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My 5 Travel Essentials: Celebrity Chef Daniel Rose

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Chef Daniel Rose grew up outside Chicago, but made his name as a chef cooking in Paris, where he owns the game-changing restaurant, Spring, as well as bistros La Bourse et La Vie and the soon-to-open Chez La Vieille.

This year he logged tens of thousands of American AAdvantage miles flying back and forth between Paris and New York, gearing up for the opening of his first American restaurant, Le Coucou, which debuted this June at the 11 Howard hotel.

Flying transatlantic so frequently breeds rituals. “From New York, I leave way early for the airport and get to the lounge; it’s nice to have a space to work and relax before a flight,” said Rose, who only recently starting paying attention to his airline miles. “All these years I’ve lived abroad, I never had a frequent flyer card and I was probably flying home two times a year. If only I’d been doing it from the beginning,” he said.

The many AAdvantage miles Rose has collected so far have gone to upgrades. “There’s no big stash from some conglomerate paying for my flights; the money comes from my restaurants, so I book economy,” said Rose. “I’ve started to figure out which flights are less full so I can use miles to upgrade to business. Everyone has their tricks.”

These are the five things Chef Daniel Rose always has on him, no matter what class of service he flies.

1. Outdoor Products Green Backpack

“This is my magic backpack. The zippers are broken, but then when I need to travel with it, suddenly they’re fine! I’ve been using it for 15 years and don’t even remember where it came from. I was probably running out the door at my parents’ house and just grabbed it from a pile. I would say it’s so old I don’t have to worry about it ever being stolen, but it actually was stolen once in Guatemala. My girlfriend at the time ran after the guy and took it back.”

Image courtesy Daniel Rose
This backpack has traveled with Daniel Rose from Guatemala to Paris to Chicago and back for more than a decade.

2. Melatonin

“Traveling between New York and Paris three days at a time can be really disruptive. Melatonin helps me adapt quickly and maintain time zones. It gets rid of that ‘is-it-three-in-the-morning-or-six-in-the-afternoon?’ feeling. Then again, I’ve had the same bottle for so long, maybe it’s not doing anything anymore!”

3. His Shampoo Collection

“I keep a collection of travel-sized bottles with me. Some are ones that I use, others are ones that I like from hotels I’ve stayed at. Right now, I’ve got shampoos from the Edition and Standard in New York, from a luxury chalet I love in the French Alps, even one from Thailand that smells like green curry. At first I thought it was gross, but now I think it’s awesome.”

Image courtesy Daniel Rose
A few bottles from Chef Daniel Rose’s shampoo collection.

4. $100 in cash — and 100 euros

“One time, I went to buy a juice at this place I like on Union Square. I had just gotten into New York and still didn’t know what planet I was on, so I handed him euros. I was like, ‘OK that can’t happen again.’ So now I always keep a stash of one hundred dollars and one hundred euros on me during every trip.”

5. Family Photos

“Pictures of my children and my wife do not leave my side. They are the great perspective-maker and remind me that while I’m traveling for different projects, family is our most important project.”

What are five things you never travel without? Let us know in the comments, below.

Featured image courtesy of Spring restaurant.

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