Danny Meyer On Flying Around In A Private Jet

It's become an Aspen Food & Wine Classic tradition. A private jet full of chefs and Food & Wine magazine brass lands in Aspen just before the opening night party. In typical private jetting fashion, what happens on the private jet, stays on the private jet. There is also lots and lots and lots of Krug. But during our recent interview with Danny Meyer, we heard a little bit more about the plane ride he wishes would never end.

Tell me about the plane ride here. I hear it's pretty fun.

I am just so grateful for the barter system.

What were you doing on the plane?

Let me put it this way: It's one of the few plane rides I've ever taken in my life where I was sad when it ended. It's a great opportunity to connect with some fantastic people in the industry. How many times do you get to sit across the aisle from Jacques Pépin, Drew Nieporent and Marcus Samuelsson and just talk, without making a meeting?

With no cell phones buzzing, either.

No cell phones buzzing. There were some email breaks because there is Wi-Fi on the plane. But no one was talking on the phone, that's for sure. There was some really good conversation.

What was addressed?

I don't think it was anything about what was addressed. I think Jacques was reminiscing about making soufflés and he was talking about one of his restaurants. Drew was talking about the early days of French cuisine in New York City.

Before he was a restaurateur?

Yes. He was showing us all sorts of old pictures that he keeps in his camera – a very young Drew Nieporent meeting the original Colonel Sanders. And a slightly less young Drew Nieporent meeting Frédy Girardet. We talked about family. Marcus and I both have new places in Delta's new Terminal 4 at JFK. He's got Uptown Brasserie and we've got Blue Smoke and Shake Shack, so we talked about how that's going.

Also read: Live From The Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2013