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Chefs don't like to sit still. When they aren't running around their kitchens, they're cruising across the country opening new restaurants, going on cookbook tours or sharing their expertise on radio and television. And needless to say, they won't settle for mediocre food when they travel. We caught up with three busy chefs and asked them to divulge their strategies for eating well on the go. Ming Tsai, chef and owner of Blue Ginger, a restaurant in Wellesley, Massachusetts, flies to New York City at least twice a month to tape material for his hit Food Network show, East Meets West with Ming Tsai. Tsai, who acknowledges that he's always hungry, often packs a lunch that includes Asian-accented dishes such as silky soba noodles with shrimp and five-spice chicken with sweet potato salad. Teresa Barrenechea, chef and owner of the acclaimed Basque restaurant Marichu in Manhattan, commutes by train from her home in Bronxville, New York, whenever her husband takes the car ("which is most of the time," she says), and has recently been traveling to promote her new book, The Basque Table (Harvard Common Press). She snacks on refreshing gazpacho and ham-and-egg-filled bocadillos, which are Spanish sandwiches. Craig Shelton, chef and owner of The Ryland Inn, in Whitehouse, New Jersey, lives on the inn's property, about 500 feet from the kitchen, but likes to go for long drives in his Porsche Carrera. "It's my therapy," he says. He'll often bring along a luscious crab salad on brioche. "When I drive, my adrenaline goes up," he explains. "Having great food on hand makes the trip even more stimulating."

Published May 1999
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