef, Kara Lind, Kara’s Cupcakes lovingly creates each batch of cupcakes by hand every day, using only the finest ingredients. Their ingredients are sourced from local producers and whenever possible are sustainable and organic. Kara’s Cupcakes will be offered as part of Napa Farms Market.

Equator Estate Coffee & Teas: a successful women-owned company dedicated to quality, environmental sustainability and social responsibility. They produce distinctive organic coffees and teas from growers who practice responsible land stewardship and bio-friendly farming techniques. Equator Coffees and Teas have won over some of the countries best chefs including Thomas Keller, Traci des Jardins and Elizabeth Falkner. In 2009, Equator Coffee was named Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine. Their outpost in Napa Farms Market is their first retail café and will offer the more time-consuming pour-over coffee.

Cowgirl Creamery: Sue Conley and Peggy Smith started Cowgirl Creamery in Pt. Reyes Station in 1997 in a small barn that was converted into a small plant for hand-crafted cheeses. Today, they continue to make a small collection of artisan, environmentally responsible cheeses. They are distributed to over 60 of America and Europes’s most prized producers as well as retail outlet in the San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace. Their cheeses will be offered in Napa Farms Market.

Acme Bread: Founded by Steve and Suzie Sullivan in 1983 to bake bread for restaurants and stores who wanted to offer better bread than was generally available on the wholesale market at the time, Acme has grown to become the supplier of dozens of Bay Area restaurants including Chez Panisse and scores of grocery stores and farmers markets. Acme’s quintessential Bay Area Breads will be offered within Napa Farms Market.

Cat Cora: The Cat Cora concept is a sophisticated culinary experience that focuses on using fresh and organic ingredients within its creation of innovative tapas plates and truly groundbreaking cocktails. The lounge has a strong emphasis on using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. With its gorgeous views of the Bay Area hills, travelers will be mesmerized by the marriage of design, form, function and delicious culinary offerings.

The Plant Café Organic: The fourth restaurant in the team’s portfolio, The Plant Café Organic will offer T2 passengers delicious, fresh, wholesome dishes and freshly made juices – all organic and at affordable prices. The Plant’s menu is almost entirely organic and relies heavily on what is available from local farms, dairies, and ranches. The signature Plant Burger, made with lentils, mushrooms, bulgur, beets and cashews, garnished with avocado, roasted onions, aioli and cheese, is "cooked by solar power.”

Pinkberry: Founded in West Hollywood in 2005, Pinkberry offers a refreshing new take on the old idea. Gluten free and made from fat free milk, Pinkberry produces uniquely flavored frozen yogurt and makes it the foundation of its fresh menu. It is the perfect nutritious snack, wholesome dessert or light meal. Pinkberry was rated the #1 Frozen Yogurt concept by Zagat in 2009 and is considered one of the hottest yogurt concepts in the world.

Peet’s Coffee: Founded in 1966 in Berkeley, California, this specialty coffee roaster and retailer has a fiercely loyal and devoted following known as Peetniks.  In the spirit for T2, Peet’s will brew custom-cup coffee, will serve only fair trade and organic coffees.

Opening April 14, 2011, T2 aims to become the first LEED® Gold-certified terminal in the country and will serve as the home base of operations for Virgin America, the only California-based airline. Known for its inventive design and sustainable best practices, Virgin America informed the T2 design process from its earliest stages.  T2 offers features that mirror Virgin America’s own unique flight service, including a “Recompose” lounge that acts as a soothing oasis for flyers post-security, beautiful living-room like gate areas, the best in local and organic dining, elevated laptop work tables with outlets and WiFi and the airline’s distinctive cabin “moodlighting” featured at its T2 ticket counters and gates. Earlier in the week, Virgin America celebrated the unveiling of its sleek and sustainable new home by teaming up with sister company Virgin Galactic to welcome two historic first flights to T2.  Photos of the new T2 and air-to-air videos of the special flights and inaugural landings of Virgin America’s Airbus A320 ‘My Other Ride is a Spaceship’ alongside Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo are available at: http://www.virginamerica.com/vx/sfo-t2

With outstanding service and beautifully designed new planes, Virgin America has captured a loyal guest following and experienced significant growth since its launch. Virgin America offers over 100 flights a day and flies to: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas Fort-Worth , Los Cabos, Cancun, Mexico and beginning May 25 – Chicago.

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Media Contact: Katie Baynes (650) 274-9242/ katie.baynes@virginamerica.com

EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S. owned, controlled and operated airline.  It is an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.

About Virgin America: Headquartered in California and launched in August 2007, Virgin America employs over 1700 people. The airline’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport.  Virgin America offers in-flight internet service on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the North American skies via the Red™ platform.  In just over three years flying, Virgin America was named “Best Domestic Airline” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008, 2009 & 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 World’s Best Awards.  For photos and more: www.virginamerica.com

About SFO
SFO (www.flysfo.com) provides nonstop service to more than 65 US cities on 21 domestic airlines and to 32 international points on 27 international carriers.  SFO offers twice as many non-stop flights to the New York area than all other Bay Area airports combined – making SFO the Bay Area’s Airport of Choice. SFO was voted “North America’s Best Airport” in 2008 by passengers for its outstanding customer service and amenities.