10 Things This “Top Chef Masters” Champ Always Buys at Costco

updated May 24, 2019
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(Image credit: Thomas Trompeter)

The other week, Staub took me (media!), a group of professional chefs, and some bloggers to see their factory in northern France. (You can read all about the visit here.) It was a super-fun trip, but perhaps the most fun thing happened to me on the last day.

We were all sleepily sitting on a bus headed to the airport when chef Floyd Cardoz — winner of Top Chef Masters’ third season and chef of The Bombay Bread Bar in New York City — turned to me to tell me he had read this story, which had run on Kitchn the day before.

He looked like a giddy child and told me he loved Costco meat. He then waxed poetic for the next 30 minutes about Costco. Turns out, he goes at least twice a month. And these are all the things he loves to buy while he’s there.

1. Spinalis Steak

“You usually have to special-order this from other butchers,” he says, adding that it’s almost always available at his local store. It’s a cut that’s got lots of flavor and fat, and is just oh-so juicy.

2. Applewood-Smoked Thick-Cut Bacon

“Most stores only sell thin-cut bacon,” Cardoz says. This stuff is thick, not as fatty as other options, and just way better than other bacon, hands-down.

3. Premade Burgers

“The first time we got these was for one of my son’s birthday parties and all the kids’ dads called me up later to ask how I made the burgers,” he says. “They were premade burgers from the meat section (not the frozen stuff) and all I did was add salt and pepper!”

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

4. Organic Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs

“It’s hard to find boneless, skinless chicken thighs in an organic option,” he says. These come in large packs and he likes to grill the chicken to use in curry or soups, or serve with rice. “It’s just an inexpensive cut of meat that tastes really good.”

5. Mexican Limes

Cardoz says his Costco doesn’t always have Mexican limes, but they’re in stock more often than not. Of course, he uses them for margaritas. “They’re juicier than other limes and the skin is thinner,” he explains.

(Image credit: Costco)

“It’s good!” he exclaims, adding that the Kirkland stuff is always a consistent grade and that it lasts for a long time.

7. Wine

“The only problem with Costco wine is that, once it’s gone, it’s gone,” he says. Meaning, you can’t always count on the store restocking the same wine down the road. He usually looks for Italian varietals, rosés, and gewürztraminers.

(Image credit: Costco)

Cardoz likes this stuff for cooking, dressing salads, making marinades, and even finishing sauces. “Yeah, it’s that good,” he adds.

(Image credit: Costco)

“They’re large, they never get stale — not like they last that long in my house — and the salt balance is very good,” he says. “In all the years I’ve been buying these, I’ve never had a single bad nut!”

10. Tellicherry Peppercorns

“I use a lot of black pepper,” he explains, adding that he has four pepper mills at home. “Costco’s pepper is always very fresh and fragrant.”

More on Costco

What about you? What are some of the things you always buy at Costco?