The items that chefs take on vacation

 coffee beans

For those of us for whom cooking is a near obsession, there are essential culinary items that accompany us even when we travel, especially if we are driving. Even when we fly, some of us have certain gear or foods that we hesitate to leave behind. Chefs are just like us in this regard, as The Boston Globe reports. The newspaper takes a look at the culinary items that Boston chefs take with them on vacation.

Chef Tom Borgia of Boston’s State Street Provisions always travels with a purse-size bamboo cutting board, a gift from his mother. The tiny board has stood up to ten years’ worth of vacations to beaches in six countries and two continents. Patrick Campbell, chef at Cambridge’s Café ArtScience, doesn’t take equipment with him on his beach travels. Instead, he stocks up on items from his favorite hometown deli. 

For Aran Goldstein, chef at Concord’s Saltbox Kitchen, the morning cuppa joe is key. “I enjoy the ritual of coffee. The steps involved [are] really calming and kind of Zen,” he says. When he travels, gourmet coffee beans, a scale, and a fancy coffee grinder always make the trip, along with a Chemex carafe, filters, and his favorite kettle for boiling the water.

Steve Johnson, formerly of Cambridge’s Blue Room and Rendezvous, bring a spice assortment with him to his Costa Rican getaway. “The last thing you want to do on day one [of vacation] is go to the local supermarket and drop $50 on a bunch of generic dried herbs and spices,” he says. Bringing your own is not only economical, it can allow you to put your personal imprint on the local produce.

Do you have certain tools or foods that you always bring on your travels?

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  • Rinshin  on  July 23, 2016

    I keep packets of soy sauce with me when we travel through the US. Although it's getting less having some soy sauce over less than ideal food items at restaurants make them better for me. Not all places keep soy sauce or use it for their cooking. Also, I always travel with wine.

  • Frogcake  on  July 24, 2016

    I bring my favourite frying pan as well as a collection of spices. Most places we've stayed have crappy frying pans and any spices left in the cupboards are stale. As well, I often put a few packages of quick rise yeast in my suitcase as I usually bake bread when we travel.

  • Nancith  on  July 26, 2016

    Bringing spices along is a terrific idea!

  • annieski  on  August 3, 2016

    Yeast, spices, knives and a steel.

  • lkl  on  August 10, 2016

    Garlic press and silicone spatula. It's amazing how many places don't have even a cheap rubber spatula for scraping out dishes.

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