Even when these gastronomes are off duty, they’re usually still in the kitchen, whipping up culinary delights for friends and family. From ramen and tacos to breakfast sandwiches and po' boys, this is what they’re craving when they're not at their restaurants.
- Chef Massimiliano Eandi of Raviolo
I grew up making ravioli alongside my grandmother, who taught me everything she knew about making pasta. When I make this, I like to make it with a group.
Everyone has a specific job: The strongest stirs the pasta, the most precise closes the ravioli, and whomever takes care of the family budget is in charge of filling the pasta—he or she knows exactly how much to put in, and this is a very serious job.
Of course, you need a chef who can make the filling (that’s my job). Making pasta brings back many happy memories, and when it’s time to celebrate, ravioli is my go-to crowd pleaser.
World Famous Macaroni and Cheese
- Chef Dan Fleming of Primal Cut
My absolute favorite thing to make at home is my world famous (or it should be!) macaroni and cheese. There are so many different ways to go about it—you can be daring and add beef, bacon, or even chicken.
You can 'try' to make it healthier by adding vegetables (I never choose this route). You can even add Sriracha if you want to give it a little kick. But above all, it must be finished with some sort of breadcrumb, and my garlic breadcrumbs top them all.
This dish was one of the best things my mom would make for me growing up as a kid. I came from a very humble background, so macaroni and cheese made its way to the menu a few nights a week—which wasn’t a bad thing at all, in my opinion. There’s a sense of nostalgia in my cooking, since my mother has always been my inspiration—and the reason for me becoming a chef.
- Chef Chris Santos of Beauty & Essex, Stanton Social, Vandal
To me, chilaquiles is the ultimate comfort food. They’re super easy to make, and you can use store-bought salsa. But I like to quickly make a salsa verde by simply blending together avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, a little onion, and lime juice—as if you were making guacamole. Then, I puree the mixture with a little olive oil and chicken stock (or water), with a dash of tequila.
Simmer that until it reduces slightly, and simply toss with tortilla chips. You can fold it in virtually anything: chicken, steak, whatever you want. Get the chips nicely browned and soaked with the salsa verde, and top with cheese. Voila—instant satisfaction!
- Chef David Bazirgan of Bambara Kitchen & Bar
This spin on a classic Armenian sweet bread is served as a meal starter at Bambara, and is a variation of my grandmother’s family recipe. We make the bread for family meals at home, and our friends and family are happy to eat it at the restaurant as well.
Slow-Roasted Pork Tacos
- Chef Brandon Sharp of The Carolina Inn, A Destination Hotel
We have three rowdy kids, so this is an easy and delicious dinner. I recommend country-style pork ribs for this, which are cheap, boneless, and tough as nails until I roast them nice and slow with some cloves of garlic. At this point in the process, we may even head out to the pool or the park for a couple of hours.
At the table, it’s a DIY taco feast. We usually put out warm tortillas, black beans, shredded cabbage with lime and mayo, more limes, and either a chunky salsa or Trader Joe’s Green Dragon Hot Sauce, which is great with fatty pork. To drink, Dale’s Pale Ale or cold Chablis.
Sweet and Sour Braised Cabbage
- Chef Wolfgang Puck of Wolfgang Puck American Grille
To me and to most Americans, one of the biggest parts of the holidays is, of course, the food. Having been born and raised in Austria, I always mix in some of my favorite traditional Austrian dishes when entertaining for a group of friends or the family. For Thanksgiving, I especially love sweet and sour braised cabbage, slow braised chestnuts, and potato puree with truffles. Cooking around the holidays is always an adventure.
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