Nine secret weapons that chefs can't live without

GQ
Nine Secret Weapons That Chefs Can't Live Without

(Photo by Jonny Valiant )

Great chefs source hot sauce and mayo as carefully as they do pork chops and fresh herbs. So we asked nine of the best to show us their favorite under-the-radar, dish-elevating pantry staples.
















Red Boat fish sauce

(Photo: Courtesy of Red Boat)

1. Red Boat fish sauce

Paul Qui - East Side King, Austin

"It's umami in a bottle—anchovies are fermented in barrels and sea salt, then pressed. Add it to brines to dial up the deliciousness of fried chicken and brisket."

Available at markethallfoods.com


(See more: Asian Hot Sauce Taste Test: Beyond Sriracha)








Boat Street Pickles pickled figs or pickled raisins

(Photo: Courtesy of Boat Street)

2. Boat Street Pickles pickled figs or pickled raisins

Tom Colicchio - Colicchio & Sons, N.Y.C.

"These work well on a cheese plate. But because they're not too sweet, they're also good with meat. Use to baste pan-roasted pork chops in a skillet, or add 'em to pan juices to make a sauce for steak, fish, poultry."

For more information, visit boatstreetpickles.com








(Photo: Courtesy of dailygrommet.com)

(Photo: Courtesy of dailygrommet.com)

3. Fennel pollen

Casey Lane - The Tasting Kitchen, L.A.

"This is the Italians' magic dust—potent and aromatic. Sprinkle it in olive oil for a bread dip that'll have your dinner guests fiending."

Available at dailygrommet.com











Kewpie mayonnaise

(Photo: Courtesy of asiangrocerystop.com)

4. Kewpie mayonnaise

Chris Santos - Beauty & Essex, N.Y.C.

"Unlike some gloppy American mayonnaises, Japan's Kewpie is silky smooth like an aioli. And it's a damn tasty way to dress fresh veggies and tomatoes."

Available at asiangrocerystop.com











Scalia anchovy paste

(Photo: Courtesy of Marc Jacobs and Eugenia Kim)

5. Scalia anchovy paste

Justin Smillie Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, N.Y.C.

"A nuttier alternative to sea salt that punches up pastas, sautéed greens, and marinades. Brush it on grilled flatbread or pizza at a summer barbecue, or whip it with olive oil for the best Caesar-salad dressing ever."

Available at salumeriaitaliana.com









Shark brand sriracha

(Photo: Courtesy of Shark)

6. Shark brand sriracha

Todd Mitgang - Crave Fishbar, N.Y.C.

"It's better than the 'rooster' sriracha everyone uses; it starts out sweet before seducing you with heat. Use it as your favorite hot sauce, which means pour it on everything."

Available at amazon.com












Taggiasche olives

(Photo: Courtesy of ilbucovineria.com )

7. Taggiasche olives

Alain Ducasse - Adour, Washington, D.C.

"The Rolls-Royce of olives. Grown on the Italian Riviera, they're sweeter, more subtle, and more delicate than others but still add a powerful savoriness to fish and tapenades."

Available at ilbucovineria.com











Muddy Pond sorghum syrup

(Photo: Courtesy of kaufmann-mercantile.com)

8. Muddy Pond sorghum syrup

Sean BrockHusk, Charleston, South Carolina

"It's like honey or molasses but more mellow and with a vegetal hit, and it tastes so good on biscuits or in vegetable vinaigrettes."

Available at kaufmann-mercantile.com












Peppadew piquanté peppers

(Photo: Courtesy supermarketitaly.com)

9. Peppadew piquanté peppers

Eddie Huang - Baohaus, N.Y.C.

"Swap in Peppadews for banana or red peppers—they're tangier and fruitier. Inside a grilled cheese is another great call."

Available at supermarketitaly.com




More from GQ:

Sexiest Women of the 21st Century

50 Must-Try Beers

The 40 Worst-Dressed Cities in America

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Brie Larson, like everyone else, didn't seem thrilled with Casey Affleck's Oscar win

      As 2016's Best Actress winner, Brie Larson was tasked with presenting the award for Best Actor at the 2017 Academy Awards. On Sunday night, that award went to Casey Affleck for his role in Manchester By the Sea , despite the allegations of sexual harassment against him. And like the rest of the internet, Larson did not seem pleased. SEE ALSO: Amid the uproar over Nate Parker, why is no one talking about Casey Affleck? who hates casey affleck more: me or brie larson? it's a close call.. #oscars pic.twitter.com/SoymUAhRex — jamie (@dylanohollands) February 27, 2017 .@brielarson is a precious angel and also we have the same expression when we look at casey affleck who knew https://t.co/x5dsRgnEmH pic.twitter.com/NaVaWHl0Pp — Róisín Lanigan (@rosielanners) February 27, 2017 This is the second award Larson presented to Affleck— she presented his Golden Globe win back in January. My aesthetic: Brie Larson not clapping for literal trash hole casey affleck pic.twitter.com/Ci5LWXLkCr — Tyler Struble (@tyler_struble) February 27, 2017 The allegations against Affleck stem from lawsuits filed by two women who worked on his 2010 film I'm Still Here. The actor settled both cases out of court.  Although similar allegations against Nate Parker became the major talking point surrounding his film The Birth of a Nation , Affleck's Oscar win shows that the lawsuits have left his his career largely unscathed. Larson — who portrayed a sexual assault survivor in 2015's Room and who stood to hug the survivors who performed with Lady Gaga at last year's show — doesn't seem to be here for it.  All award season Brie Larson, who starred in a movie about sexual assault, had to present Casey Affleck all his awards. pic.twitter.com/L2WbQvSJNv — Marnie (@ChrnclsOfMarnia) February 27, 2017 at what time is brie larson scheduled to beat up casey affleck — ASYA (@communistbabe) February 27, 2017 brie larson everytime she sees casey affleck pic.twitter.com/nkQCta9JxZ — chiara (@chapmns) February 27, 2017 BONUS: Despite the most awkward moment in Oscars history, ‘Moonlight’s’ Best Picture award is what matters most.

      Mashable
    • ABC News q
    • Best Oscars Quotes 2017 (11 photos)

      The most memorable words from film's biggest night

      People
    • PROOF that liberal protesters are paid

      Republican lawmakers across the country have grown wary of holding town hall meetings with constituents. What's scaring these brave public servants? Paid protesters. Specifically, paid liberal protesters. (It's a well-known fact that all conservative protesters are volunteer and have legitimate gripes that must be heard.) Most in the FAKE NEWS media will claim there's no such things as a paid liberal protester. They'll say people are simply turning out to express frustration over GOP policies and because they don't want to lose their health care and die. But I'm here to tell you otherwise: Paid liberal protesters totally exist; it's an excellent career choice with surprisingly good benefits;

      Chicago Tribune q
    • White House responds to father of Navy SEAL killed in Yemen raid

      White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday responded to the father of US Navy SEAL Chief...

      Business Insider
    • EXCLUSIVE: Matt Damon Blames Oscars Flub on Host Jimmy Kimmel: 'They Got What They Paid For'

      As expected, the men continued to feud at the Academy Awards.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Great white shark caught from pier is under investigation; disturbing video

      A disturbing video of a juvenile great white shark being hauled up onto the Huntington Beach Pier and an equally disturbing photo of the fishermen posing with the catch has created an uproar on social media. The video posted on Facebook by Mike Hefner and the photo posted on Facebook by Diego Gamboa Fishing not only sparked outrage but could help enforcement agents with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in identifying the offending anglers. Great white sharks are protected. It is illegal to catch a great white shark and when one is hooked, it is supposed to be released as soon as possible, not landed so photos can be taken, as what happened in this case. And you certainly don’t gaff

      GrindTV.com q
    • Former President Bush breaks his silence, defends Trump

      Reaction from Fox News contributor and former White House speechwriter Marc Thiessen

      FOX News Videos
    • People Are Not Happy that Casey Affleck Won the Best Actor Oscar

      "Well, that's Hollywood. You can sexually harass and assault your female coworkers and get Best Actor."

      Harper's Bazaar
    • Moonlight/La La Land Oscars gaffe: People think Leonardo DiCaprio is to blame for the Best Picture chaos

      Leonardo DiCaprio may have been the star of last year’s Oscars, when he put an end to the #PoorLeo memes by finally winning Best Actor, but the Hollywood favourite has unexpectedly found himself in the spotlight this time around too for his role in the Moonlight/La La Land mixup chaos. In case you’ve missed it, Moonlight won Best Picture, but only after La La Land's name was read out first by presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Beatty had somehow ended up with the Best Actress envelope announcing La La Land’s Emma Stone as the winner.

      The Independent
    • UBS: Costco is going to raise membership fees next quarter

      Membership fee hikes could be coming to Costco (COST) very soon. In a research note published on Monday, UBS analyst Michael Lasser said the firm continues to believe a membership fee hike is coming from the wholesale club this year, most likely in the second quarter. Lasser first laid out the case for higher fees from Costco at the beginning of the year.

      Yahoo Finance
    • ‘Game of Thrones’ Actor Neil Fingleton Dies at 36

      Neil Fingleton, who played the colossal warrior Mag the Mighty on “Game of Thrones,” died from heart failure on Saturday. He was 36. Fingleton was the U.K.’s tallest man at seven feet, seven inches in height. In addition to “Thrones,” Fingleton appeared in “Doctor Who,” Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and “X-Men: First Class.” His death was announced... Read more »

      Variety
    • Duo gets prison time for racial slurs at black child's birthday party

      Two white parents in Georgia were sentenced to prison time for using racial slurs and threatening people at a black child's birthday party with a Confederate flag group.

      ABC News q
    • We've Now Reached the Point Where Even George W. Bush Is Tweaking Donald Trump

      In these insane times, Dubya almost sounds like a voice of reason. Here are a few things that I never thought I'd say: George W. Bush said some thoughtful stuff. President Donald Trump. George W. Bush said some thoughtful stuff, and I wish that President Donald Trump were more like him. And yet here we are. We now live in a time where a man who once seemed destined to go down in history as our worst President—a man who dragged us into a brutal and unnecessary war!—is lecturing the American people on responsible governing. Former President George W. Bush, who refrained from criticizing President Obama over the last eight years, went on the Today Show on Monday, and though he stopped short of overtly

      GQ q
    • Oscars 2017: Jimmy Kimmel tries - but fails - to bury the hatchet with Matt Damon

      Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon continued their "feud" as the 89th Academy Awards host took aim at the actor in his opening monologue. The host claimed he would "bury the hatchet" with Damon, whose Manchester by the Sea was up for six Oscars, before ripping into the actor. "I would like to bury the hatchet with someone I've had issues with -- Matt Damon.

      The Telegraph
    • Soccer player Francis Kone saved the life of his competitor on the field

      Striker Francis Koné has a statistic that isn’t on any score sheet, but might be unmatched in professional sports: He claims to have saved four people’s lives on the field. The 26-year-old from Togo jumped into action over the weekend in the Czech Republic following a collision that left opposing goalkeeper Martin Borkovec laying on the ground, struggling to breathe.

      SB Nation q
    • N. Korean diplomats in Malaysia to seek Kim's brother's body

      A high-level North Korean delegation arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday seeking the body of leader Kim Jong Un's half brother, the victim of a nerve-agent attack that many suspect the North itself of orchestrating. ...

      Associated Press 10 min ago
    • Chrissy Teigen looked like she was sleeping during Casey Affleck’s Oscar win, and the internet has theories

      The 2017 Academy Awards were an extremely long affair, with patient east coasters staying up way past midnight to catch La La…

      Hello Giggles
    • Accounting Firm That Oversees Oscars Envelopes on Best Picture Mistake: We ‘Deeply Regret That This Occurred’

      The accounting firm that counts and delivers the winning Oscars envelopes has apologized for the Best Picture mix-up at the 89th Academy Awards. “We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation,” the statement concluded.

      People