Anthony Bourdain is both a renowned chef and a frequent traveler, which would seem to make him well qualified to offer advice about what food to order when on a plane. The answer? Don't order food at all, he tells Travel and Leisure. “You’re not digesting your food on the plane, which is why you feel like a horribly bloated beach ball when you get off,” says the host of the travel-food series Parts Unknown. Plus, the food itself is pretty lousy, "edible at best," because of the unique circumstances of air travel.
The meals have to be prepped in advance, and freeze-frying and reheating don't do wonders for taste. What's more, “every food tastes completely different than it does on the ground, so they have to make adjustments to it,” he says, referring to the changes our sense of taste goes through in a pressurized cabin. (He's right about that, per this BBC explainer.) Bourdain's advice—he does recommend a Scotch on the rocks—is echoed by another famous chef, Gordon Ramsay, who spoke to Refinery 29 about why he never eats on a plane. "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." (Read more Anthony Bourdain stories.)