Travel Talk with Curtis Stone

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Mar 14, 2017

The TV personality likes to get stuck into work when he’s flying. And he’s ready to don his chef’s whites if the moment – or cabin crew – calls for it.

What’s your approach to packing?

A strange one! If I’m travelling for work, I need to have ironed shirts and look presentable. I find ironing difficult to do well so I often pack dirty clothes and take them straight to the hotel laundry when I arrive – they come back clean and pressed.

How early do you get to the airport before a flight?

With the kids [Stone has two sons, Hudson and Emerson, with his actress wife, Lindsay Price], we get there at least an hour, maybe two, before the flight boards because it takes time to round them up. They like to run in airports, which isn’t ideal. If I’m solo, I check in online and arrive at the airport 30 minutes before boarding.

What do you always take with you?

My chef’s whites, because I’m usually working, and my sunglasses.

What do you always forget?

A phone charger. I don’t know why, because I always remember my laptop charger.

Are you much of an airport shopper?

I don’t get to shop much any other time so I quite like to do it in airports. I get a gift for my wife, maybe look at the clothes – depending on the terminal – and on the way out of Melbourne, I get souvenirs.

What’s your routine on a long-haul flight?

Without the kids, I’ll have a glass of wine and watch something – I like documentaries. Then I get my jammies on and have a rest.

Do you wear the eye mask?

I don’t. My wife does and I take a photo of her every time. 

What’s the last movie you watched midair?

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, which is not the type of film I usually watch!

Do you read on planes?

I do. I also like to work. I enjoy being uncontactable for a while. In the early days, I once wrote the majority of a cookbook on a plane and got off with 30 or 40 recipes.

Can you sleep on the plane?

I’m lucky; I’ve always been able to sleep. The first long-haul trip I took was when I moved to London at about 21. I fell asleep before we took off, woke up in Singapore, spent two hours walking through the airport, got back on the plane and woke up four hours out of London. 

How do you deal with jet lag?

I drink a lot of water on the day I fly. The key is to think about where you’re flying to and adjust to that time zone the second you get on the plane. I try to not get much sleep the night before a flight and I’ll wake up at five or six o’clock to exercise so I get on the plane pretty exhausted.

Do you talk to your seat mate? 

I’m chatty! I know a lot of people don’t like it but I’m respectful. There’s an unwritten rule that if somebody uses their screen or puts their headphones on, you leave them alone. Though I find it odd to sit next to someone on a long flight and not say hello.

Any memorable encounters?

I’ve had some great experiences, which is probably why I like to strike up a conversation. When we found out Lindsay was pregnant, I sat next to a man who was in his late seventies and going to see his daughters for their birthday – he’d had triplets at 55. I was about to join the fatherhood club and realised I had nothing to worry about because this guy had three! We had more than one glass of wine and talked the entire time.

As a chef, is it good to have someone bring you a meal?

It is. I always have a laugh with the cabin crew because they say, “Oh no, we have to cook for you!” So I offer to give them a hand. No-one’s taken me up on it yet. 

SEE ALSO: Travel Talk with Deborra-lee Furness