Stocking your pantry with everything you need to whip up amazing meals can be an overwhelming task. But there are some ingredients that are absolutely essential, that you could not imagine cooking without. Here, as part of our Amusing Bouche interview series, we posed this question to 10 chefs: What are five ingredients that are always in your pantry?
Cooks and Soldiers
Lemon, garlic, salt, thyme and scallions.
Sambal, mayo, kimchi, Dijon mustard and Buffalo Trace Whiskey.
Miami Beach restaurant
Maldon sea salt (the most important ingredient in my pantry), Spanish olive oil, dark chocolate, quinoa and vinegar.
Good olive oil, fish sauce, dark chocolate, finishing sea salt, and ranch dressing.
Honey, Tabasco, Lea & Perrins worcestershire sauce, buttermilk, mayonnaise (preferably Duke’s). Not coincidentally, all of those go into making ranch dressing, which I consider a mother sauce.
Spoon and Stable
Vinegar, salt, Espelette pepper, saba (Editor’s Note: This is similar to balsamic vinegar) and olive oil.
Great eggs. Celeste Albers taught me how special and perfectly complete and egg can be. Carolina Gold Rice speaks to my soul. It is mill-fresh and difficult to cook properly. There is a reverence in the FIG kitchen for this floral, historical grain. We get it from Anson Mills. Arbequina olive oil is also one of the pillars of our cuisine. When we use olive oil, it is a crucial ingredient. It’s not just a cooking medium. It can add necessary fat to lean fish or be a vital and forward-flavor in the perfect arugula salad. Fleur de sel is not just a seasoning agent. It can bring out the full potential of a single ingredient while maintaining its own textural and aesthetic integrity. I can’t live without lemons. There aren’t many things that a squeeze of lemon won’t help. You don’t have to taste the lemon, but you can create an unidentifiable nuance in a dish that will take it from great to memorable.
Maldon sea salt, lemon, chile paste, eggs, and plantains.
Crushed Calabrian chili, champagne vinegar, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil and Dijon mustard.
Olive oil, butter, salt, lemon, black pepper…it’s not sexy, but it works.
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