Stories / Interviews

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

Hilary Deutsch

Hilary Deutsch

September 15, 2015


As we transition from warm summer days to cooler temperatures and the harvest that fall brings, we also welcome a formidable roster of culinary talent to the Beard House—including a few JBF Award nominees. Highlighting cuisines and techniques from across the globe, these top toques bring tastes of Venice, New Orleans, Jackson Hole, and Atlanta (just to name a few) to the Big Apple. We asked our September guest chefs to spill about their favorite, most indulgent guilty-pleasure foods. Not surprisingly, cheese, chocolate, 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? 

September 10: Brian Mercury, Harvest Restaurant

"Sour gummy worms."

September 11: Bill Glover, Gallerie Bar & Bistro

"Fried cheese on a stick from the Ohio State Fair."

September 12: Braden Reardon, NYY Steakhouse


September 15: Adam Goetz, CRāVing

"Any kind of chips."

September 16: John DePierro, bones

"There’s a burger joint in Denver called Park Burger, and they have these loaded fries called 'the Works,' with ranch, bacon, cheese sauce, and charred scallions. Delicious."

September 16: Noah French, Sugarmill


September 16: Kevin Grossi, Lola Mexican Fish House

"Ortega tacos. I guess it's a childhood thing. Thanks, Ma."

September 16: Enrique Socarras, Revelry Kitchen

"Cheese. I can’t stop!"

September 18: Tim Ma, Water & Wall

"Chocolate. Anything chocolate. Especially the miniature Krackel bars. I eat them all first before tackling Mr. Goodbar, the dark chocolate or the milk chocolate."

September 18: Nyi Nyi Myint, Water & Wall

"Mont Hinn Khar, a Burmese fish noodle soup."

September 18: Neal Wavra, Water & Wall

"I like chocolate…"

September 19: Enrica Rocca, Enrica Rocca Cooking School Venice, London, Cape Town

"Foie gras."

September 19: Anthony Bucco, Restaurant Latour

"Pizza. Cold, hot, thin, thick. Doesn't really matter."

September 26: Todd Ginsberg, The General Muir

"Cheesesteaks at Fred's Meat and Bread. Disclaimer: it's one of the restaurants I co-own."

September 29: Bryan Sikora, La Fia


September 30: Regi Rikli, Couloir 

"Ice cream. There's nothing quite like good ice cream."

September 30: Kevin Humphreys, Spur Restaurant and Bar

"Chick-fil-A sandwiches."

September 30: Joel Tate, Rendezvous Bistro



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Hilary Deutsch is editorial assistant at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Instagram.