Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Geoffrey Zakarian
Occupation: Chef/ Restaurateur
Hometown: Worcester, MA
Residence: New York, NY
College: Worcester State College
College major: Economics
Facebook: Geoffrey Zakarian
YouTube: Geoffrey Zakarian Channel
Short bio: Throughout a career spanning 30 years, Geoffrey Zakarian has made his mark as a chef restaurateur known for his sophisticated taste and signature style. As owner of The Lambs Club and The National in the heart of midtown Manhattan, Geoffrey combines his classical culinary training and his eye for design in these two unique restaurants. He also oversees the food and beverage program at The Water Club at Borgata in Atlantic City and, more recently, at The Plaza where, in 2014, he relaunched The Palm Court and will continue to breathe new life into The Oak Room, The Oak Bar, The Rose Club, The Champagne Bar and In-Room Dining.
Outside of his work as a chef, Geoffrey is also an accomplished author and notable television personality. In 2006, Clarkson Potter published his debut book, “Geoffrey Zakarian’s Town/Country,” and his second cookbook, “My Perfect Pantry,” hit shelves in October 2014. In addition to his status as a longtime favorite judge on Food Network’s Chopped and as an Iron Chef, Zakarian is a co-host on Food Network’s daytime series, The Kitchen, which premiered in January 2014. He also serves as Chairman of the City Harvest Food Council, an organization committed to fighting hunger in New York City.
How often do you fly? Pretty often.
How many countries have you been to? 10
How many continents have you been to? 5
Earliest travel memory: Picnics at the beach in Gloucester, MA.
Favorite American city: NYC, of course!
Favorite international city: Paris, only for a few days, though…
Least favorite country: France…if I stay for more than a few days.
Friendliest people in the world: Americans.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: America.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Don’t have one.
Favorite airline: Singapore Airlines.
Favorite aircraft type: Gulfstream G650.
Aisle or window: Doesn’t matter on a G650.
Favorite airport lounge: Never go to them.
Favorite U.S. airport: That’s a stretch… Probably Ft. Lauderdale.
Favorite international airport: Charles de Gaulle.
Favorite hotel: Le Bristol Paris.
Favorite cruise line: Royal Caribbean.
Favorite travel credit card: VISA.
Favorite island: St. Barts.
Favorite beach: Gouverneur in St. Barts.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I don’t really frequent “fancy” restaurants, but if I had to choose, La Petite Maison in London.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Via Quadronno in UES.
Favorite bar: The bar at The Connaught in London.
Favorite fruit: Mangoes.
Favorite food: Whole grilled fish.
Least favorite food: Durian.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Rosé.
Favorite travel movie(s): I usually sleep.
Favorite travel show(s): See above.
Favorite travel book(s): See above again.
Right now I am reading: This questionnaire.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Departures, Nota Bene, Travel + Leisure.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Sorry, I don’t use these.
5 things you bring on a plane: Cash, more cash, iPhone, noise-canceling earphones, a stack of periodicals and newspapers and disposable toothbrushes.
What do you always seem to forget? Just the opposite: I pack way too much!
What do you like least about travel? The time between flights is the worst because there is no traffic in the air!
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Nothing. It’s far too expensive, and there is nothing I ever need from Duty Free that badly.
Favorite travel app(s): Again, I don’t use them. I get all my information through traditional periodicals and newsprint.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Having my 2-year-old daughter throw up, literally, all over me during a two-hour flight and then heading straight into a dinner…You can fill in the blanks.
Worst travel moment: See above.
What’s your dream destination? Anywhere with my family. Although we do want to go to Japan, Uruguay and Morocco.
Favorite travel charity: I did not know these existed: send me their names.
Best travel tip: Arrive way too damn early and get a nice manicure and pedicure. It’s really relaxing.
Interesting interview with a man that I have read about but have not had the fortune of eating his food, ..yet. Seems to be a love/hate relationship with France going on.