Michael Chernow Will Travel For Food, Snowboarding

Michael Chernow and his partner Daniel Holzman hit upon a very smart and fairly simple idea a few years back, to serve awesome meatballs at affordable prices to hungry eaters in Lower Manhattan. The pair of industry veterans — Holzman cooked in kitchens in NYC, LA and San Francisco; Chernow was a nightlife/bartending/restaurant fixture in NYC and LA — now have three locations of The Meatball Shop going strong, with two more on the way in 2013. Chernow, of course, is also known as one of the culinary world's most photo-friendly faces; he's married, but guys, you may wanna keep your girlfriends away from him. So where's he traveling in 2013? Read on, and keep reading for one of the more hilarious traveling tales featuring absinthe you're likely to come across.

Where are you planning on traveling in 2013?

This year is going to be VERY busy for me, as we are opening two new locations of The Meatball Shop by spring of this year, so my plans are limited.

My travel plans for 2013 are as follows:

  • A trip out to Utah for Sundance at the end of the month.
  • A trip to British Columbia in March to snowboard.
  • My wife and I always go to Denmark to celebrate the holidays with her family.

If you could travel anywhere (else), and had infinite resources, where would you go in 2013?

Wow, what a great question. I think I would have to choose a trip out to Australia and New Zealand, a place I've wanted to explore for years.

How much does food/drink have to do, if at all, with your travel plans for 2013?

Typically, food is the motivation of all my travel, yet this year my plans are based solely on snowboarding.

What was your most memorable trip from the past few years?

I took a road trip with my wife this summer in the south of France. We flew into Bordeaux and drove, over the course of two weeks, through the the southern region of France to Nice. AMAZING trip, AMAZING food, AMAZING memories with the woman I love more then anything else on the planet.

What airlines do you fly? Do you have any frequent flier programs?

I love to fly Delta, and have frequent flier miles with them. I love to fly SAS and Lufthansa when in Europe.

What about hotels? Any standout places that you've stayed or would like to stay?

When I travel for pleasure with my wife we typically stay in bed and breakfasts. We've had incredible success doing that. When I travel for business, I like to stay at the Soho House if there is one in the city I am in.

What are you favorite cities for food, and if not mentioned above, where are you yearning to go to try the local cuisine?

My all time favorite city for food is Barcelona. I love the food in that city!! I also love the food in Tokyo. As for the LIST of places I have not been yet to try the local grub, I'd love to check out the food in San Sebastian Spain; Madras, India; Puglia, Italy; the Marche region of Italy; New Orleans; Peubla, Mexico. I think that'll make me happy for now.

Is there a food you have traveled over 1,000 miles for?

I can't say that I go to LA only for the food at Nozawa sushi, but you better believe that my trips to LA are not nearly as exciting as they used to be.

What's the best travel advice you have been given lately?

Traveling in a foreign country is done best when by car, but if you don't invest in a GPS (in English) your trip will be much less enjoyable. From a rental car salesman in Bordeaux, France.

Best food-related souvenir that you have ever brought back?

My wife and I bought a bread cutting board in France that is genius, and strangely not common in the U.S. The actual board is perforated and slides into a box that catches all of the excess bread crumbs... Incredible, no more mess on the dinner table.

Any favorite cocktail/beer/wine spots from your travels?

I actually put a plug in the jug a while back... Was not easy driving through the Languedoc not being able to partake.

Have you ever brought beer/wine/booze back from someplace, and if so, how'd you carry it?

When I was 20 I tried to bring back a few bottles of Absinthe back from Prague. I didn't really think that far in advance when I was in my prime, so I stuffed a bottle in my carry-on and two in my luggage. The two in my luggage made it, the one in my carry-on would have made it if I wasn't so drunk while boarding the plane that they wouldn't let me on. I drank the booze with my friend waiting for the next flight... For realz.

Any must-have travel items?

I find flying to be a great way to get work done, especially if the plane has Wifi. So my Macbook Air is a must-have when traveling. If the plane does not have Wifi I typically buy The Harvard Business Review, Inc. magazine, Entrepreneur magazine and Fast Company mag to keep me busy.

Best travel nightmare story?

This is one of the G-rated stories: My wife and I took our honeymoon in Santorini, Greece. Amazing Place, Amazing food! We went in July: the average temperature at 1 p.m. was roughly 105 degrees. We decided to take a hike from Fira to Oia, about a three-hour hike. We left at around 9 a.m. and got to Oia at 12 noon; it was mainly uphill. When we got there, we decided to grab a bite, then I realized that I had forgotten my wallet (meaning all of our money) at the hotel. We had no money, no water, no nothing, and water is not free in Europe. My wife almost killed me, literally. We began walking back, 105 degrees on a ridge, basically dying. I knew that if I could just get us back alive my wife would let it go ONLY based on the fact that we had just been wed. SHE WAS PISSED!! Still brings it up to this day when I forget something at home... Often.

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