- Chefs from across the US shared their favourite cereal picks.
- One chef swears by using cornflakes in dishes.
- Others still love their childhood favourites.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, there’s something inherently satisfying and comforting about a bowl of sugary cereal.
We all have our favourite cereals, so we decided to ask some food experts – chefs – which cereals they can’t get enough of.
This chef loves Cinnamon Toast Crunch and has a unique way of consuming it.
Erling Wu-Bower, chef and co-owner of Pacific Standard Time in Chicago, is a Cinnamon Toast Crunch fan.
“It’s just the best,” Wu-Bower told INSIDER. “And it makes the best flavored milk.” He recommends putting the milk into the bowl first and adding in Cinnamon Toast Crunch little by little, “eating all of it in between each addition so it stays crunchy.”
This chef’s choice cereal brings back memories of a favourite TV show.
“Special K with the strawberry flakes reminds me of the first few seasons of ‘Breaking Bad,'” Laurence Edelman, executive chef at Left Bank (a New American restaurant in NYC), told INSIDER. “I’d get home from work and eat half a box of cereal while watching Mr. White get deeper and deeper into trouble. That little routine kept up for weeks. Heaven.”
Cornflakes are a childhood favourite turned versatile ingredient for this chef.
Zivko Radojcic, executive chef of Infamous Bistro (a New American kitchen with Mediterranean and Asian influences), grew up eating cornflakes and now uses them in a variety of ways in the kitchen.
“They’re very versatile,” said Radojcic. “I even use them for a crust of the bottom of desserts I’m making or I grind them up and use them for breading.”
One chef thinks Honey Bunches of Oats have an appealing sweetness and satisfying crunch.
Dianna Daoheung, executive chef of Black Seed Bagels in NYC, loves Honey Bunches of Oats.
“The crunch and the sweetness do it for me,” said Daoheung. “Plus, there is the bonus of sweet milk at the end!”
Cap’n Crunch has been this chef’s favourite since childhood.
“Cap’n Crunch was my favourite cereal growing up, and I still love it,” Mike Khuu, executive chef and owner of PhoBar (a contemporary Vietnamese restaurant in NYC), told INSIDER. “It’s definitely the crunchiest cereal in my opinion, which I love.”
Honey Nut Cheerios have become a family tradition for this chef.
Honey Nut Cheerios hold a special meaning for Sal Scognamillo, executive chef and owner of Patsy’s Italian Restaurant in NYC.
“It was the first [cereal] I ever had as a boy, and each bite brings me back to my childhood as it was what I had at home with my mum,” Scognamillo told INSIDER. “When I had kids of my own, the first food I ever served them was Honey Nut Cheerios and I hope to continue this tradition with my grand-kids one day.”
Waffle Crisp is this chef’s go-to for a sugar rush.
Natalie Saben, pastry chef of Pacific Standard Time, reaches for Waffle Crisp when she’s looking for something super sweet. “It reminds me of being a kid, and I love how it tastes exactly like waffles covered in syrup,” said Saben.
On the flip side, Honey Nut Cheerios are Saben’s more health-conscious choice. “Just the perfect amount of sweet to start the day that doesn’t make you feel bad for eating it,” said Saben.
Rice Krispies Treats cereal brings back memories of holiday gatherings for this chef.
“Homemade Rice Krispies Treats are incredibly nostalgic,” Caitlin McMillan, executive chef at Goldie (a vegan falafel shop in Philadelphia), told INSIDER.
She explained that her mother often used to make them for the holidays and change up the coloured “jimmies” (aka sprinkles) depending on the occasion: red and green for Christmas, orange and black for Halloween, etc.
“Eating them right from the pot while everything was still warm was the absolute move,” said McMillan. “The Rice Krispies Treats cereal version really hits home for me, especially the different-sized clusters of Rice Krispies Treats that break down and flavour your milk with marshmallows.”
Reese’s Puffs were a Christmas treat for this chef.
Camille Cogswell, pastry chef at Zahav in Philadelphia, has a soft spot for Reese’s Puffs as they’re tied to childhood memories.
“My brother and I weren’t allowed to eat cereal like this growing up, but on Christmas morning we could have whatever we wanted for breakfast,” Cogswell told INSIDER. “For multiple years in a row, my brother and I chose to eat Reese’s Puffs with a side of pork bacon for Christmas breakfast (my mum normally only stocked turkey bacon in our household).”
Cereal is a staple in this chef’s pantry
Chef Mike Davis of Terra in Columbia, South Carolina, loves cereal, and eats it at night about once a week.
“I come home tired from all day in the kitchen, and the last thing I want to do is cook for myself,” Davis told INSIDER. “My cereal go-to’s are Frosted Mini-Wheats, Special K Red Berries, and Crunchy Nut O’s … Around Halloween, I will usually grab a box of Franken Berry to relive some of my favourite childhood memories.”
For this chef, it’s a tie between Cap’n Crunch’s Peanut Butter Crunch and Raisin Bran.
“Peanut Butter Crunch reminds me of Saturday morning cartoons and snow days off from school,” chef Zach West of Datz in Tampa told INSIDER. Meanwhile, Raisin Bran brings back memories of trips to his grandma’s house and holidays with family.
“Nowadays, Raisin Bran is more of a standard cereal for my everyday breakfast and Peanut Butter Crunch is more of a treat,” said West.
Frosted Flakes with almond or oat milk is this chef’s go-to
“Cereal is my life,” Samantha Davis, chef du cuisine at Henry at Life Hotel, told INSIDER. “I rarely cook at home because I’m always working. When I come home and crash, a bowl of cereal is so satisfying and comforting.”
When it comes to rich, chocolatey flavour, Cocoa Pebbles is the clear winner for this chef.
“My favourite cereal of all time would be Cocoa Pebbles, the sister cereal to Fruity Pebbles and not to be confused with Cocoa Krispies,” chef David Allan Russell Jr., executive chef at Bagatelle Miami (a modern French restaurant), told INSIDER.
The difference comes down to the chocolate factor. “I am a huge chocolate buff, and Cocoa Pebbles has a very dark and rich chocolate flavour to it and I feel they produce a far better chocolate milk than Cocoa Krispies or Cocoa Puffs,” said Russell.
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