Airport introduces celebrity chef-driven restaurants

Published March 23, 2012


New York's LaGuardia airport, which was recently rated the worst major airport in America by both JD Power and Associates and Zagat Survey, is getting a major upgrade.

Thursday, Delta Air Lines announced its latest expansion into Terminal C will offer five chef-driven restaurants, an expansive food hall, causal take-out joints and fresh markets. The new program will bring together culinary talent such as Andrew Zimmern, Andrew Carmellini, Anne Burrell and Aaron Sanchez.

"We're adding fabulous food and beverage choices and services that make the airport experience enjoyable and efficient for our customers," said Gail Grimmett, Delta's senior vice president in New York.

Delta previously announced the largest single expansion by any carrier at LaGuardia in four decades, with total flights increasing by more than 60 percent, and the number of destinations growing more than 75 percent. By this summer, Delta will operate 264 daily flights between LaGuardia and more than 60 cities, more than any other airline.

"New York is the dining capital of the world, and we have had the opportunity to team up with some of the best chefs in the city to put together this culinary program," said Rick Blatstein, CEO of OTG Management, the company responsible for planning Terminal C's restaurant renovations. "With one of the largest chef collaborations under one roof, state-of-the-art design, and innovative retail offerings, flying in and out of Delta LGA will be about a lifestyle."

Terminal C's full-service restaurants will be:

– Michael White’s Cotto, with pizza and pasta
– Empire Tavern, from Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson of Balthazar
– Kombu, with Japanese food, from Jamison Blankenship, formerly of Morimoto
– Vagabond Burger Bar, by Anne Burrell of the Food Network
– Andrew Carmellini’s Victory Grill.

Terminal C's casual dining will be:

– Artichoke pizza, from the Artichoke Basille team
– Custom Burgers, with meat by Pat LaFrieda
– Biergarten, developed by Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery
– Andrew Carmellini’s Minnow
– Aarón Sanchez’s Vuelo Taqueria
– Wibar wine bar, from the wine steward Roger Dagorn
– Xun Su, with Chinese food
– World Bean, a coffee joint
– Interwich for global sandwiches by Andrew Zimmern, television’s "Bizarre Food" star