If you haven’t already heard of Gordon Ramsay, stop what you’re doing and go binge-watch 30 episodes of “Hell’s Kitchen” or “Master Chef.” He’s foulmouthed, hilarious and actually quite a good chef. He also refuses to eat airplane food.
In an interview with Refinery 29, Ramsay pulled no punches when talking about his distaste—nay, his hatred—for airplane food.
“There’s no f-ing way I eat on planes,” Ramsay told Refinery 29. “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.”
The chef prefers to have a light bite beforehand, preferably at his own restaurant in London’s Heathrow Airport that is cheekily named Plane Food. If he can’t eat there, he’ll get a small variety of Italian bites.
“A nice selection of Italian meats, a little glass of red wine, some sliced apples or pears with some parmesan cheese,” is the perfect, flavorful pre-flight meal Ramsay says.
And Gordon Ramsay is not the only one who refuses to eat airplane meals. Another favorite culinary bad boy, Anthony Bourdain, recently said the exact same thing.
Last year in an interview with Bon Appetit, Bourdain says he “never” eats the food on an airplane, even though he’s constantly flying to film for his foodie shows: “No Reservations” and “Parts Unknown.”
“No one has ever felt better after eating plane food,” Bourdain told Bon Appetit.“I think people only eat it because they’re bored. I don’t eat on planes. I like to arrive hungry.”
Honestly, I can’t blame either of them. Not only is airline food frequently mystery meat (at best), there’s actually a scientific reason it tastes so bad.
Because the air is so much dryer in a plane, your sense of smell (and therefore, taste) start to diminish the second you step onboard. Once you reach your cruising altitude, it’s a miracle you can taste anything at all.
On top of that, some research suggests that dining in a crowded and noisy atmosphere can actually dull sweet flavors while enhancing savory ones.
I think I’d rather have some salami and a glass of wine before a flight too.