Airport Sweets Take Off
Airport dining has come a long way in a short time, and further evidence of this fashionable trend is now in action at the Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey.
Here, the new Mélange Bakery Café is considered the nation’s first 24-hour production bakery located inside an airport and is part of a $120 million renovation project by United Airlines and OTG, an expert in developing retail and dining spaces for the travel industry, at Newark Liberty’s Terminal C.
Just opened in July, Mélange Bakery Café specializes in croissants, macarons, chocolate bars, donuts and much more.
At full capacity, daily production at Mélange can surpass 1,000 croissants, assorted pastries and buns; 1,200 hand-rolled New York-style bagels (including rainbow bagels); 600 muffins; 200 hand-crafted chocolate bars; 75 cupcakes; 12 types of macarons; 10 varieties of donuts, such as Passion Fruit and Maple Bacon; and six varieties of sweet and savory eclairs.
Chef Jacques Torres, renowned for French pastries and fine chocolates, consulted on the development of the concept, along with two executive pastry chefs and a team of classically trained bakers.
“The most fun I have as a pastry and chocolate chef is to surprise and delight my customers,” Torres says. “This is one of the reasons I couldn’t resist developing Mélange at Newark Liberty. You would not normally think of a world-class round-the-clock bakery being located in an airport, but that is exactly what we do for United customers every day.”
When United Airlines’ Terminal C at Newark Liberty completes the $120 million project, it will feature 55 new restaurants and food markets and serve more than 350,000 customers who travel through the terminal each week.
It takes a small city to create these culinary experiences daily, and that city now includes Mélange Bakery Cafe, a 24-hour production bakery inside the airport, providing the freshest baked goods to travelers.
“There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked goods coming out of the oven to bring a smile to your face,” says Gavin Molloy, United’s vice president of corporate real estate. “With Mélange, our Newark customers have the opportunity to indulge in fare from one of the world’s best pastry chefs – either as a pre-flight treat, a to-go option to enjoy inflight or even as a quick pick-me-up upon arrival.”
OTG has partnered with Valrhona Chocolates to ensure premium ingredients are used to create the hand-crafted chocolates and bonbons at Mélange Bakery Cafe. The Valrhona corporate pastry chefs provided training to OTG’s team at L’Ecole Valrhona Brooklyn and onsite at Mélange. Further, only imported French butter is used in viennoiserie products.
“We’re excited to work with Chef Torres and Valrhona to bring Mélange to life for United customers at Newark Terminal C,” said Rick Blatstein, OTG’s chief executive officer. “We pride ourselves on using the best talent and ingredients to deliver the freshest food to travelers. With Mélange, our restaurants throughout Terminal C literally can’t get fresher baked goods.”
Mélange is located in the immersive, Rockwell Group-designed Global Bazaar on the C1 Concourse in United’s Newark Liberty Terminal C.
Newark now has “the best airport dining options in the United States,” according to the Hollywood Reporter, and The New York Times calls the airport “a culinary oasis.” OTG has worked with some of the most notable chefs in the industry to create restaurants that go beyond typical airport dining, and they also tailored the spaces to help you detach from the activity of the airport, with each restaurant offering unique decor that fits its menu and theme, according to United.
The terminal renovations include thoughtfully designed elements that enhance both the feel and the functionality of the space, including light fixtures that adjust based on the time of day. Gate areas are updated with custom seating and tables, and several gates feature iPads that customers can use to track their flights and order meals for delivery.