What local chefs are eating at home

  • Jeff Mall prepares egg and bacon sandwiches for lunch at his home in Windsor on Thursday, October 24, 2013. The eggs come fresh from his chicken coup in his backyard and the bacon is cured in-house at his restaurant Zin in Healdsburg. (Conner Jay/The Press Democrat)

Most Wine Country chefs like to keep it simple at home, especially after being on their feet all day preparing multi-course meals.

"The last thing you want to do when you get home is cook again," said Gabe Nahas of the Awful Falafel food truck. "I love making chicken soup, because it's easy and it lasts a couple of days."

In our informal survey of 10 local restaurant chefs, we found out how these culinary whiz kids throw together dinners with high flavor, low fuss and little or no cleanup.

Wine Country Chefs At Home


Utilizing what's on hand — produce and eggs from the backyard, leftovers and a can of beans or sardines — our chefs manage to turn out a tasty array of tacos and sandwiches, grilled meats and pastas, Asian stir-frys and soups. Just like the rest of us.

"I'll take stock of what's available," said Brandon Guenther, chef/owner of Rocker Oysterfeller's in Valley Ford, "then challenge myself to make something delicious out of what's there."

Cheese and salumi are two of the most popular go-to ingredients chefs always keep on hand, especially for late-night snacking. But beer is also deemed essential, especially after a long, hot night at the stove.

"My favorite beer is Dos Equis Amber," said Carlo Cavallo of Sonoma Meritage Restaurant and Oyster Bar. "I've got a big wine cellar at home, but I don't drink wine at home."

<strong> Brian Anderson of Bistro 29 in Santa Rosa:</strong>

<strong>Dishes:</strong> "When I do cook, it's usually some kind of pasta. The other day, I made a Thai noodle soup with curry."

<strong>Staples:</strong> "We always have a can of sardines in our pantry, and some kind of cheese and salame in our refrigerator."

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