The gang over at Refinery29 went spelunking in the fridges of local food folks for a photo feature that ran today, and the group they profiled was fairly diverse. On hand were three restaurant chefs, Brandon Jew of Bar Agricole, Jason Fox of Commonwealth, and Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, plus a juice-bar owner (Lina Gulick of Juice Shop), a chocolatier (Todd Masonis of Dandelion), and a food writer (Sara Deseran of San Francisco magazine). So what can we learn from peering into the fridges and shopping habits of SF's food glitterati? Herein, five things that stood out.
1. No one has junk food. No one. While it's no surprise that produce-oriented Bay Area chefs aren't big on processed fare, their fridges were almost comically empty of anything that could even be partially construed as junk food. Gulick appears to be a gluten-free vegan, while Masonis, who makes his own Nutella, decries the "Miracle Whip, sliced white bread, processed cheeses, A&W Root Beer, and Lay's potato chips" he has to bring in when his parents visit. Even Dominique Crenn says she'll never keep peanut butter in her fridge (though she does love chocolate). The closest thing to a closet junk-food eater in the group: Fox, who stocks Danimals for his young daughters and admits a yen for Trader Joe's potstickers, but still railed against "mechanically separated 7-11 chicken burritos." Is this virtuousness legitimate for folks who work such long hours, or are there some Ruffles, Twix bars, and leftover burritos that conveniently went missing on shoot day?
2. Yuzu kosho isn't just for menus anymore. While most laypeople aren't familiar with this trendy Japanese ingredient, a fermented mixture of yuzu peel, chili pepper, and salt, both Fox and Jew says it's one of the three best things in their fridges right now, with Fox calling it his "condiment of choice." Fish sauce was another regular player.
3. Everybody likes mustard. Jew loves "really good mustard," and stocks three different kinds. Gulick is all about Haendelmeier's sweet Bavarian mustard, which reminds her of her home, Munich. Masonis has a few different varieties, including Pommery mustard from France (which he stores next to a smuggled jar of foie gras).
4. Nobody likes beer. While the average American's fridge can be counted on to stock a couple of brews, R29's foodie crew eschews beer. Despite a seemingly suds-friendly constituency of three men, two of whom are also chefs, no brews appeared other than a sad lone can of Modelo for Deseran and Masonis' perhaps too-strategically-placed four-pack of Almanac's Dandelion collaboration, Biere de Chocolat, unusual for someone who admits he's "not a huge fan of alcohol." In fact, all the fridges were pretty light on booze save for Crenn's (pictured above), which contains six bottles of champagne. (Party at Dominique's!)
5. If you want to see chefs shopping, go to Rainbow Grocery. Four of the six folks profiled like to shop there, though none of them live nearby. Curiously, only Masonis cited Bi-Rite as a favorite store, and only Deseran and Gulick called out a farmer's market as a preferred shopping venue, unusual for this market-driven town.
[Photo of Dominique Crenn's fridge by Molly DeCoudreaux]