Shared Plate: Inspiring Connections Through the Power of Food


A new year inspires people to try something different and make new connections.

Travel is a catalyst for these opportunities, and at JetBlue we’re fortunate to help customers welcome new experiences every day. That said, in reality, we know that people are often so focused on getting from point A to point B that they don’t open themselves up to the possibilities around them throughout their travels. In fact, although millions of people take to the skies each day, only 16 percent make it a point to connect with someone new at the airport.*

In an effort to inspire humanity and share happiness, we partnered with Coca-Cola to use the power of food to encourage meaningful connections, even at a place where people rarely interact: the airport.

Watch us help our customers break bread and barriers by meeting for the first time over a custom fusion meal inspired by their backgrounds.

Together with Coca-Cola, we created “Shared Plate,” a pop-up restaurant where we invited JetBlue customers to dine with complete strangers. Instead of a set menu, the restaurant served one-of-a-kind meals by Chef JJ Johnson, who created personalized fusion dishes inspired by the diverse backgrounds of each diner to encourage meaningful connections at each table.

The result? Complete strangers had memorable experiences in an unlikely place where they were brought together for a meal full of unique food, laughter and authentic connections. Hungry for more? Check out one of the recipes Chef JJ Johnson created for two of our Shared Plate diners hailing from the United Kingdom and New York City, respectively.



Recipe Courtesy of Chef JJ Johnson

We gave bangers, a British staple, an American twist by re-envisioning them as the iconic hot dog, topped with chili and served alongside New York bagel “chips” — fried potatoes seasoned liked an everything bagel.

Chili Ingredients 

2 pounds ground beef

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 large onion, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon fresh oregano

2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground Szechwan pepper or black pepper

2 cups beef broth

1 15-ounce can of kidney beans, drained

1/2 teaspoon minced dried bird’s eye chili

2 tablespoons mild chili powder

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Chili Process

Place a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef. Season with kosher salt. Add onion, green bell pepper, garlic and oregano. Mix well, and make sure to break up the beef while it is cooking. Stir in the cumin and black pepper. Add the beef broth, kidney beans, dried bird’s eye chili and chili powder. Allow the meat and seasoning to come to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cornstarch to thicken the chili. Serve on top of the banger.


Banger Ingredients 

1 teaspoon olive oil

8 bangers (pork or beef)

Prepared chili

1/2 cup chopped scallions

1 package of pretzel hot dog buns (8 buns)

Yellow mustard (to taste)

Spicy mustard (to taste)

Ketchup (to taste)

Banger Process

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat and lightly coat with olive oil. Once pan is hot, place banger in the pan and cook for 1 minute on each side until browned or grill marks appear. Remove banger from the pan and place in a baking dish. Cook sausages in the oven for 15 minutes. Place each banger on a bun and top with chili, scallions and condiments of choice. Serve alongside potato crisps.


Potato Crisp Ingredients  

3 pounds russet potatoes

Vegetable or canola oil

Salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste)

Pinch of poppy seeds

Pinch of toasted sesame seeds

Pinch of dried garlic powder

Pinch of dried onion powder

Potato Crisp Process

Slice potatoes into thin rounds and set aside. Fill a large deep frying pan 3/4 full with cooking oil. Place pan over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, carefully place the potatoes in the pan and allow to cook for 3–4 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on a plate with paper towel to absorb excess oil. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch each of poppy seeds, toasted sesame seeds, dried garlic powder and dried onion powder.


*Survey Methodology:

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of JetBlue from December 15 to 19, 2017, among 2,116 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.