Recently, NPR ran this story entitled "How a chef really shops: An annotated list." It was basically a ripped-from-the-notepad grocery list of a professional chef and included stuff like sour gummi candy, Progresso lentil soup, and Honey Bunches of Oats as well as more basic stuff like Fage yogurt (duh, only the most awesome yogurt on earth) and cheap, generic olive oil.
The list didn't surprise me too much, given that a friend of mine who worked in various capacities in the restaurant industry informed me that one of his closest chef friends seemed to subside entirely on Mountain Dew and Pop Tarts. If you think about it, this is the perfect chef diet from a practical standpoint, given it is cheap, requires no preparation, is laden with caffeine and sugar, and can be eaten while cooking on the line.
However, a number of readers posted angry missives about how much processed food was on the chef's personal menu:
"How disappointing. Most of his 'food' picks are processed junk food. I thought he was going to give us an actual healthy restaurant quality selection grocery list."
I had to laugh about that one, given that according to Kitchen Confidential, the definition of a healthy chef's diet is 'not too much cocaine, easy on the heroin.'
Also, the guy was Greek and, can I say this since I am half-Greek--the Greek side of my family tends to be OBSESSED with food in a very quantity-focused rather than quality-focused fashion. Order a gyro platter at a diner, complete with traditional Greek French fries, and I rest my case.
|Image credit: Yelp|
I also should note that this isn't ALL I eat, just my main 'staples.'
|Image credit: Switch to Veggies|
My 'master' grocery list
Cauliflower (mostly in fall and winter)
Avocados (less frequent)
Organic, grass-fed roast beef
Organic chicken and turkey lunch meat
Cheapest cuts of organic chicken I can find (usually chicken quarters)
Cheapest cuts of organic beef I can find (usually grass-fed hamburger)
Because it is pricy, I have to limit my beef consumption and really shop for sales
Salmon (fresh or frozen fillets but usually because of cost, I have to go for the farm-raised)
Tilapia (don't really like it, but sometimes am seduced by the price)
Full fat Fage Greek yogurt
Some kind of hard, snacking cheese, usually really sharp Provolone (or Swiss, Cheddar, Parmesan)
Some kind of moldy, crumbly cheese like Blue or Gorgonzola
Butter for cooking, but since I'm not baking that much, I don't need to buy it that frequently
Dry-roasted macadamia nuts
(I used to eat more nuts and almond butter but the addiction was getting out of control to the point I was not eating other foods in a normal fashion because I was OD-ing on nuts)
Organic, salt-free mustard (which still tastes salty)--have to get it salt free because I am obsessed with mustard and can literally eat it using a few pieces of veggies as a vehicle for mustard
Thyme (dried or fresh)
Rosemary (dried or fresh)
Lemons, occasionally limes