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The other night I was laughing until I cried watching the live Instagram of Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) of One Mile at a Time. Why? Because he was doing something completely out of his normal routine of flying and reviewing the latest first and business class products. After mocking the new United Polaris cookbook, he (or Tiffany, rather) ended up going out and buying the thing, and then let OMAAT readers weigh in on the recipes that they should cook.

This was funny enough, but it got ten times better. Folks, Ben is a man who does not cook. Self-admittedly, not at all. Which meant that I immediately had to see how this all played out. Now, I really don’t know how never cooking is possible. But I guess it must be. I’m no gourmet chef, but I certainly know my way around a kitchen. How has he survived?

Luckily, Lucky had Tiffany to help him.

Lucky and crew cook four Polaris meals

The One Mile at a Time readers chose the following four courses to cook:

  • Crispy Octopus, Avocado, Pickled Pearl Onions, Cilantro, Chicharron spices
  • Confit Chicken Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Pickled Beets, and Goat Cheese
  • Five-Spice Braised Short Ribs with Fried Black Rice
  • Black Sticky Rice with Fresh Mango and Sweet Coconut Cream

Uh, wow. Talk about going from zero to cruising speed at 39,000 feet in 5.2 seconds. I’m not sure I’d want to attempt the first two of those, even having cooked for years.

When the OMAAT crew was finally in the thick of their cooking adventure (which took a ridiculous number of hours), they were kind enough to live Instagram the ordeal. The preparation, being grossed out at the octopus, the I-don’t-know-what-is-going-on-in-this-kitchen moments, and the final plating were so much fun to watch.

Check out the final rundown of the entire experience for the Instagram live videos, photos of the final products, and the whole story. It’s well worth your time.

Hats off to OMAAT

This endeavor was honestly one of the funniest and most engaging sagas that I’ve followed on Boarding Area in a long time. The choice to move forward with cooking from an airline cookbook, with zero experience, and with the choice of dishes selected by readers is a bold one. But also a totally awesome one. My hat is off to you, Ben!

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