What’s in Your Fridge: Gail Simmons
Hungry and need a snack? We have some ideas.
She’s the only foodie deserving of that title and a woman who truly needs no introduction (although very important and worth noting is that she refers to herself as a “professional eater” — a woman after our own hearts); ladies and ladles, we proudly present the inner workings of Gail Simmons fridge:
1. Produce. “My daughter right now is on a two-peach a-day minimum, so we are getting lots of peaches and plums. We keep the produce in this basket which I bought in Vietnam on my honeymoon. We have a ton of bamboo stuff.”
2. Unconventional Baby Food. “My daughter loves zucchinis; it’s one of her favorite foods. We roast them for her. She is also obsessed with mushrooms, so we make her a lot of sautéed mushrooms. I found that once I became a mom — and I am sure this happens to tons of moms — I go grocery shopping and buy a bunch of stuff but forget to buy groceries for myself. I spend $200 at the grocery store and all I have done is buy things that I can cook for her. Then my husband will be like, so, did you buy anything for dinner tonight?”
3. Repurposed Leftovers. “I believe in leftovers. I think people think I am a lot fussier than I am. When I know there are good leftovers in the fridge I can eat them for like, four days straight. I repurpose them. If I make a big quinoa salad, I will make them into quinoa cakes and eat them for breakfast. Last night we had corn on the cob, but now it’s a corn salad.”
4. Roast Chicken. “In New York, roast chicken is the easiest thing. This particular roast chicken is from Dirty Bird in Tribeca.”
5. Canadian Maple Syrup. “This is my favorite thing in my fridge. I am from Toronto and my husband is from Montreal. I put maple syrup kind of on everything.”
6. Baby Probiotics. “I put a half teaspoon in her milk at night. They are specifically for children.”
7. Pickles. “There are always pickles in my fridge. My father was pickling before Brooklyn was pickling! Mine are pretty good, but I don’t have the patience to let them sit as long as he does. He used to keep them in our basement upside down for 3 or 4 months. I want them sooner than that, so they aren’t as sour. Sahadi’s and Damascus, which are two very old middle eastern bakeries and provision stores, are four blocks away. We replenish from there weekly.”
8. Sour Cherries. “These were for a recipe. Now I have to figure out what else to do with them. Sour cherries are a very traditional Middle Eastern ingredient. I’ve been told the best place to get them is in Brighton Beach but I couldn’t get out there, and I was testing a sour cherry mignonette for oysters, so I got the tart, dried cherries. I ended up doing two versions: one with dried cherries, one with these jarred sour cherries.”
9. Beauty Products. “I keep eyepatches in the fridge. They have been in here for about a year. They are a depuffer. Everyone looks in the mirror and has their one thing. My thing is that I feel like I always have puffy eyes. So when there is a puffy eye emergency, I slap them on. They are orange patterned and I believe have some citrus in them.”
10. Mustard. “There is nothing you can’t put mustard on.”
11. Spreads/Sauces. “My condiments fall into themes, it makes life easy. I always buy this one maple spread when we go to Canada that I put on toast. The Ottolenghi is a passion fruit jam. Tahini is another staple in our house, we make salad dressing, hummus…then there’s Red Boat fish sauce — a really amazing quality that my friend introduced me. They actually do a collaboration with Bliss, which is a maple syrup company. They age the fish sauce in bourbon barrels. There’s also sambal they serve with those noodles that I am obsessed with right now. This was made and sent to me by Mei Lin, the winner of Top Chef, season 12.”
12. Verjus. “This is some verjus (an acidic juice made from unripe grapes) which has not been opened. It’s for cooking. It’s been there for a year. We will get to it one day.”
Images by Lauren Levinger of The Food Life.