We all have them. Maybe you hide yours from friends or family, but I'm guessing you've got a guilty pleasure when it comes to food. These guilty pleasures are defined by a craving or affinity that you may not be particularly proud of. You probably don't want to shout it from the rooftop at the next college reunion and you definitely don't want your next first date to find out about it.
Well, professional chefs have these secret hidden food pleasures too.
But when The New York Times wrote an article on high-end chefs and their guilty pleasures, it caught my attention. Writer Jeff Gordinier says, "to declare your independence as an American eater is to embrace the knowledge that the pursuit of happiness is sometimes going to involve mustard or peanut butter that might have been stirred by a robot."
→ Read the full article: When ‘Local Sourcing’ Means Aisle 12 at The New York Times
Here are some of the chef indulgences that were revealed: Wylie Dufresne, chef at New York's WD-50, snacks on slices of American cheese while in the kitchen. Michael Chiarello, chef and vintner, loves good old-fashioned Jiffy peanut butter. And Portland chef, Jenn Louis of Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern, loves ice cream sandwiches from the trucks, not the artisan kind you might expect her reaching for.
I've certainly seen this too! When I worked at a restaurant in the Bay Area, the same chef who worked so hard to source local and organic ingredients for the menu would snack on chocolate-covered pretzels from Trader Joe's. In the winter, she'd make herself cups of Swiss Miss hot chocolate.
So in this way, I suppose chefs are just like this. We all have our own guilty pleasures regardless of whether we surround ourselves with the preparation of higher-end food day in and day out. When it comes down to it, cooking for a living is a job just like any other. Chefs get tired. They crave food that reminds them of childhood and comfort just like everyone else.