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We collaborated with the Chefs Feed app to create a highly opinionated list of renowned chefs' favorite dishes to eat outside of their own restaurants. We've even included select recipes and restaurant locations so you too can begin to eat like a chef!
Restaurant: Oak at Fourteenth, Boulder
Recommended by: Jennifer Jasinski of Denver's Bistro Vendôme and Rioja
At this sleek open-kitchen restaurant, the kale salad served with togarashi chile and candied almonds "blew me away," says Jasinski. "My chef-husband Max and I fought over it."
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Shaved Honeycrisp Apple and Kale Salad
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
2 cups thinly sliced kale
1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup roughly chopped candied almonds
1 Honeycrisp apple
About 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
About 1/4 tsp. pepper
Whisk together oil, zest, and juice in a medium bowl. Add kale, cheese, and almonds, then toss to coat.
Cut sides off apple into 4 pieces, leaving the core. Slice the apple pieces thinly with a mandoline or a knife. Add to salad and toss to coat. Season with salt, pepper, and ichimi togarashi.
Restaurant: Choice Health Bar, Maui
Recommended by: Sheldon Simeon of Aloha Mixed Plate, Leoda's, and Star Noodle
This simple counter's spoon-worthy smoothie "gives you a super-focused boost of energy," says Simeon, thanks to açaí, berries, spirulina, coconut water, and toppings that include bee pollen and goji berries.
Restaurant: Red Medicine, Los Angeles
Recommended by: Wolfgang Puck of Chinois, Cut, Spago, Wolfgang Puck, and WP24
"It's rare to see a whole brisket come to your table that is braised perfectly," says Puck. "It feeds the whole family, and it's delicious to look at too."
Restaurant: Umami Burger, Los Angeles
Recommended by: Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica and Picca
"These are some tasty burgers," says Zarate, crowning the Hatch as king. "It's really spicy but not overpowering, with house cheese and four kinds of green chiles."
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Restaurant: Olympic Provisions, Portland
Recommended by: Vitaly Paley of Imperial, Paley's Place, and Portland Penny Diner
"This yard bird is moist and crispy," Paley says. "Chicken churning on a rotisserie-it's totally worth the anticipation when you're rewarded with it carved on your plate."
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Restaurant: The Garage, Salt Lake City
Recommended by: Ryan Lowder of Copper Onion and Plum Alley
Traditionally served as a post-memorial casserole, this dish is an outrageous take. Deep-fried nuggets of cheese, hash browns, and more-that's "a fun play on a classic," says Lowder. "It's kind of fatty, comforting food that goes well with a cold beer."
Fried Mormon Funeral Potatoes
8 ounces bacon, chopped, cooked, and drained
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 or 2 jalapeño chiles, minced
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups defrosted frozen shredded hash browns
1 cup coarsely shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 cup finely ground cornflakes, divided
Vegetable oil for frying
Chopped parsley (optional)
Ranch dressing for dipping
Whirl bacon, cream cheese, onion, jalapeños, green onion, and sour cream in a food processor, about 1 minute. Place in a large mixing bowl.
Stir hash browns, cheddar, flour, cornstarch, salt, eggs, and 3 tbsp. ground cornflakes into bacon mixture
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop up a scant 1/4 cup of potato mixture and roll into a ball. Drop ball into a bowl filled with 3/4 cup cornflakes and roll to coat (mixture will firm up once coated). Place on sheet and repeat with remaining mixture. Chill until ready to cook.
Heat 2 in. oil in a medium pot until it registers 350° on a deep-fry thermometer. Fry potato balls, a few at a time, until golden, 5 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with ranch dressing.
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Restaurant: The Fishery, San Diego
Recommended by: Brian Malarkey of Burlap, Gabardine, Gingham, Herringbone, and Searsucker
Head to Pacific Beach's refined-but-not-stuffy spot for this combo of Mexican shrimp, cilantro coleslaw, salsa fresca , and tomatillo sauce. "Nothing beats these top-notch tacos with a crisp white wine after a day hanging with the kids on the beach," says Malarkey.
Restaurant: 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar, Santa Fe
Recommended by: Martin Rios of Restaurant Martin
Rios loves "going to 315 when the squash blossom beignets are being served" with a tomato sauce and goat-cheese fondue. (Available from late May through summer.)
Restaurant: Dahlia Lounge, Seattle
Recommended by: Bill Morris of the Rainier Club
Doughnuts are "light and slightly sweetened, served warm and fresh from the fryer" to your cozy booth at this upscale spot, says Morris. "These are awesome!" Vanilla mascarpone and a "fun and tasty" seasonal jam are served alongside.
Restaurant: Flying Fish, Seattle
Recommended by: Maria Hines of Agrodolce, Golden Beetle, and Tith
"A classic!" Hines says. The "combination of Northwest ingredients and Pacific Rim flavors" kicks "the standard crabcake up a notch."
1 1/2 cups canola oil, plus more for frying
3/4 cup chopped lemongrass
3 tablespoons roughly chopped ginger
3 large egg yolks
1 pound shelled cooked crab
1 1/2 cups panko
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup chopped basil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Mix oil, lemongrass, and ginger; let sit overnight to develop flavors. Strain oil; discard lemongrass and ginger.
Set a medium bowl on a wet kitchen towel. Add yolks and 1 tsp. water and whisk to blend. Pour in oil, drop by drop at first and whisking constantly, until thickened; then pour in rest of oil in a thin stream and whisk until very thick (add 1 tsp. water if needed to thin). Put 1/3 cup aioli in a serving bowl and set aside.
Add crab, panko, onion, herbs, and salt to aioli in mixing bowl and stir to combine. Form a thick patty with 1/3 to 1/2 cup crab mixture. Repeat to form 11 more patties.
Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large frying pan. Cook patties in batches, turning once and adding more oil as needed, until golden brown, about 8 minutes per batch. Serve with reserved aioli.
Restaurant: Pizzetta 211, San Francisco
Recommended by: Mourad Lahlou of Aziza
This pizza at the Richmond neighborhood hideaway is "all about balance," says Lahlou. "Sweet and acidic tomatoes, bitter wild arugula, and creamy cheese. Ask them to add anchovies."
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Restaurant: Tartine Bakery, San Francisco
Recommended by: Joke Godby of Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream
"Basically a rolled-up croissant with cinnamon and orange" is how Godby describes this bun served at the always-packed bakery. "This would be my last meal. Enough said."
Restaurant: Zuni Cafe, San Francisco
Recommended by: Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn
The gold standard for roast chicken for 25 years, this dish reminds Crenn "of my mother's chicken," she says. "The crispy skin from the wood-fired oven is so comforting, and I love the bread salad that soaks up all the juices."
Restaurant: La Taqueria, San Francisco
Recommended by: Michael Mina of Bourbon Steak, Michael Mina, and RN74
Leave it to a Michelin-starred chef to settle the taco wars: "I love the balance of juicy meat, both crisp and soft shell, and spicy salsa," Mina says of the tacos de carnitas served at this humbly appointed 40-year-old Mission District spot.
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Tacos de Carnitas
5 pounds pork butt, cut into large chunks
About 4 cups lard
4 large garlic cloves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
24 small corn tortillas
2 cups coarsely shredded jack cheese
1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, drained, rinsed, and warmed
Pico de gallo salsa
Cook pork with 1/4 cup water in a large, wide, heavy pot over high heat, stirring occasionally until all liquid has evaporated, 20 to 30 minutes.
Add lard and reduce heat to low. Move pork chunks as needed to keep them submerged. Cook pork until starting to soften on the edges but still firm in the center, about 1 hour.
Whirl garlic and salt together in a food processor to make a paste. Stir garlic paste into lard.
Cook pork until fork tender, about 1 hour more. Lift pork into a strainer set over a bowl. When cool, break into smaller pieces.
Spoon about 1 tbsp. melted lard into a large frying pan. Lay a tortilla in pan, sprinkle evenly with about 1/4 cup cheese, and set another tortilla on top to create a quesadilla. Cook over medium heat, turning once, until cheese has melted, 4 minutes. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Fill quesadilla with about 1/2 cup carnitas, beans, and salsa.
Restaurant: Maenam, Vancouver
Recommended by: Nico Schuermans of Cafe Medina, Chambar, and the Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen
"Crispy lingcod, served in a caramelized tamarind and palm sugar sauce, is topped with eight different fried herbs and spices" at this sleek Thai restaurant, say Schuermans.
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