Friday, May 9, 2014

As Northwest Airlines In-Flight Food Service Manager, Al Carriveau Knew How to "Dish"


I am sad to report that Al Carriveau passed away May 3.  Al was a retired 38-year employee of NWA, former board member of Wings Financial and at the time of his death, still serving as a Director for the NWA History Centre, which he co-founded in 2002.
Third Anniversary of the NWAHC in 2005
Directors John Peterson, Pete Patzke,  Jerry Nielsen and Al Carriveau; in the
middle is Geoff Jones, author of Northwest Airlines, the First 80 Years 

You Dined the Best when you Flew Northwest! Al traveled the world for Northwest, setting up airline food service in far-flung destinations.  "Northwest had flight kitchens where meals were prepared from scratch in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Billings, Seattle, Anchorage and Tokyo," Al recalled. We also operated bars and restaurants in several airports."

Visitors to the History Centre may peruse a 238-page food service manual that Northwest used during Al's era when Northwest passengers actually complimented servers after the meal.  Affectionately nicknamed the "Bullwinkel Book", after a vice president of the airline, you can scan almost 500 recipes in twelve food categories.

Some tempting offerings include Veal Scallopine with Marsala wine, "Garden of Eden Pie," and Swedish Cardamon Bread.  My all time favorite was, of course, the Fujiyama hors d'euvres tray, which I served on the Boeing B-377 Stratocruiser with champagne and scented Oshibori Towels before the prime rib dinner in the 1950s.
Fujiyama Tray made by Anne and her son Rick for her book launch at the NWAHC
Al said it was "pretty close to the original," high praise, I felt.
Al and Anne speaking at the book launch of Fuiyama Trays & Oshibori Towels in 2009
Al welcomed me warmly in 2009 when I became a Director at the NWAHC.  He was a gentleman who had vast knowledge of our dear departed airline and it's people. I loved his stories, his ideas, and especially the twinkle in his eye.  I will miss him.

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