When the world’s top chefs are off the clock, uptight, fancy meals go out the window. It seems they are just like us when chowing down at home, keeping their meals simple and low key. Cheese, bacon sandwiches, pasta and finger foods all make their top comfort food choices. Many chefs even report that at-home presentation simply doesn’t matter.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who is known for his eye-catching and mouthwatering culinary creations, tells Bloomberg, “At home, I never plate anything.”
Many even forgo utensils! Michel Roux, Jr. of London’s Le Gavroche opts for cheese when not at work. “I’m addicted to cheese, preferably a 24-month Comté made from the spring pastures, with home-made bread.” Chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernandin agrees, saying he loves to munch on cheese. Other finger food that strikes his fancy includes cookies, dark chocolate and spicy chorizo.
Others prefer the home cooking of loved ones. Karam Sethi (Gymkhana, London), explains his wife’s food — kakori kebabs, galouti kebabs, qormas and biryanis — “is the heartiest and most satisfying food in the world.” Chef Pierre Koffmann (Koffmann’s, London) agrees saying that the soup made by his wife makes his day. Others name check moms and romantic partners as their go-to cook when at home.
Chicken and pasta dishes are unsurprisingly popular with the foodie set. Clare Smyth (Gordon Ramsay, London) explains, “Roast chicken or spaghetti bolognese. These are my two comfort go-to dishes at home. It is a nostalgia thing for me.”
And in a nod to the aforementioned nostalgia, many chefs opt for food from their homeland. Whether it is freshly made tortillas or a Spanish squid dish, culinary masters pay homage to their roots while at home.
Tokyo’s Yoshihiro Narisawa, chef of namesake eatery Narisawa, gives his recipe for his favorite eat-at-home meal: “Put abundant grated daikon and spinach in ichiban dashi and boil it. Make shabu shabu (Japanese hotpot dish) with thinly sliced pork loin. Add seasonal mushrooms and vegetables (whatever I like) and serve with several sauces: sesame, soy with red peeper, pepper with yuzu etc.”
All this brings one very important question on the tip of our tongues: Is it lunch time yet? [Bloomberg]