It’s not a riddle – Gordon Ramsay recently revealed the one type of food he always refuses to eat.
The TV chef says that he never eats airline food, and will instead fill up in the airport before heading out onto the plane.
Low tolerance levels
It’s fair to say that Gordon Ramsay has low tolerance levels for bad food. On Kitchen Nightmares, the show where he helps struggling restaurants to change their food jobs and refurbish their business, he is known to shout and swear at chefs who don’t produce top-notch dishes.
Ironically, Ramsay has had quite a lot of influence with flying food in the past. He owns a restaurant at Heathrow Airport called Plane Food, which is available for passengers leaving the country to eat before they go. This is fair enough, but he has also had a food job in the past with Singapore Airlines. He was one of their advisors helping them to put together inflight meals. Presumably, this is the one airline that he might make an exception for?
“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,” he said.
He does mention that he prefers to dine at a deli or wine bar in the airport before he gets on his flight. There he will eat as much fancy food as possible – he prefers “A nice selection of Italian meats, a little glass of red wine, some sliced apples or pears with some parmesan cheese,” he said.
Ramsay is definitely not alone in his criticism of airplane food. Science has shown that the meals don’t taste the same as they would on land, thanks to the different air pressure, but this is perhaps not a good enough excuse for the low quality of the food.
He’s not the only celebrity chef to have spoken out about it, either. Anthony Bourdain revealed that he also does not touch airline food, preferring to eat when he arrives at his destination.
“No one has ever felt better after eating plane food,” he said. “I think people only eat it because they’re bored. I don’t eat on planes. I like to arrive hungry.”
Whether you eat before you go or after you arrive, one consensus seems to have been reached. Those who have a taste for the gourmet don’t have a good palate for the food that is served in flight.
Actually, Ramsay himself has apparently not been rated too well. On TripAdvisor, almost 750 customers have given his Plane Food restaurant a rating of average, poor, or terrible.
The bad reviews tend to mention the high prices of the meals, the slow and poor service, and even the quality of the food. It seems as though the chef could do with running a Kitchen Nightmares-style on his own property!
So what’s the solution? It’s clear that we need to start thinking about making airplane food taste good – not just adequate. In the meantime, if you’re not a fan, you can always follow the example of the top chefs who are leading the way to airport bars.