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Surprising Things Chefs Cook (or Don’t) at Home

You’d be surprised!

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The lives of the world’s greatest chefs must be glamorous, right? Sometimes, yes—but day to day, chefs are actually more down to earth than you may think. Check out what these top chefs (all of whom will wow foodies at the 13th annual New York magazine Taste a World of Flavors culinary event next week) really cook after a long day over a hot grill.

1. Pasta
“I love to cook pasta. It’s an easy thing to make when you don’t want to spend all night in the kitchen—whether it be a garlic and olive oil sauce or a quick tomato sauce with basil, it’s always easy and delicious.” –Alain Allegretti, La Promenade des Anglais

“Depends on the time of year. In July I’m dreaming about pasta and tomato sauce. There isn’t anything much better than that in the middle of the summer.” –Dan Barber, Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns

“I like making pasta and salads. You can use simple and fresh ingredients to create dishes with amazing flavors. You can do so many things with them. You can create a new pasta dish just by incorporating different ingredients. There is always a new combination to try.” –François Payard, François Payard Bakery

“Simple udon noodles.” –Masaharu Morimoto, Morimoto

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2. Grilled food

“Cooking at home is a pretty rare undertaking. But I do like to grill on my balcony. The last time I did, I made a spiced pork loin seasoned with harissa and a salad of tomatoes from the green market.” –Aaron Chambers, Boulud Sud

“I cook very simply at home. It is usually just pasta or a grilled steak with vegetables.” –Justin Bogle, Gilt

“Anything on the grill, fresh vegetables from the garden, cold beer, and the memories that will follow.” –Michael Psilakis, Kefi

“I love to cook over an open flame, especially seafood and vegetables.” –Seamus Mullen, Tertulia

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3. Roasted chicken

“Roasted chicken and market vegetables.” –Adam Schop, Nuela

“My favorites are roast chicken or grilled rib eye of beef with asparagus and baked potato and a mixed green salad” –Jonathan Benno, Lincoln

“I like to keep it really simple. I love a good salad and roast chicken.” –Laurent Manrique, Millesime

“Nothing beats…a properly roasted chicken.” –Philippe Massoud, ilili

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4. Simple, healthy food

“Simple food, usually a protein with a vegetable and a salad. This summer I made grilled black bass with salsa verde and grilled local asparagus.” –Shea Gallante, Ciano

“I just had a lunch of lentils and rice. I love making that—something so basic with so much strength using lesser ingredients. The main elements stand out.” –Vikas Khanna, Junoon

“Rice, cooked in a donabe. I add fresh ingredients from the farmers market.” –Isao Yamada, Brushstroke

“I like to cook very simple food at home. Last night I made a quick vegetable sauté with seasonal vegetables from the Union Square greenmarket.” –Yuhi Fujinaga, Bar Basque

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5. Comfort Food

“Comfort food, ceviche, quesadillas, braised short ribs, roasted chicken.” –Julian Medina, Toloache

“Grilled cheese.” –Jesse Schenker, Recette

“We stock up on Bolognese, pork and ricotta meatballs, and soups for the freezer. My kids love it. As for myself, after work I for some reason love peanut butter on Triscuits with Sriracha sauce, a bag of Lay’s potato chips, and a can of beer.” –Ed Carew, La Caprice

“Eggs.” –John Fraser, Dovetail

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6. Nothing!

“I try to sleep as much as I can, and let my wife do the cooking. And she does it when I behave well.” –Luis Bollo, Salinas

” I generally don’t cook at all on my day off. I go out to dinner.” –George Mendes, Aldea

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest