“So, I stack both of the crates and then throw my luggage on top of them. The bottom crate has wheels and I attach a dog leash to it so I can pull everything through the airport. There’s a non-slip mat in between each item so things don’t slip and fall off but it’s still a balancing act. It’s pretty exhausting actually, but it works.”
“But it’s all things we need, you know. Once we touch ground at our destination, there’s really no time to stop for ingredients or items. We’re focused on the food and the goal for the duration of the trip. With such limited time to practice together, it’s worth the energy and price to travel with everything. And once we get in the kitchen none of that really matters any more.”
“Previously I would just wrap all of my knives in cloth and package them like normal. I decided to use a travel kit especially made to travel with knives on my way to a CMC practice. During the flight, all of my knives came out of the case and the tips broke off in the process. It was lucky for me that it was just a practice and not the actual exam.”
All of the 2016 Team USA Chefs go through this process for each practice (Typically, one weekend of every month).
Packing properly is a crucial first step in any competition. It’s something you want to have planned out and perfected before you actually have to do it. A set of broken knives or a forgotten item can be a complete make or break for any competitor.