What Do Chefs Like To Eat And Cook On Their Day Off?

06/26/2014 01:15 pm 13:15:53 | Updated 26 June 2014


What Shelina likes to eat: On my day off - if I'm at home - I like to indulge in anything with a one-pot angle - easy cooking, easy eating. One of my favourites would be something like a slow-cooked mauritian mutton curry or even a simple dal with a couple of spices and a few chillies.

If it's someone else cooking then it has to be my mum's food, if she's been busy in the kitchen or hasn't had too many grandkids to look after, my favourite ensemble she makes is a mauritian rougaille (creole tomato spicy sauce), homemade roti and grilled sardines.


ben tish

Who: Ben Tish, chef director at the Salt Yard Group
What: The Salt Yard Group is a collection of restaurants such as Dehesa and Ember Yard, which serves gorgeous small plates. Think slow cooked pork cheeks and bream carpaccio.

What Ben likes to eat: I’m a big fan of Indian food - my wife Nykeeta is half Indian and I've travelled there before. I generally cook it but my wife is also a fantastic cook. We like to go to town when cooking and will do everything like making roti and naan, our own pastes and grinding our own spices.

I find it very rewarding and challenging as I’m not classically trained in the use of the spices so I use cook books and really concentrate on the tasks at hand. I like regional cooking and using different lentils for different daals too. I will do lots of fish dishes too like masala sea bass or prawns in dry spiced chilli and lime.

sanjay Who: Sanjay Dwivedi, executive head chef at Coya What: Our review of Coya's insanely good Peruvian food says everything that needs to be said.

What Sanjay likes to eat: A Croquet Madame for breakfast made by Virginie, my wife. My all-time favourite dishes have to be any items on the barbecue in the summer and in the winter a whole roast fish or a meat roast with all the trimmings. All this is made by my wife. If I feel like it I will help, or if I am allowed but I tend to use too many pans and make a mess in the kitchen!

Who: Jordan Sclare, head chef at Chotto Matte
What: Uber-cool, Japanese-Peruvian restaurant with dishes such as warm venison tataki and scallop tiradito

What Jordan likes to eat: My beautiful wife being Jamaican, cooks amazing authentic Caribbean cuisine. My favourite is when she cooks her speciality of slow braised ox tail with spices, thyme and chilli in our aga oven served on coconut rice and kidney beans with a glass of freshly pressed organic carrot and beetroot juice to wash it down. Nice homely comforting cooking.

pierre Who: Macaron master Pierre Hermé What: He's a world class pastry chef who has been dubbed the 'Picasso of pastry' by French Vogue.

What Pierre likes to eat: I like to prepare a fresh fruit salad every morning, it has become quite the ritual for me and is a great start to the day.

Other than that, I am a big fan of "Blanquette de veau", a traditional French veal stew, or a melt in the mouth roast lamb shoulder like in Tunisia. In the summer, my favourite dishes have to be beef gravlax or fish ceviche - especially sea bream, full of flavour and refreshing, perfect for a light dinner on a hot day!

george Who: George Venieris, executive head chef at Mazi What: This stylish Greek restaurant which serves dishes in glass jars is favoured by the supremely wealthy Niarchos family.

What George likes to eat:
There's nothing better than fried eggs in water. I create a fragrant stock with bay leaves, pepper and fresh herbs from the back yard, add some olive oil.

In a shallow pan, I 'fry' the eggs in the water/oil stock then put them on some buttered toast and eat. Best go-to, comfort, tasty food ever! My grandma taught me that one.

Who: Omar Allibhoy, chef, owner and creator of Tapas Revolution
What: Trained by Ferran Adria, Allibhoy's signature style is simple and quick tapas

“On my days off I like to bake. I love to do something that takes a level of skill and time. One of my favourites is croissants, I love them when they’re freshly cooked!”

jimmy garcia Who: Jimmy Garcia, chef and creator of Jimmy Garcia Catering and Jimmy's Pop-Ups

What: Jimmy is crowned 'king of pop-ups' and serves ridiculously good, beautifully presented food for not very much - read our review here.

What Jimmy likes to eat: After a shift there is a kebab shop in Clapham that does the most amazing shawarma. Otherwise if I'm cooking for myself it tends to be something simple like penne pasta.

james ramsden Who: James Ramsden, cookery book author and founder of The Secret Larder What: The menu on James's supperclub menu reads like poetry: skate cheek with oyster leaf and rhubarb ice cream.

What James likes to eat: Anything involving noodles of some sort is what I want on a day off. A big mess of spaghetti, a fiery laksa, a soothing pho - they all hit the spot. Preferably cooked by my wife. Not because I'm lazy, but because food cooked by someone else, and particularly her, always tastes better.

Earlier on HuffPost:

  • 1 Salade Meridionale
  • Daniel Boulud, the famed French chef with restaurants from New York to London to Singapore, makes Salade Meridionale at home when he wants to relax. It's a vegetable salad with eggplant, piquillo peppers, zucchini and cucumbers to name a few, with shrimp, fresh pesto and a lemony vinaigrette. Get the Salad Meridionale recipe from New York Magazine
  • 2 Roasted Tomatoes
    Alex "Skud" Bayley/Flickr
  • Didier Elena of Chef's Club by FOOD & WINE makes Riviera Roasted tomatoes.

    "Tomatoes can be used as a fruit, vegetable or juice. I'm from Monaco and grew up on them as a simple, flavorful dish to eat at any temperature. I suggest them fresh and from a garden."

    Elena slices his tomatoes and places them cut side up on a baking sheet and drizzles them with olive oil. He sprinkles garlic, sugar, salt, pepper parsley and bread crumbs on the slices and roasts them at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes. He then seasons the tomatoes with arugula, black olives, shaved parmesan, lemon zest, salt, pepper and some juice from the tomatoes. Simple and perfect.
  • 3 Pasta
  • Jonah Miller, chef and owner of Basque-inspired, New York restaurant Huertas makes pasta.

    "PASTA! Comforting to eat and to cook. If I have some cockles or manila clams at the restaurant, I'll steal a few to make Vongole. I've always got some respectable anchovies and pecorino at home, so an anchovy sauce or cacio e pepe is always a distinct possibility." Get a Linguine Con Vongole recipe from The Wimpy Vegetarian via Food52 and a Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe recipe from John Kernick
  • 4 Green Asparagus With Parmesan Shavings
    Steamy Kitchen
  • Alain Ducasse, another fameous French chef, makes green asparagus with Parmesan shavings at home on his perfect weekend off. Get the Green Asparagus With Parmesan Shavings recipe from New York Magazine
  • 5 Steel cut oatmeal
    Brandon Dimcheff via Getty Images
  • Chef Mads Refslund of farm-to-table restaurant ACME starts his day by rehydrating dried fruit in hot water, and uses this to make steel cut oatmeal, adds fresh seasonal fruit, butter and cold milk. Get some oatmeal recipes worth waking up for from HuffPost Taste.
  • 6 Preserved lemon cocktail
    Kam & Co. via Getty Images
  • Marcus Samuelsson of The Red Rooster makes a no-cook, preserved lemon cocktail on his days off.

    "Preserved Lemons. A staple in Moroccan flavor profiles, lemons get packed in salt, and develop a rich, interesting (and versatile) flavor. You’ll find them in tagines, but you can also add a bit of the lemon rind to pesto for a deeper flavor, or chop it up in a pasta dish or grain salad...But to keep on relaxing, try adding a bit of the brine to a cocktail for a surprising addition of salt." Get the Preserved lemon cocktail recipe from
  • 7 Chicken Curry
  • Chef Frank McMahon of the Brasserie Gigi in Charleston, SC likes making Indian-style chicken curry with Madras curry powder, served over basmati rice.

    "It's one of those slow, relaxing dishes with the ingredients added bit by bit. I pair it with a nice Gewurtztraminer from Alsace and of course, sip some while cooking."Get a Cheap Creamy Chicken Curry recipe from Food52
  • 8 Shakshuka
  • Brad Farmerie, executive chef of New York restaurants like Public and Saxon + Parole and Napa restaurant The Thomas makes simple meals while he's trying to feed his family (he's a father of two.)

    " most relaxed doing simple rustic dishes and large presentations, or oven-to-table dishes, where everyone just gets to dive in and help themselves." These often include meals like shakshuka and whole split chicken grilled with salsa verde and vegetables. Get a shakshuka recipe from The New York Times.
  • 9 Bucatini
  • Chef Michael Franey from Nitehawk Cinema likes to cook bucatini with cherry tomatoes, red onions, roasted garlic, basil, fresh mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil.

    "The best way for me to relax while cooking on my days off is to do it with my girlfriend. I will pick her up from work and we will stop by the greenmarket in Union Square or just the grocery store near home, see what we like and go from there. Usually its some sort of very simple pasta with vegetables or protein, like bucatini with cherry tomatoes. The most important thing is that we are cooking everything together. We will open a bottle of wine, talk about our days, what's coming up, anything that we may have missed over the course of the week, making it less about the food and more about connecting through cooking." Get a Bucatini with pesto and cherry tomatoes recipe from Food52.
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