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Morimoto develops fast-casual airport restaurant

BUFFALO N.Y. Delaware North Cos. said it has partnered with celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto to create a fast-casual concept that the on-site foodservice provider plans to debut in airports across the country.

Called Skewers, the concept will feature a variety of grilled meats and vegetables skewered and served with rice bowls, which are easily portable for passengers to take aboard flights, said Vito Buscemi, director of concept portfolio for Delaware North’s Travel Hospitality Services division. In addition to the grilled meats and vegetables, the menu also will feature deep-fried meats and vegetables on skewers. The skewered foods are called yakitori.

Prices will range between $4.50 and $4.95 for soups; $7.95 and $10.95 for salads; $6.95 and $15.95 for grilled meats, fish or vegetable skewers; and $7.95 and $16.95 for the deep-fried meats or vegetables on skewers.

“This is not something we’ve taken and dumbed down for the airport,” Buscemi said. “It is quick, quality food that everyone can relate to as soon as they see and smell it. We think everyone will like this concept; it has broad appeal.”

Morimoto, owner-operator of the Morimoto upscale Japanese restaurants and a regular competitor on the "Iron Chef America" television show, said Skewers features his interpretation of Japanese street food. He added, however, that he would not include any sushi items on the menu.

“Yakitori is the next big wave, I think,” Morimoto said. “It will be very popular.”

Buscemi said the concept would be available in two models: a smaller 1,000-square-feet space and a 2,400-square-foot version, which would accommodate sit-down traffic.

Delaware North said it plans to introduce the concept at larger airports in urban locations, although no rollout dates have been set.

Contact Elissa Elan at [email protected].

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