By REGINA G. POSADAS
Burger-loving biyaheros who like their airplane fare tasty and red-hot, rejoice! Air Asia and Santan, together with (RED), have just unveiled an exceptional in-flight meal that’s not only flavorful, filling, and needs no utensils, but also supports AIDS-fighting programs in the ASEAN region as well.
Yes, the Inspi(RED) Burger is all that. Created with utmost love and care by (RED) chef ambassador Hong Thaimee, a Thai chef based in New York, it features a tender, juicy chicken patty infused with fish sauce, Kaffir lime leaves, and lemongrass, topped with zesty nam prik noom mayo (green chili mayonnaise), shredded purple cabbage, seedless tomatoes, and red onions on beetroot-flavored brioche buns. And you can savor every bite of this delectable burger using your hands.
It’s a genuine East-meets-West offering, spurred by Chef Hong’s desire to combine the best of both worlds—Thai flavors and the classic all-American burger—on top of making a meal that would be easy for airline passengers to relish.
Ever earnest in promoting Thai cuisine, she is particularly thrilled that through this singular sandwich, she can introduce the flavors of her hometown Chiang Mai, best exemplified by the upgraded patty, distinctive sauce, and reddish buns, to the eight million guests who fly with Air Asia monthly.
More impressively, the Inspi(RED) Burger promotes helping and giving and increases awareness to the AIDS fight while satisfying appetites. Ten percent of sales from each burger will go to the Global Fund to support HIV/AIDS testing, counseling, treatment, and prevention programs in the ASEAN region. It’s a thoughtful reminder that all of us can take part in and contribute to improving lives and making the world a better place, even through ordinary activities like eating and traveling.
During the launch of the Inspi(RED) Burger at Escape Bangkok, The EmQuartier in Bangkok, Thailand, Air Asia group head of brand Rudy Khaw expressed his excitement and delight over the airline’s latest Santan meal and working with Chef Hong. She described her collaboration with Air Asia as a “perfect match made in heaven,” especially since Chef Hong is Thai, knows the region, and was already part of the culinary campaign “Eat (RED) Save Lives” before she cooked up the pioneering red burger.
To get maximum satisfaction from your Inspi(RED) Burger, make sure to:
• Order before you fly.
Guests who pre-book their Santan meals on airasia.com (via My Bookings) are rewarded with cheaper-than-airport prices, a wider variety of meals, and priority meal delivery on board.
• Pair it with a fizzy drink.
Chef Hong believes that ideally, when you’re on the ground and not flying, the burger is best consumed with an ice-cold beer. Since alcoholic drinks might not be allowed in the air and on all flights, her suggestion is to just choose a drink with fizz to round out the spicy sandwich.
• Spread the word.
Anyone can join the fight against AIDS and every donation counts. Besides ordering the Inspi(RED) Burger, you can purchase a cap, an aircraft model, and other collectibles from the special line of cobranded Air Asia and (RED) in-flight merchandise. For each item sold, $2 will be donated to the Global Fund.
“I’m passionate about living well,” said Chef Hong. “It’s wonderful to be able to serve so many people, but it’s much more wonderful and beautiful that we, together, can make a change in this world.”