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Your Favorite Chefs Reveal Their Tips To Have A Decent Airport Breakfast

Anyone who’s had to catch a red-eye flight or travels often knows the struggle of finding decent food in the morning. More often than not, airport breakfasts are something we endure rather than enjoy, especially in the US. However, there are definitely ways to get around that, and thankfully a few celebrity chefs are willing to share how they do so.

In interviews with Eater, popular chefs like Ayesha Curry, Eric Ripert, and David Chang, among others, shared their best tips and tricks to make airport breakfasts more palatable, at the very least. Here’s how each of these celebs upgrade their morning meal game while flying around the country.

Ayesha Curry

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The real Chef Curry would like to remind you that yes, it is okay to bring food into the airport. In her case, she makes a quick DIY trail mix of dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, almonds, raisins, and sunflower seeds, using a 1/4 cup of each. That, plus some tea and coffee, is a solid energy-booster to kickstart your morning. When she doesn’t have that, though, Curry admits to indulging in a Starbucks chocolate chip muffin, so that always works, too.

Hugh Acheson

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This Top Chef judge knows how to get a solid breakfast out of what you can find at the airport lounge. For those of you lucky enough to have access to one, Acheson’s got a simple build that he makes at the Delta lounge in Atlanta: A double-toasted bagel with butter, cream cheese, and strawberry jam. He washes all that down with apple juice on ice and is ready to fly.

Mark Rosati

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Shake Shack’s culinary director likes to dine at local spots that get brought into the airport. One of his personal favorites is the Publican Tavern in Chicago O’Hare, where he imbibes on coffee and scrambled eggs with house-made bacon. Rosati encouraged folks to go find similar spots in their own airports, suggesting that you look for eateries with “local character and flavors that reflect the city.”

Marcus Samuelsson

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Chef Samuelsson keeps things simple and fresh, with fruit, a healthy muffin, a bottle of water, and a coffee or cappuccino being his breakfast of choice.

Andy Ricker

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Pok Pok’s famous chef doesn’t eat breakfast on travel days. However, to him, coffee is a must in the morning regardless, with his go to choice being Stumptown, which both Portland and New York’s airports carry.

Suzanne Goin

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The James Beard award winner changes up her morning meal based on how she’s feeling. Typically, it’s coffee with yogurt, granola, blueberries, and strawberries. However, she will occasionally treat herself to a pain au chocolat or a brown sugar scone if she’s in the mood.

Michael Solomonov

For Chef Solomonov, who runs the award-winning Zahav in Philly, plane travel is all about staying hydrated. He eats a bowl of fruit before flying to accomplish that goal, and brings his own unsalted nuts to avoid the heavily seasoned ones typically served in flight. Other than that, he recommends Saison (pictured above) in New Jersey’s Newark-Liberty International Airport for anyone looking for a quality airport breakfast.

David Chang

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For the Momofuku maestro, Shake Shack is an airport morning holy grail that he’s even missed a flight for once. Panda Express (if it’s late enough) and Wolfgang Puck restaurants on the West Coast are also favorites of his. Apart from that, Chang will sometimes utilize Soylent, the soy drink meal replacement, as an emergency.


The Party Animal Pasts These 5 Celebrity Chefs Don’t Want You To Know

Sex and drugs and… lobster rolls? Why does it seem that so many celebrity chefs have a wild side? Maybe they just like slurping things out of spoons so much that they decided to try injecting those same things?

Many of them claim that their joie de vivre is the very thing that makes them such good chefs—in essence, their indulgent nature lets them know how to help other people indulge. Well, thank god they’re slinging crème brûlée and not crack cocaine. Let’s take a look at the rituals and party habits of some of the most well known chefs around the globe.

Anthony Bourdain


While we’ll never know all of what Bourdain smuggled in parts unknown, this jetsetter enjoys a vibrant lifestyle and never shies away from the sauce. Before he became famous, however, he fostered notorious habits for cocaine, heroin, and the occasional acid trip—which he describes vividly in his book Kitchen Confidential. He was also a remorseless, two-and-a-half pack a day smoker, until his daughter was born in 2007.

Keith Floyd


This chef might not be recognizable to many Americans, but he influenced an entire generation of boozing British gourmands. His off-the-cuff style included cracking jokes with members of his crew and drinking goblets of wine while filming. His excessive lifestyle of heavy drinking, smoking, and extravagant eating ultimately did him in, but he remains a whiskey-pickled touchstone for a hundred other party-hearty celebrity chefs that followed in his footsteps.

Nigella Lawson


British cook Nigella Lawson rose to success on the back of her book How to Be a Domestic Goddess. While she amassed a fortune of reportedly £100 million, money couldn’t buy her happiness, especially after she married art collector Charles Saatchi. The emotionally abusive relationship led Lawson to seek refuge in cocaine and pot. (Unfortunately, the abusive Saatchi forbade her from entertaining, meaning there was never any amazing coke- and pot-fueled gourmet Friendsgiving you’re imagining.) After the two split, she’s maintained that she’s totally drug free.

Epic Meal Time


The meat-headed madmen at Epic Meal Time are constantly upping their game, and recently their cookouts have become full-blown ragers. With sexy assistants and tons of meat, what more do you want from a party? But these beasts of BBQ were smart enough to add a healthy dose of booze to their unhealthy dose of a calories, and Jack Daniels is a regular invite to each and every meal time.

Andrew Zimmern

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This cheeky traveler used to steal more than just a taste of Bizarre Foods. When he was getting down, Zimmern would snatch full purses to get his fix. While he hasn’t fully disclosed his personal habits during this dark period in his life, Zimmern was reportedly homeless for about a year and half owing to severe drug and alcohol addiction. Compared to that, eating octopus anus probably doesn’t sound so bad.