50 Grocery-Store Products Chefs Love (100% Unpaid Endorsements)

Check out the brands chefs can't live without.

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Marko Metzinger ©Hearst Communications Inc.

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2014

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Photo By: Jeff Harris ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Chefs' Grocery Store Picks

Most of the products in this story are available in grocery stores nationwide. If you can't find these items, look for them in specialty stores or online.

Ree Drummond — The Pioneer Woman

"I am so snobby about Hellman's mayonnaise. It has that pure flavor and none of the off-putting vinegary-ness."

Alex Garcia — A.G. Kitchen, New York City

"For many sauces, there is room for innovation. But when it comes to ketchup, Heinz is a classic that I just wouldn't want to mess with."

Ben Pollinger — Oceana, New York City

"I love La Baleine sea salt so much, I use it at home and in the restaurant. It has a great texture that makes it easy to sprinkle consistently out of your hand."

Jet Tila — Oceana, New York City

"What Thai chefs prize in coconut milk is the cream (aka coconut oil). Chaokoh coconut milk is the richest and creamiest."

Mary Sue Milliken — Border Grill, Los Angeles

"My go-to for a weeknight supper when I have no time to shop are Angelo Parodi Portuguese sardines. They're great in pasta, on a sandwich or in a salad."

Susan Feniger — Border Grill, Los Angeles

"I love to eat Kettle Brand potato chips with mashed California avocados, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon from my tree and sea salt."

Josh Capon — Lure Fishbar, New York City

"Temp Tee whipped cream cheese is just so light, fluffy and delicious."

Alton Brown — Cutthroat Kitchen

"I'm crazy about Georgia Olive Farms olive oil because it's green, bright, fruity and from my home state."

 

georgiaolivefarms.com

Sunny Anderson — The Kitchen

"The Rolls-Royce of cornbread mixes is Jiffy corn muffin mix."

Jenn Louis — Lincoln Restaurant, Portland, OR

"Muir Glen organic tomatoes are some of the best tomatoes you can buy in a can. They come diced, whole and crushed. My favorite are the fire roasted; they're an easy way to add flavor to whatever you're cooking."

David Myers — Hinoki & The Bird, Los Angeles

"The creamiest and fullest-flavor boutique creamery butter that you can buy in a grocery store is Vermont Creamery butter."

 

murrayscheese.com

Josiah Citrin — Mélisse, Santa Monica

"When I was growing up, Claussen pickles were always in our fridge, and I still find myself buying them today."

Willie Degel — Restaurant Stakeout

"I love JENNIE-O ground turkey because it is all natural."

Fabio Trabocchi — Fiola, Washington, D.C.

"My wife and I like Goya garbanzo beans slightly warmed with fresh tomatoes, cured sardines, onions and sometimes a hard-boiled egg. It's a good quick salad in the summer."

Victor Scargle — Lucy Restaurant & Bar, Yountville, CA

"At home we throw Trader Joe's almond butter into smoothies for extra protein, and my son loves it on toast or in PB&Js."

Doug Psaltis — RPM Italian, Chicago

"The Rondolino family takes every painstaking step to produce Acquerello rice — you can make the best risotto with it."

 

williams-sonoma.com

Lee Schrager — Director, Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival

"I'm loyal to Illy. It's a great cup of coffee."

Andrew Zimmerman — Sepia, Chicago

"Black Diamond cheddar is consistent, has great flavor and is perfect for a snack, on a burger or in fancy mac and cheese."

Alex Guarnaschelli — Iron Chef America

"I love to eat Bonne Maman preserves throughout the year according to the season: I put a small dollop of the wild blueberry in my summer blueberry pies. I eat the four-fruits flavor on toast in spring. In fall, I go for the marmalade, cherry or fig."

Rick Bayless — Red O Restaurant, Newport Beach, CA

"Tamazula hot sauce — reliable, affordable, easy to find, delicious."

 

amazon.com

Mike Lata — The Ordinary, Charleston, SC

"I grew up eating Bush's baked beans, so it's a product-loyalty thing. All other brands are grossly inferior."

Gayle Pirie — Foreign Cinema, San Francisco

"The only kind of ketchup I can tolerate is Sir Kensington's spiced ketchup — perfect on grilled burgers and french-cut fries."

 

sirkensingtons.com

Melissa d'Arabian — Ten Dollar Dinners

"I have at least one package of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry in the freezer at all times. It has the best 'puff.'"

Laurent Tourondel — Arlington Club, New York City

"The zero-percent-fat variety of Fage Greek yogurt is much creamier, thicker and smoother than other brands."

Nadia G — Bitchin' Kitchen

"Open up a jar of your favorite tuna, add baby spinach and smother it all with creamy, tangy Cindy's Kitchen buttermilk ranch dressing."

Shaun Hergatt — Juni, New York City

"Kewpie mayonnaise has a superior taste to others. It's the perfect thing on a soft roll with roast chicken and avocado."

 

amazon.com

Tony Gemignani — Tony's Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco

"When I am trying to eat healthy, I pour Kikkoman rice vinegar over brown rice and chicken to add flavor."

Gerard Craft — Pastaria, St. Louis

"Rustichella d'Abruzzo pasta is the top dried pasta available. I visited the operation in Abruzzo, Italy, and it is first class."

 

amazon.com

John Currence — City Grocery, Oxford, MS

"Nothing besides French's yellow mustard will work on things like boudin or bologna sandwiches."

Rick Moonen — RM Seafood, Las Vegas

"You need to seek them out in specialty-food stores, but Ortiz anchovies are the best!"

 

amazon.com

Amanda Freitag — Chopped

"I buy HORIZON organic eggs because they are reliable."

Anita Lo — Annisa, New York City

"Canada Dry seltzer seems to stay fizzy much longer than other seltzers."

David Burke — David Burke Kitchen, Aspen, CO

"I like adding Bear Naked granola to my yogurt."

Jose Garces — Iron Chef America

"To start the day, especially in the colder months, I think MCCANN'S steel-cut Irish oatmeal is good fuel. I really like the texture—other oats tend to get soft and mushy."

Luke Venner — BLT Fish, New York City

"I use Red Jacket Orchards Fuji apple juice to create cocktails and elixirs. It is brighter in flavor and appearance than cider."

 

redjacketorchards.com

Ralph Scamardella — Tao, Las Vegas

"Martin's potato rolls are the best for hamburgers and sandwiches—bar none!"

Ford Fry — The Optimist, Atlanta

"I make Rotel Dip: I cut Velveeta into cubes, mix in Rotel tomatoes, microwave it and then dip with Fritos. It's the best."

Chris Cosentino — Incanto, San Francisco

"There are hundreds of salts on the market, but Jacobsen sea salt is the top one for me. The texture is great."

 

jacobsensalt.com

Tiffany MacIsaac — Birch & Barley, Washington, D.C.

"Sugar in the Raw turbinado sugar adds a crunchy but not overly sweet texture to the top of scones, pies and turnovers. And it's great in coffee."

Ina Garten — Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics

"Why make your own marinara when RAO'S marinara sauce tastes homemade? It's simmered for hours with good tomatoes, basil, garlic and oregano. I use it as a base for pasta sauce or lasagna."

Tim Love — Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Fort Worth, TX

"The best ice cream on the planet is Blue Bell ice cream. My favorite flavor is Rocky Road."

Thomas McNaughton — Flour + Water, San Francisco

"You can never have too many hot sauce options, but I always go back to Sriracha from Huy Fong Foods."

Rick Tramonto — Restaurant R'evolution, New Orleans

"I use Orlando Greco giardiniera on sandwiches. Nothing beats it!"

 

amazon.com

Kelsey Nixon — Kelsey's Essentials

"No other peanut butter besides SKIPPY has that rich, roasted nut flavor that's ever so salty. It's just how I like it!"

Steve Martorano — Café Martorano, Las Vegas

"If Progresso Italian-style breadcrumbs were good enough for my mother to use in her recipes, they're good enough for me."

Ken Oringer — Clio, Boston

"I don't care what anyone says: Kraft American cheese makes the best grilled cheese and cheeseburgers on earth. My kids love it, too."

Tal Ronnen — Crossroads, Los Angeles

"I love Earth Balance spread as a [vegan] butter substitute to finish off sauces."

Bradley Ogden — The Tavern at Lark Creek, Larkspur, CA

"I love Sparrow Lane vinegar and the small-batch varieties they offer. These vinegars are just perfect."

 

sparrowlane.com

Tony Maws — Craigie On Main, Cambridge, MA

"For clean flavor and granules of consistent size, I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt."

Ted Allen — Chopped

"Steve Sando sells heirloom varieties of his RANCHO GORDO beans that nobody else is cultivating. Prices are higher than mass-produced brands, but for a great pot o' beans, it's worth it."

 

ranchogordo.com

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