Road Rules

October 21, 2015
By: Abby Reisner, Tasting Table

Now that you know how chefs eat when they're far from home, let's talk about what they eat. The endless hours between lunch and dinner are painful enough as it is—made even worse when you're away from your kitchen. Whether you're actually hungry or just need something to munch on to pass the time, tap into the food-oriented brains of some top chefs for their best snacking practices.

Find your inner junkie. Rule number one of vacation: Travel calories don't count. Schop says when he's on the road, he craves Samoas, the classic Girl Scout cookie. And though nowadays Wu travels with KIND bars and other granola snacks, that wasn't always the case. "As a kid when traveling with just my Dad, we had many 'breakfasts' on trains consisting solely of pizza-flavored Combos!" Mahin totes around snack-size packets of Nutella, a trick that "makes it easier to justify than eating an entire regular-size jar." Landry feels similarly, saying his guilty pleasure is a quality bar of chocolate. "Preferably with almonds or sea salt."

Embrace the surroundings. While it's tempting to try and bring all your favorite snacks from home, traveling is the perfect time to try new foods. Though Landry always tries gulf seafood ("I love seeing what people in other parts of the country are doing with the product caught right at my back door"), he also likes to try different flavored potato chips like jamon, crab and octopus. "I try my best to eat like the locals," Wu says. That's how he discovered—and fell in love with—Sino-Indian food while traveling in India. Mahin agrees: "I like finding honest food in cities." The roadside shack could end up being a hidden gem—maybe even your next travel destination itself.