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Ask a Chef: October Beard House Toques Share their Guilty-Pleasure Foods

Hilary Deutsch

October 26, 2015

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Now that it's officially fall, we are more than happy to bid adieu to the scorching summer heat and indulge in hearty, comforting dishes that reintroduce us to autumn's colorful bounty. And as we say hello to sweater weather, we also welcome a formidable roster of culinary talent to the Beard House. Highlighting cuisines and techniques from across the globe, these top toques bring tastes of Italy, Oakland, Cincinnati, and Boston (just to name a few) to the Big Apple. We asked our October guest chefs to spill about their favorite guilty-pleasure foods. Not surprisingly, fried chicken, Champagne, pizza, and even foie gras made the cut. Read on to see what chefs really crave when their restaurant kitchens are closed.

What’s your ultimate guilty-pleasure food? 

October 1: Cody and Samantha Carroll, Hot Tails and Sac-A-Lait New Roads, LA

Cody: Cracklins’ and hog head cheese from any Louisiana convenient store.

Samantha: Lobster. I took a trip to Maine recently and literally ate one lobster (or more!) each day. 

October 2: Harold Balnik, Cru, Fort Meyers, FL

Foie gras.

October 2: Todd Johnson, Rumrunners, Cape Coral, FL

Pizza.

October 2: George Fistrovich, The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples, Naples, FL

Any pastry.

October 2: Norman Love, Norman Love Confections, Estero, Fort Myers, and Naples, FL​

Chocolate—of course!

October 3: Juan José Cuevas, 1919 Restaurant at Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Roasted lechon from the Puerto Rico mountains and alcapurrias—delicious Puerto Rican root vegetable fritters.

October 5: Matt Jennings, Townsman, Boston

Breakfast sandwiches. No question. Over-easy egg, two strips of bacon, and American cheese on a bulkie roll. Boom.

October 6: Louie Jocson, Zov's Bistro, Irvine, Newport Coast, and Anaheim, CA​

Duck fat fries and chicharrónes.

October 8: James Syhabout, Commis, Oakland, CA

Fried chicken and ice cream.

October 10: Adam Sobel, RN74, San Francisco

I am a dim sum monster.

October 14: Emily Luchetti, Big Night Restaurant Group, The Cavalier, Marlowe, and Park Tavern, San Francisco

Ice cream, but I refuse to feel guilty about it.

October 15: Julian Goglia, The Pinewood Tippling Room, Decatur, GA

The house-cured and smoked pastrami Reuben from Star Provisions in Atlanta. It shouldn't be legal for a sandwich to taste that amazing.

October 16: Todd Kelly, Orchids at Palm Court, Cincinnati

Pizza. I grew up in New York and finding a slice like that is hard to find in other areas.

October 17: Patrick Cappiello, Rebelle, New York

Gummy bears.

October 20: Jeannie Pierola, Edison: Food + Drink Lab, Tampa, FL

Pork carnitas tacos, chicken mole, and chilaquiles at Acapulco Mexican Grocery Store in Tampa.

October 22: Michael Fiorelli, Love & Salt, Manhattan Beach, CA

Pizza. Hands down. I literally eat it every day. I have to stop myself most times. Great pizza is just so good and the variety of creative toppings is endless.

October 23: Marc Kusche, Hamilton’s Kitchen at The Alfond Inn, Winter Park, FL

Chocolate, no question! I love sweets—they really help me out when I’m stressed.

October 24: Abdiel Aleman, Ruth's Chris Steak House, National

Fried chicken! 

October 24: Rick Crossland, Ruth's Chris Steak House, National

Foie gras and Champagne.

October 24: Luis Gomez, Ruth's Chris Steak House, West Coast Region

My guiltiest-pleasure food would have to be Hispanic sweet bread...it’s hard to resist with a hot cup of coffee.

October 24: Moises Reyes, Ruth's Chris Steak House, South Region

Red meat. Although I love it, I realize it probably isn’t the best to have every night.

October 24: Jason Ruderman, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Northeast Region

Braised short ribs.

October 26: Ralf Kuettel, Trestle on Tenth, New York

Grilled cervelat sausage with Swiss Thomy mustard and a crispy bread roll.

October 28: Rhy Waddington, Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, NY

Ice cream.

October 30: Massimo Bocus, Apicius International School of Hospitality at Florence University of the Arts, Florence, Italy

I usually don’t feel guilty after eating—and that's good for me, because the list would be really long...