Travel & Gourmet

What Chefs Eat and Cook at Home?

The most qualified and famous, celebrated and honoured, mentioned in every single guide and list, awarded as best chefs and with countless Michelin stars, chefs are still… people and they also eat comfort food and cook at home. What and how often? With pleasure or not? They revealed their secrets.
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Photo: Casa Maria Luigia

Massimo Bottura (Modena, Italy, 3 Michelin stars)

With the arrival of quarantines and restrictions, as my restaurants are temporarily closed, I cook a lot at home, experimenting with zero waste recipes. Of course, I always have the best Italian artisan products in my fridge: hams, mozzarella, salami, Parmesan, but the main idea now is to cook something good and healthy without using so many ingredients and not leaving a lot of waste.


Kirk Westaway (Singapore, 1 Michelin star)

Normally for my breakfast, I have some porridge and a piece of homemade bread (each week, I prepare a different loaf) with homemade jams. Maybe, eggs, different types: poached, omelette, scrambled. Freshly roasted coffee, and at 8:30, I already leave.  Lunch or dinner? It is a bit complicated as the rest of the day is dedicated to working and doesn't happen so often to dine at home.

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Photo: Claes Bech-Poulsen

Hezret-Arslan Berdiev (St. Petersburg, Russia, selection of The 50 Best Discovery)

Cooking at home, I try to do something which reminds me of my home country- Turkmenistan. Something simple, with the usage of our techniques and produce. The best meal for me? Fish or meat cooked over charcoal with vegetables and fresh bread. Pomegranate, for instance, is an unmissable product on my table. I also like to fry chicken or lamb and make a broth for lunch. There is a good chicken available in Russia, no worse than poule de bresse, which I always buy in Paris close to the Eiffel Tower and enjoy its rich, properly "fat" taste.


Rasmus Kofoed (Copenhagen, Denmark, 3 Michelin stars)

If it happens and I stay at home with my family, I love to cook some vegetable courses as my mother did. Thanks to her, I've discovered the attractive side of these ingredients. Years later, I've cooked them at home for my family, but the love for the vegetables inspired me to open my second restaurant dedicated to plant-based cuisine.


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Photo: Sylvestre Wahid's archive

Evgeny Vikentiev (Moscow, Russia)

I rarely cook at home, or rather, I did it only a couple of times in half a year. The ritual of eating food at home is ordering from restaurants if my friends visit me. For the dishes, I often choose to have pizza or pho. 


Sylvestre Wahid (Paris - Saint Rémy de Provence, France; 2 Michelin stars)

So what I'm eating at the moment? I do the groceries at the market in Saint Rémy de Provence, trying to grab some seasonal vegetables, fruit, shellfish, and fish. And a little bit of white meat. I vary with pasta and cereals, and I try to cook good products in a very simple way. My favorite dish is pasta with lightly spiced tomato sauce with basil. I also love to have pizza.


Nicolai Elitsgaard (Båly, Norway, 1 Michelin star)

I always try to make some great food at home. One of my all-time favorites is a lamb cooked in a cast iron pot with onions, potatoes, and all the lovely herbs. It's a recipe my grandma used to cook (even though I grew up in Denmark). I work a lot with seafood at work, so when I really want a guilty pleasure at home, a dry-aged piece of meat of any kind usually is like winning the jackpot. I don't really eat a lot of seafood at home, only if I have caught it myself.


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Mauro Colagreco in his garden. Photo: Phaidon

Mauro Colagreco (Menton, France, 3 Michelin stars)

Picking fresh vegetables from my garden, I cook them simply to make the most out of them: an excellent extra-virgin olive oil, and a slice of good bread, to go with them. I love the simplicity and the focus on the product's quality. 


Josean Alija (Bilbao, Spain, 1 Michelin star)

For home cooking, there is always an encounter variety and exclusivity they produce each season gives us. The simplest products, like a tomato, a pea or an anchovy, for example, could be so exquisite! 

For me, eating at home becomes a ritual and an opportunity to eat healthily, have fun, discover new things and spend time with my loved ones. In times of pandemic cooking, it is also a creative exercise to stay in professional "shape."  And cooking should always be about health!



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Photo: Kristian Baumann's archive

Kristian Baumann (Copenhagen, Denmark, 1 Michelin star)

Cooking at home, like everyone, I have my all-time favorites. Among them, fresh spring rolls, jasmine rice, green beans. Favorite pre-dinner snack is a salad, cucumbers, radishes, and herbs rolled in rice paper seasoned with lime zest and sesame. I also love to eat fried rice with green beans, radishes, scallions, cucumbers, soy chicken, and plenty of dried, smoked chili flakes. An idea for a quick dinner? Steamed oysters with pancetta, celery, thyme, cilantro, mint, chili paste, and crispy garlic - perfect to be served with rice porridge. Or, maybe, a sautéed courgette tossed in a tomato and butter jus seasoned with chili paste and plenty of toasted blacks and white sesame.


Daniel Humm (New York, the USA, 3 Michelin stars)

Lately, I tend to eat and love pasta, any kind of - spaghetti carbonara, tagliatelle with lemon and Parmesan, or merely a tomato one.  I'm a big fan of roast chicken too. It's an easy-to-prepare crowd-pleaser, and it's a great centerpiece to build a meal around, with salads or sides, some French bread, and a nice bottle of wine. My mother made roast chicken when I was growing up in Switzerland, so it always stays comforting, familiar for me.


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