Anthony Bourdain has a bit of unlikely travel advice: sleep through dinner.
He’s spoken about his reluctance to eat airplane food before, and when questioned, he elucidates: “You’re not digesting your food on the plane, which is why you feel like a horribly bloated beach ball when you get off,” Bourdain told Travel + Leisure. “The food can’t possibly be that good. It can be edible at best, no matter how hard they try. The conditions that they’re working in, there’s not much they can do.”
He also spoke about how a taste palate changes in the cabin. Chefs creating meals must work against altered senses of taste and smell to create something edible. “Every food tastes completely different than it does on the ground, so they have to make adjustments to it,” Bourdain explained. And then there’s the process of freeze-drying, sealing, and reheating the meals that also messes with the taste.
However that doesn’t mean he won’t drink on the plane. “Scotch on the rocks, they can’t fuck that up,” he offered as his in-flight cocktail choice. “Maybe port and some cheese, if it’s a really long flight.”
Although it’s unlikely that Bourdain will ever have to refuse food service. He has a handy trick for saying no to food: being unconscious when the meals come around. “As soon as I am on the plane, I am out,” he said. “I smell jet fuel and I feel a Pavlovian wave immediately.”
Gordon Ramsay has also spoken about his unwillingness to eat the food aboard airplanes, saying: “I worked for airlines for 10 years, so I know where this food’s been and where it goes, and how long it took before it got on board.”