Chefs Announced for the San Francisco and New York Centurion Lounges

I’ve said that the American Express Centurion lounge in Dallas is probably the best airline lounge in the United States. Competition for that title would come from the New York JFK Lufthansa first class lounge, Concorde Room, and Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.

The Centurion lounges do a fabulous job with food and drink. The Dallas lounge features local celebrity chef Dean Fearing’s creations.

The launch of their second menu was delayed, apparently pending Fearing’s approval (or so staff in the lounge had shared).

There are five known U.S. Centurion lounge locations either open or in the pipeline.

  • Las Vegas (open)
  • Dallas (open)
  • New York LaGuardia (coming by end of summer?)
  • San Francisco (coming by end of summer? at one point on track for a July open)
  • Miami (coming by end of year?)

The San Francisco lounge reportedly started looking to hire staff back in March.

And now another new detail about the San Francisco lounge – to be located on the mezzanine level above security in the United terminal 3 — has come out.

Conde Nast interviewed three star Michelin chef and James Beard award winner Christopher Kostow, and buried the leed as it were.

The article highlights his view of the worst airline food:

I flew [Frontier] yesterday for the first time and it’s like the Greyhound of the sky. You have to pay for, like, a Coca-Cola.

But the big news? He’s the celebrity chef for American Express’ new San Francisco Centurion lounge!

Somehow I had missed that when it was announced last month.

Here’s what we know about the San Francisco lounge’s offerings:

Kostow says he’ll source his menu for the lounge (which has a full kitchen of its own) from local purveyors, with a casual spin on the Napa Valley cuisine for which he’s become nationally famous. Dishes are still being worked out, but diners can expect vegetable-forward fare designed to be taken on the plane, with flavors that are “light and have lots of bright acid,” according to Kostow.

One additional tidbit:

“If I want to serve eggs, and it has to be grab and go, how in god’s name do you make that beautiful?” Kostow said. “So, we’re going to do a steamed omelette that’s Japanese style, and sliceable. It’s going to look sexy.”

Cedric Vongerichten, chef of Perry St and son of Jean Georges Vongerichten, will curate the menu for the New York LaGuardia location.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The insanely long waits for a massage are ridiculous. It was a 2 hour wait at DFW when I was there last week. Does me no good for an 1.5 hour connection.

    Anyone know if it is possible to book a massage time before arrival in the club? Perhaps online?

  2. Staff told me recently at the DFW lounge that SFO will feature a wine bar as their special amenity (like DFW has a spa).

  3. I was at the LAS lounge last December. The food looked good, but I would never call it gourmet. The bar area was stocked with all top shelf product. Very Impressive.

  4. Same question as Mark………can I go out to the airport for lunch once a week and get in without a boarding pass?

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