- Some chefs said they have certain foods or tools they try to avoid cooking with.
- One chef said she uses butter instead of margarine or shortening.
- Two chefs said they don’t use minced garlic that comes from a jar.
Whether it’s based on personal preference or for the sake of the quality of the final dish, some chefs keep select ingredients and utensils out of their kitchens. INSIDER spoke to some professional chefs about the foods and cooking tools that you won’t find them using any time soon.
Here are a few things these chefs said they try to avoid cooking with.
Chef Mark Estee said food colouring and liquid smoke have no place in his kitchen
Mark Estee, a renowned chef who has multiple restaurants in Nevada, said food colouring and liquid smoke (a water-soluble liquid used for flavoring) are two items he never uses in his kitchen.
“I am not a fan of the chemical taste and chemical makeup of liquid smoke,” he told INSIDER. Estee said it’s a “slacker” way to get the desired result – smoky-tasting food. “You can achieve the smoke many other ways like [by using] a wood oven, a log on a burner, or a smoker,” he added.
Estee also said that he avoids using artificial food colouring. He instead prefers using fruits or vegetables to colour food naturally.
There are a lot of common ingredients and utensils you won’t find in Chef Angelique Santana’s kitchen
Angelique Santana, a vegan chef and founder of Eat with Angelique, told INSIDER that you won’t find animal products in her kitchen. She also said she doesn’t cook with garlic powder or minced garlic from a jar, as there is nothing like the real thing. But when working with the real ingredient, she said she doesn’t use a garlic press.
“I love to chop, and I prefer to do it by hand – you also get all of the garlic [clove] when you use this method,” she said. She also said that the garlic press tends to create more waste than actual garlic that can be added to your dish.
In terms of cooking tools, Santana said she also avoids using plastic utensils, glass cutting boards, and dull knives.
“Glass cutting boards are bad for your knives and they tend to be slippery, which is also dangerous,” she explained. She also said it’s important to sharpen your knives before using them because using a dull blade may make your knife more prone to slipping as you cut ingredients.
Santana also said avoids using plastic utensils because they are not very eco-friendly and they can melt at high temperatures, especially if they are being used to fry food. She said she uses silicone utensils instead.
Chef Shea Wafford said there are some items that you just can’t replace
Shea Wafford, sous and pastry chef at Rí Rá Las Vegas, told INSIDER that when it comes to bacon and butter there are simply no substitutes.
“Margarine, shortening, and butter flavoring doesn’t compare to real butter,” she said, noting that she doesn’t cook with any of those ingredients. “The rich, full flavour that butter provides to a dish just can’t be duplicated, especially when dealing with pastries and baked goods.”
She also said she does not use turkey bacon in any of her recipes. She said she instead cooks with classic, salt-cured pork bacon.
Chef Craig Hopson said some ingredients can make food taste ‘cheap’
Craig Hopson, a Michelin-star chef at Farmhouse, told INSIDER there are two things he refuses to cook with: minced garlic in a jar and pre-grated, canned parmesan.
Hopson said that both of these items have a distinct and unpleasant smell that imparts a “cheap” flavour into the dishes that contain them.
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