Molly Baz wants to convince the world that cooking is “fun.” Her YouTube cooking channel, which she started after becoming a fixture in Bon Appétit’s test kitchen, certainly makes it seem so. She dances while preparing pasta in gin sauce, and dramatically pierces a knife through a simmered potato, which will be drowned in olive oil. Her first cookbook, Cook This Book, offered twists on classics, from chickpea carbonara to Niçoise sandwiches. Her second, More Is More, is a maximalist approach to flavor. Think chicken with miso and leeks, or marinated zucchini with fried sunflower seeds.
For the next few weeks, Baz will fly around the country for her book tour. Here, she answers our questionnaire about what she packs, eats, and buys while traveling.
What do you wear to the airport?
I used to be a pajamas-on-the-plane type of person (I absolutely adore being cozy), but then I met my husband and realized that I look like a total schlump next to him when we travel. He takes a lot of pride in not looking like a hot mess just because we’re in transit, so I’ve shifted my look a bit to oversize, comfortable clothing that still looks chic-ish. I’ll wear a pair of floppy pleated pants and a vintage, worn crewneck.
How long before your flight boards do you get to the airport?
As late as possible. I’m trying to walk through security and right onto the plane.
Check bags, or carry-on only?
Avoid checking bags at all costs. Nothing bums me more than waiting at the conveyor belt, staring at every single bag, hoping, praying yours will drop down next. It’s agony after a long flight.
What do you bring in your carry-on?
I usually bring a wiener dog (tuna), some homemade plane snacks, and if we’re talking more than four hours, I’m that girl that packs her pillow. As in, her down pillow.
T.S.A. PreCheck, or regular?
T.S.A. plus Clear.
Paris CDG. Not because the airport is especially incredible, but because I love the sounds of the French airport and the way they signal to me that we have landed in my favorite city of all time.
What do you buy in the airport?
I try not to buy in the airport terminal aside from maybe a pack of pistachios or mixed nuts if I forgot to make my own snack bag. If, for some reason, I have arrived early and have a night flight ahead, I may grab a beer in the terminal to set me straight, but otherwise I come pretty prepared.
What do you do while waiting to board?
This happens extremely rarely. I’m usually the last one to board.
Item you can’t fly without?
Toothbrush. Love to brush my teeth before I take a snooze and right before we deplane.
First class or coach?
This feels like a loaded question. In an ideal world I am only flying first class, but that is not a world I live in at this juncture.
Window, middle, or aisle seat?
Aisle. I drink more water than anyone else I’ve ever known, which means many trips to the bathroom.
How do you pass the time on the plane?
Work! I love working on a plane because there are no distractions, and I feel like it’s time that I gain back in the day. There is nothing more satisfying to me than blowing through my to-do list on a plane and getting off it with a clean slate.
Do you buy Wi-Fi?
We fly Delta frequently, and so we have unlimited Wi-Fi.
Favorite airplane snack?
Jammy eggs with sesame salt.
Do you eat plane food?
I typically make my own food, though on a recent flight home from Europe I had a Jon & Vinny’s in-flight meal that was exceptional. The meatballs in red sauce were phenom.
Best drink to get on a flight?
Gin-and-tonic. Can’t mess that one up.
Do you talk to the people sitting next to you?
I’m certainly not opposed, but I’m not the one striking up an hour-long conversation, either. Like I said, productivity is the name of the game for me in flight, so I tend to lock in and focus. That said, I’ve made some great work connections on flights, so it’s always worth a friendly hello—ya never know who you might meet.
Keep shoes on or off on the plane?
Shoes off, socks on. Love to be cozy.
What do you do when turbulence hits?
I’m pretty unfazed by turbulence, for better or for worse. So … nothing?
Worst part of the flight?
The endless taxi before takeoff.
First thing you do when the plane lands?
Keep doing whatever I was doing, realizing that we may not be deplaning anytime soon.
Advice for travelers?
Don’t harass the gate agents. It’s not their fault!
Molly Baz’s More Is More will be available from Clarkson Potter beginning October 10