How can you tell that someone is a real chef? When they’re asked what their top-5 pantry essentials are, they start to panic. That’s what happened when Bobby Flay was asked by Misfit Markets to share his top-5 pantry essentials. Flay shared a video of himself in his large, industrial-style pantry (it looks ust like a real professional kitchen), and he quickly departed from the 5-ingredients-only nature of the question. But that’s to our benefit, because now we get to see what the celebrity chef really can’t live without when cooking. To make it easy, we separated his favorite pantry ingredients into five separate categories – close enough, right?
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First up, the true basics of cooking.
Flay says he always has extra virgin olive oil and canola oil on hand. He cooks with the canola oil, and reserves the olive oil for finishing dishes.
He also has flour in his pantry, which is indeed basic.
Next? Mediterranean foods. Flay listed off a selection of Italian and Spanish ingredients that he always keeps on hand. They include:
- Canned whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
- Calabrian chiles
- Piquillo peppers
- Spanish paprika
We’re calling the third category “flavoring agents,” which includes everything from condiments to dried chiles. Flay keeps his pantry stocked with:
- Worcestershire sauce
- Hot sauce
- Rice wine vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Fish sauce
- Coconut milk
- Dried chile peppers, including chiles de arbol and New Mexico chiles
Grains and Rice
His fourth category of pantry staples is grains and rice. Specifically, Flay says he likes to have on hand:
- Long grain rice
- Short grain rice
- Arborio rice
- Paella rice
- Breadcrumbs (both classic and panko)
Last but not least, Flay also says he keeps canned beans, like chickpeas and black beans, in his pantry in case he wants to make what he calls a “last-minute hummus.”
Okay. Honestly, most of this list is totally reasonable and relatable, especially if you’re a foodie. It might sound ridiculous to include four different rices as separate pantry staples, but if you’re serious about cooking, it’s legit – each of the rices have different applications.
Now if only our pantry was as big as Flay’s, and then we could *really* justify our desire to keep the cupboard stocked with seemingly infinite bottles of vinegar and at least four different mustards at a time. In the meantime, we’ll just try to keep our pantry as organized as possible.
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