Airport Chefs Are Uplifting Airport Experiences

OTG Restaurant at Jet Blue JFK Terminal

There are more and more alternatives for eating, dare I say, dining at the airport these days.

Restaurant Smart Brief contributor Janet Forgrieve has reported: “Airport restaurants run much like traditional eateries, with a few additional challenges. Airport restaurants benefit from delays and flight cancellations but all too often seats are filled with hungry, angry passengers. Among the many rules and regulations is the requirement for kitchen knives to be tethered at all times. Metal knives on restaurant tables are not permitted.”

According to OTG Management spokesperson Dave Allen, “We don’t have airport restaurants, we have restaurants at airports. Really, we operate our restaurants like they are in the restaurant districts in the very best part of the cities we are in.”

In fact, just last month, OTG announced it “will offer five chef-driven restaurants, an expansive food hall, fresh markets, the integration of Apple iPads, pop-up retail stores and more” for Delta Airlines at LaGuardia’s Terminal C.

Every new employee at an airport restaurant now must first undergo security clearance, while all food deliveries are carefully scrutinized for lethal bugs of all kinds.

Private plane chefs and caterers like Elaine Frances have a slightly easier time. They can supply elegant picnics or partially cooked food that is reheated aloft in microwave ovens for the crew and passengers. The ability to taste the food is greatly diminished at 30,000 feet.  (This is the reason airline often food tastes of — well — nothing at all.)

As you see, there are several opportunities for employment in the airport arena. They range from: menu planning, recipe development, recipe testing, financial management and waitstaff jobs.

Servers are required to have the patience of a saint as they placate and console the equivalent of teenagers in full heat.  In other words the job requires the skills of extreme motherhood. (A mother brings food, takes away the plate and sometimes suggests a little nap.)

If there is a small private airport near you, consider writing a plane catering business plan and bring tasting samples along. (ICDT!) I Can Do That!