MANILA - Philippine Airlines said it has appointed Chef Vallerie Castillo-Archer as its new head of Catering Operations who is seen to usher innovation and positive change.
Castillo-Archer was the first female and first Filipino-American executive chef of iconic Hollywood restaurant Yamashiro, located in Los Angeles, California, the flag carrier said in a statement.
PAL said her areas of expertise include food safety, menu development, quality control and team management.
"Chef Val's impressive track record and outstanding achievements in culinary arts make her an asset to PAL," PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Capt. Stanley K. Ng said
"She is a welcome addition to the PAL family with her wealth of experience and creative vision. I am confident that she will pave the way for innovation and enhancement to the PAL inflight dining experience for our passengers to enjoy," he added.
Her role as the Assistant Vice President of PAL's Catering Operations is to introduce "positive change" to the art of preparing tasty meals for the passengers of PAL's global network, the airline said.
For her part, Castillo-Archer said she looks at teamwork as a dish while every member is a vital ingredient. She said "all the ingredients will come together to produce desired results."
"I want to see passion for work, the right skills set for the job, communication and friendship," she said.
"The distinct change is going back to the basics. It is going back to our roots. It is understanding what service is all about. The engagement between PAL and crew must be memorable," she added.
PAL said the team is currently re-designing the inflight menu and is working with partners in the supply chain to get the best outcome.
The airline said the executive chef would also be curating a special menu for its 82nd anniversary, which would be launched this March for Business Class passengers for flights from Manila to North America and Australia.
The San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte-born chef said she was raised by her grandparents who own a bakery. Later on, their family moved to Hawaii since her father worked for the US Air Force. They later moved to California where she lived for 30 years before flying back to the Philippines in December 2022.
Prior to her stint at Yamashiro, Castillo-Archer operated her own pastry business. She has grown a wide network of contracts, which include Hollywood celebrities. She also initiates humanitarian projects that donate shoes to the less fortunate in the Philippines and provide meals for free in US hospitals.
PAL is considered among those with best pre-board and in-flight culinary offerings globally. It is also famous for its Philippine Airlines arroz caldo, among others.