Airports Featuring Celebrity Chef Restaurants

Young couple with suitcase on ramp to canteen area
Young couple with suitcase on ramp to canteen area. Getty Images/Image Source

Thanks to television programming on channels like the Food Network, the Cooking Channel, Bravo and the Travel Channel, chefs have become celebrities and valuable brands. As airports around the United States continue to upgrade their restaurant offerings, many are looking to celebrity chef-branded eateries. And these restaurants offer everything from high-end cuisine to down-home country food, with something for everyone.

Bethesda, Maryland-based HMS Host is a company that runs food and beverage concessions at airports in the U.S. and Canada. It has created a division that focuses just on the celebrity chefs it represents. Brands it represents are:

  • "Top Chef" two-time contestant Chef Mike Isabella opened Greek isle-inspired restaurant Kapnos Taverna, at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
  • Chef Roger Mooking's concept, Twist, is located at Toronto-Pearson International Airport. He's the host of "Man Fire Food" on the Cooking Channel and serves as a judge on "Chopped Canada."
  • Award-winning Chef Bryan Caswell created 3rd Bar Oyster & Eating House located at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport. His accolades include the 2009 Best New Chef Award from Food & Wine, Semifinalist for the James Beard 2011 Best Southwestern Chef, and a spot on the Continental Airlines Congress of Chefs.

Another popular food and beverage operator is New York-based OTG Management. The company took off after it was tapped by JetBlue Airways to handle food and beverage outlets at the carrier’s flagship Terminal 5 at JFK Airport. Since then, OTG has outlets in nine U.S. and Canadian airports. Some of their concepts include:

    OTG has also partnered with United Airlines to completely revamp the carrier’s Terminal 3 at hub Newark-Liberty International Airport. Celebrity chefs with outlets planned at the upgraded terminal include Michelin-starred Chef Alain Ducasse; Iron Chef Mark Forgione; Chef Amanda Freitag; Iron Chef Jose Garces; Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli; and Top Chef contestant Dale Talde.

    Atlanta-based Hojeij Branded Food is a food and beverage concessions operator with its own stable of celebrity chef-branded restaurants, including:

    • Cat Cora’s Kitchen, at​ George Bush Intercontinental’s Terminal E, Salt Lake City International’s Concourse B, San Francisco International’s Terminal 2 and Hartsfield-Jackson’s Concourse A; and
    • G. Garvin’s Low Country, at Hartsfield-Jackson’s Concourse A.

    Newark, Delaware-based Delaware North has its own stable of celebrity chefs:

    And Cleveland-based United Concessions Group has opened ​Iron Chef Michael Symon’s Bar Symon at Washington Dulles and Pittsburgh airports. So the next time you're in the airport, check out their famous eats.