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Matthew Accarrino, Olivier Roellinger Spices
The chef behind the rustic, Roman-influenced SPQR says he loves to add flavor to the vegetables he cooks at home with spice powders from renowned French chef Olivier Roellinger. Poudre du voyage, an aromatic blend of sumac and sesame, and poudre des vertus, made from turmeric and seaweed, are his favorite blends for roasting root veggies such as parsnips or sprinkling onto salads. Photo (left) courtesy of Ed Anderson.
Cortney Burns, County Line Harvest Curly Parsley
Forget the bread. Burns says curly parsley is the powerhouse ingredient in many of Bar Tartine?s purees, finishing oils, dips and spreads. Her favorite place to buy it is at County Line Harvest?s stand in the Ferry Building?s Farmers Market, and she even eats a sprig to cleanse her palate after a long day of tasting.
Sarah Rich, Maison de Monaco Preserves
Can?t get a reservation at Rich Table? At least you can still get your hands on the chef and co-owner?s go-to locally made preserves at Gourmet & More (it?s right next door). Pick up one of Maison de Monaco?s ethereal fruity flavors, like Blackberry & Poppy Flower or Apricot & Hibiscus.
Brett Cooper, Nijiya Market’s Katsuobushi
If there’s one thing that will convince you to make the trek to the Outer Sunset, it’s the surfer-chic restaurant Outerlands. There, chef Brett Cooper relies on katsuobushi (a.k.a. dried smoked bonito fish flakes) to add an umami flavor to his soups and sauces. Head to Nijiya Market in Japantown to find some of your own. Photo (left) courtesy of Robert Birnbach.
Robyn Lenzi, C&H Brown Sugar
Yes, the pastry chef uses a famous liquid-nitrogen technique to make the insanely addictive ice cream at Smitten. But she also has another, far less fancy trick up her sleeve: replacing some of the white sugar with C&H’s brown sugar (a grocery-store staple) to add a deep caramelized taste to flavors such as the Cinnamon Apple Crisp.
Michael Mina, Preserved Lemons
The chef who has 17 restaurants to his name (including RN74 and Bourbon Steak) has a surprisingly simple way to up the flavor ante when he cooks: He uses the bright acidity of salted aged lemons to add zest to a chicken tagine, a homemade vinaigrette or a grain salad. You can get them at Williams-Sonoma or make them at home.
Thomas McNaughton, The Apple Farm Cider Vinegar
The James Beard-nominated chef who runs the show at Flour + Water picks up cider vinegar from the Apple Farm, which he uses to balance the richness and fat in cool-weather dishes like braises and purees. You can order it through the Apple Farm's site. Photo (left) courtesy of Eric Wolfinger.
Martin Yan, Fresh Ginger
No obscure resources here! The Iron Chef, Top Chef and Hell?s Kitchen judge and the man behind M.Y. China says he relies on good ol? ginger root from farmers markets (and even supermarkets) to perk up meat, seafood and tofu. For the record, we prefer Chue?s Farm fresh ginger.
This city is as obsessed with its chefs as it is with its produce (considering the kind of enthusiasm we reserve for our farmers markets, that’s really saying something). Wouldn’t you die to know where they go to stock their fridges?
That sounded like an emphatic “Yes!” So we tracked down some of the biggest names in the restaurant biz and asked them what ingredients they buy for their kitchens--and where. Click through the slideshow, then grab your greener-than-hemp grocery tote.
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