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Eric Ripert, the executive chef and an owner of Le Bernardin in New York, avoids airline food ("disgusting," he said in a thick French accent) altogether by eating before he gets to the airport. If he's pressed for time, he said, he seeks out the best option at the airport. "I know where Wolfgang Puck Express is in L.A.," he said, referring to Puck's restaurant outpost at Los Angeles International Airport. At Caviar House & Prunier in Heathrow, he added, "you can have a plate of smoked fish, oysters and a nice glass of wine." Being in the air about once a month, he added, "I kind of know my way through the airports."
As a frequent flier he is often upgraded to business or first class. "Still, I don't eat in the plane. The way they clean the planes, your table is disgusting," he said, quickly adding, "I'm not a germaphobe but it still freaks me out when you find things from a previous passenger."