8 Chefs Reveal Three Items That Are Always in Their Fridge

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Have you ever wondered what some of the world’s most talented chefs always keep in their refrigerators and pantries? We asked a few professionals to name three ingredients they always have on hand, and their answers included delicious pantry staples like specialty olive oils and spices, as well as seasonal fruits and vegetables that can add texture and nutrition to a variety of dishes. Keep reading so you can learn how to stock your kitchen like a pro!

“Quesadillas in Adobo Sauce, Ripe Avocados and Eggs” – Pati Jinich, chef, host of La Frontera on PBS and Pati’s Mexican Table, and author of three cookbooks. Her latest creation is a gem for the Mexican table

“In my kitchen, you can always find auyama-a pumpkin that I love to use in soups-blue cheese for creamy white pasta sauces, and coriander seeds for so many things. I just love the flavors.” – Noemi Guzman, chef at Jalao, a traditional Dominican restaurant in New York City

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“Argentine olive oil, milk sauce and seasonal fruit.” -Fernando Navas, chef and owner of BALVANERA

“Cilantro: I love to cook with it, it’s part of the Dominican culture. My mother cooks with it and I like to add it to my food. Lime: It brightens up food and I always like to spray lime at the end of chicken and roast pork dishes. I saw limes in the fridge all the time as a kid and it connected me to my mom’s cooking. Red onions: I grew up watching my mom’s refrigerator. In all Latin and African cooking, red onions are” – Chef Nielsen Germany

“As a proud Mexican, onions, garlic and peppers. You need all three of those things! If you don’t have them, you can’t do anything. I’m frying tortillas, salsa and a lot of different things.” — Gerry Torres, founder of City Tacos in San Diego

“Sofrito, sazon and ketchup.” -Illyanna Maisonet Food columnist and author of the forthcoming cookbook, Diaspora

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“Chili peppers (ají panca, ají amarillo, rocoto or ají limo) we use as a cooking base or spicy flavor; garlic and onions (both are important in Peruvian food) and butter. The fat is the best.” – Tomas Matsufuji, chef at Al Toke Pez in Lima, Peru

“The three ingredients in my pantry are masa harina (dried corn dough), spotted beans and limes. Corn is the heart of Mexican cuisine, and masa harina is something I can’t live without. I am able to use it for many things like sopes, tortillas, chochoyotes (tortillas), and even for drinks like tejuino or atole. A bowl of speckled beans with diced onions, chopped cilantro and chopped queso cotija is my regular meal home grown, so I like to keep these well stocked because they always come in handy when you’re short on cash. They prove that you can do a lot with the simplest of ingredients. Lastly, my family is from Colima, Mexico and one of their main exports is limes, so I always have a bag of limes on my counter. They have a bright fruity and floral flavor, are easier to squeeze, and are best paired with your tostadas de ceviche, or a bowl of pozole. they always remind me of home, too. -Esteban Castillo, food blogger and author of the upcoming cookbook Chicano Bakes

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