There is a wealth of cuisine awaiting the palate of those willing to travel the world in search of the sweetest treats and most delicious meals. As a gourmet chef, your job will take you on the road for work and pleasure to taste the many delicacies of the world. From Cajun cuisines in the heart of Louisiana’s bayou to French pastries on the streets of Paris, you’ll travel the world to see it all and taste it all. Whether you are traveling to train and widen your knowledge of cuisine, or participating in local festivals to show off your own flair, the following is some sage advice for chefs crisscrossing the globe.
As a chef, your tools are just as important as your ingredients. The last item you want to have confiscated at airport security are the tools that make your creations possible. With increased security at airports these days, you need to be aware of proper transportation methods for knives and other cooking tools. According to the TSA, your knives may not be packed in your carry-on baggage. All knives must be packed in checked luggage, and you need to ensure they are sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injuries to security officers and baggage handlers.
Now, those knives serve an important role in your cooking and you cannot afford to have them damaged. Wrapping them loosely in a few towels or some newspaper simply won’t cut it (pardon the pun). Consider purchasing a knife roll, such as this model from http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com. It will protect both the people handling your bags and your knives from any harm.
Packing Equipment and Ingredients
However unusual you might think it is to pack certain items in your carry-on bag, TSA agents have probably seen stranger items. Chef Elizabeth Faulkner told Seriousseats.com about an encounter with TSA agents at JFK International in New York. On her way from the Gourmet and Golf Classic to the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience, she packed a standing mixer and whisk. She expected the TSA agent to pull her aside, but she didn’t expect the reaction. After swabbing her equipment to ensure it was safe, the agent shrugged and said “Trust me, I’ve seen weirder.”
Sometimes you’ll need to bring important pieces of equipment with you, but you don’t want to risk letting those items out of your control. As long as they are harmless items, such as the mixer, pack them in your carry-on bag and give yourself extra time for closer inspection at security.
Learn from the Pros
Some of the world’s greatest chefs have useful everyday tips you can use to prepare for your next training class or festival abroad. Many of America’s top chefs offered up travel tips to the Huffington Post:
Solicit locals for recommendations: Curtis Stone, host of Top Chef Masters asks taxi drivers where they eat, and usually discovers great local places to eat as a result.
Pack Essentials: Some cultures use salt the rest of the world isn’t accustomed to, or don’t use it at all. David Myers, chef/owner at Comme Ca in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, brings salt, the citrus spice yuzukosho, and small bottles of liquor whenever he travels.
Eat Right: You’re a chef, so act like one. Art Smith, chef/owner of Art and Soul in Washington DC, does all he can to avoid airline food. He always eats before getting on a plane. Whether it’s a banana or Clif bar, any healthy snack is better than a full airline meal.
With these tips, you’ll be ready to pack your bags and hit the road to discover a whole new world of taste. Now there’s only question left to answer. Where will your adventures take you next?
Christal Haynes is a retiree who loves to spend lots of time in the kitchen. When she’s not cooking, she’s writing about it online. Look for her engaging and helpful articles on many cooking, home and DIY websites today.