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Exploring the Seasonality of Fish: Understanding What’s Fresh and Why

By | Local, Seafood, What Chefs Want

As chefs, one of the most exciting aspects of our craft is the ever-changing palette of ingredients that nature provides. Among these culinary treasures, fish stand out as a dynamic and diverse ingredient, but they come with their own unique rhythm dictated by the changing seasons. In this article, we’ll dive into the fascinating world of fish seasonality, exploring what impacts it and why understanding it is essential for creating exceptional dishes that celebrate freshness and sustainability.

The Rhythms of the Sea

Fish seasonality refers to the natural cycles of availability that different species of fish exhibit throughout the year. Just as the changing seasons influence the growth of fruits and vegetables, factors like water temperature, migration patterns, and spawning habits influence the presence of various fish in our oceans, rivers, and lakes. Embracing fish seasonality not only ensures that chefs work with the freshest catches but also contributes to sustainable fishing practices and responsible sourcing.

Factors Influencing Seasonality

Water Temperature: Fish are highly sensitive to water temperature. As the temperature changes with the seasons, so does the behavior of different fish species. Warmer water might attract certain species to migrate or spawn, while cooler waters could trigger migrations of other species.

Spawning Habits: Many fish species have specific times of the year when they reproduce. During spawning, fish might become less abundant as they focus on propagating their species rather than feeding.

Migration Patterns: Fish often migrate in search of optimal conditions for feeding and reproduction. These migrations can lead to the presence of certain fish in specific regions during certain seasons.

Food Availability: Fish feed on other marine life, and the availability of their prey can impact their presence. Changes in the abundance of smaller fish or plankton can influence the movement of larger predator fish.

Environmental Factors: Environmental factors such as water salinity, oxygen levels, and currents can impact the distribution and behavior of fish populations.

Weather: Weather conditions, including temperature, storms, and ocean currents, play a significant role in fish migration and availability. Changes in weather patterns can affect water temperature and nutrient distribution, influencing the movement and behavior of fish species. For instance, shifts in wind patterns can lead to upwelling, bringing nutrient-rich waters to the surface and attracting various marine life, creating opportunities for certain fish to thrive during specific seasons.

Why Seasonality Matters

Freshness and Flavor: Fish that are in-season are at their peak in terms of flavor and texture. They are more likely to be caught closer to your location, reducing the time between catch and plate.

Sustainability: Embracing fish seasonality supports sustainable fishing practices. Fishing responsibly and avoiding overfishing during sensitive times like spawning seasons helps protect fish populations for future generations.

Economic Impact: Sourcing in-season fish can positively impact local economies, as it encourages the consumption of fish that are readily available from nearby waters.

Environmental Impact: By choosing in-season fish, you contribute to reducing the carbon footprint associated with transporting out-of-season species from distant locations.

Culinary Creativity: Adapting to the changing availability of fish challenges chefs to think creatively and explore new flavors and preparations.

Navigating Fish Seasonality

To make the most of fish seasonality, chefs need to stay informed about the species that are in-season in their region. We are happy to provide our seafood expertise to guide you in making sustainable and delicious choices! See below for the What Chefs Want seasonality chart.

Maple Leaf Farms Duck: Your Nutritious and Sustainable Recipe for Success

By | Appetizers, Farm To Table, Meats, What Chefs Want

In the dynamic world of dining, one protein source is emerging as a star for its exceptional taste, versatility, and eco-friendly ethos. Allow us to introduce you to Maple Leaf Farms—the farm that’s revolutionizing how chefs and food enthusiasts perceive duck meat.

A Nutritional Marvel Awaits: The White Pekin Duck

Before we delve into the legacy and sustainable practices of Maple Leaf Farms, let’s uncover the nutritional treasure that is White Pekin Duck. Beyond its deliciousness, this duck variety boasts a commendable nutritional profile that’s catching the attention of chefs and foodies worldwide.

The White Pekin duck is a protein source that not only dazzles your palate but also supports your health goals. This duck variety has lower fat and calorie content compared to many other meats, making it a winning pick for those who crave incredible flavors while upholding a balanced diet.

A skinless duck breast weighs in at a mere 110 calories per 4 oz. serving, accompanied by a paltry 2 grams of total fat. Compare this to the leanest chicken breast, and duck claims the victory in the realm of lean meats.

Duck fat isn’t just a culinary secret; it’s a nutritional revelation. Bursting with monounsaturated fats, akin to revered olive oil, duck fat is a wonder in the world of healthy fats. Its saturated fat content is notably low, especially considering that much of it resides in the skin—which can be conveniently rendered off or removed before cooking, putting you in charge of your dish’s fat content.
And this duck isn’t just about less fat; it’s about more goodness. This variety is a treasure trove of essential nutrients, boasting impressive quantities of iron and selenium—crucial elements that bolster your well-being.

Duck’s Culinary Identity: Red Meat with a Twist

Contrary to its poultry companions like chicken and turkey, duck strides into the realm of red meat, ushering in a diverse flavor profile akin to steak. This distinction lends duck a versatile culinary nature that shines in everything from elegant soirées to casual gatherings—a must-have ingredient for chefs aiming to elevate their creations.

Cooking duck is an art that marries precision with passion. Unlike traditional white meats, a skillfully prepared duck breast delights with a slight pink center when cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This artistry doesn’t just ensure tenderness; it enriches the distinctive flavor profile duck is celebrated for.

In a world where flavor often collides with wellness, White Pekin duck bridges the gap. Its delectable taste, partnered with its stellar nutritional qualities, makes it a prime choice for health-conscious chefs and food enthusiasts alike.

Maple Leaf Farm Makes Duck Approachable

Maple Leaf Farms is on a mission to make duck a staple in every kitchen. From gourmet sit-down meals to approachable, shareable dishes, there’s a place for duck in every type of restaurant. Imagine duck tacos that tantalize the taste buds or savory appetizers like duck bacon wontons and crispy duck wings—these are just the beginning of your culinary journey.

For those curious but hesitant, Maple Leaf Farms offers recipes and inspiration on their website, guiding chefs of all levels to create delectable duck dishes that will have diners coming back for more.

A Legacy of Excellence and Sustainability

While the spotlight on White Pekin duck’s nutritional wonders shines bright, let’s shift our focus to the legacy that is Maple Leaf Farms—a story of passion, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to delivering unparalleled duck products.

Maple Leaf Farms’ journey begins with a dedication to sustainability. Partnering with local farmers and raising ducks in open-air barns at a comfortable temperature, their approach guarantees consistent, top-tier meat—a chef’s dream come true. With innovative barn designs that effectively manage waste and eco-friendly practices like repurposing manure for local fields, sustainability takes center stage.

No Waste, Just Excellence

Maple Leaf Farms’ commitment to sustainability echoes through every step, from processing ducks themselves to ensuring each part serves a purpose. No element is overlooked—even feathers find their place, transformed into pillows and comforters, showcasing a zero-waste mindset that’s both responsible and innovative.

A Global Impact with Local Roots

Maple Leaf Farms’ global presence retains a heartwarming small-town feel. From a modest 1958 Indiana duck operation, it has evolved into an international powerhouse, exporting to various corners of the world. This journey is a testament to their dedication to excellence, rooted in founder Donald Wentzel’s vision and carried forward through generations.

Culinary Excellence Meets Sustainability: Your Journey Begins

So, are you ready to elevate your creations with Maple Leaf Farms Duck? We offer a variety of Maple Leaf Farms duck products, delivered right to your door. Search our website or app for Maple Leaf or search by item code:

  • Bone in duck leg & thigh – Item #00890
  • Ground duck – Item #00889
  • Duck leg confit – Item #00893
  • Duck breast – Item #00841
  • Whole duck – Item #00384

Anthonino’s Taverna: From Family Roots to Culinary Heights

By | Appetizers, Chef's Feed, Italian, Pizza, Produce, What Chefs Want

In the heart of St. Louis, MO, Anthonino’s Taverna stands as a testament to the dynamic fusion of Italian and Greek cuisines, owned by brothers Anthony and Rosario Scarato. Their culinary journey is rooted in family traditions, echoing through generations in their Italian and Greek heritage. With a legacy in the restaurant business and an innate passion for flavors, the Scarato brothers embarked on a culinary venture that has earned accolades for both the best Italian and Greek restaurant in town.

Join us as we explore their journey and applaud their achievements, powered by the use of fresh, local ingredients and their fearless attitude towards embracing new opportunities.

Can you share a bit about your culinary background and what led you to open a restaurant?

Anthony – Our family has been in the restaurant business our whole lives, so it surrounded us growing up. As we became adults and needed to make a career for ourselves, this was it!

Rosario – Our dad had restaurants at local food courts here in St. Louis and Anthony and I grew up doing that together. When we decided to open a restaurant in 2003, we found a perfect spot on The Hill and have been at it ever since then.

Anthony – When we started it was just a 1-page menu and three or four other employees besides ourselves and we’ve been growing ever since!

For non-St. Louis natives, The Hill is a distinctive neighborhood with roots tracing back to Italian immigrants from the 1800s. This vibrant and enduring community offers a charming “little Italy” ambiance, making it a must-visit destination that encapsulates the essence of Saint Louis, Missouri.

What inspired you to showcase both Italian and Greek cuisines at Anthonino’s Taverna?

Rosario – Our culture. We started with family recipes because we grew up on them, loved them and knew everyone would enjoy them.

Anthony – Our mother was born in Greece and Dad’s parents were born in Italy. There are lots of Italian restaurants on the Hill, and our recipes and the way we do things are different, but having Greek menu items as well really helps us stand.

How does sourcing your food from What Chefs Want impact the quality of your menu?

Rosario – We like to focus on local and What Chefs Want helps us get a good variety of produce. Using them, we can feel confident that we will get good and consistent year-round product.

Anthony – We choose to use What Chefs Want because we’ve found that we can get things that we can’t get from a lot of other purveyors. We have three awesome salads that we rely on their produce for, the House Salad, Caesar Salad and Italian Salad. We use shaved kale in the Caesar, a nice artisan blend of lettuce for the Italian, and chopped romaine for the house, all with homemade dressings.

“Using What Chefs Want really takes out a lot of the leg work for us because the lettuce is coming to us clean and ready to use.”

– Anthony Scarato

  • Find our Chopped Romaine – Item #20264
  • Find our Shredded Kale Greens – Item #98742
  • Find our Arcadian Mix Lettuce – Item #20248
  • Find our Cherry Heirloom Tomatoes – Item #50901

Talk to me about your favorite family recipe how you’ve used it in your menu?

Anthony – I’d say ravioli. Growing up our grandma and aunts would always make ravioli. They would make it the traditional way and boil it, but toasted ravioli is so popular here that we added it to our menu in that way.

Rosario – We’ve really perfected it. It’s all made with fresh ingredients.

And Anthonino’s HAS perfected Toasted Ravioli. They are handmade in house and filled with ground beef, ricotta and pecorino romano cheese, served with their own marinara. They’ve won awards for the Best Toasted Ravioli in St. Louis, sell them in the new CITYPARK soccer stadium, sell them frozen at local grocery Schnucks, and were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives where Guy Fieri RAVED about them.

    Being featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is a fantastic achievement! Could you share your experience of being on the show and how it impacted your restaurant’s visibility and success?

    Anthony – It was pretty wild. When they first called us we thought it was a joke, but as we went through multiple phone calls and multiple interviews, each call sounded a little more serious! It’s the #1 show on The Food Network, so this was BIG. When they filmed the crew was really gracious and Guy was great.

    Rosario – Our taping was in May 2012 and in terms of our restaurant, we were still little guys, still growing. It was an extremely big deal for us. In 2014 we were able to get a bank on board to add onto our dining room, allowing us to double in size. I’m not saying that it is all because of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, but our exposure there played a big role.

    Anthony – After the show films, it doesn’t air for a couple months, but when it does, it reruns six times a year. It drives people to us even to this day and we’ve even had people from Europe who visited us after seeing us on the show.

    Tell me about finding your pizza and toasted ravioli in stores? How did that come about?

    Rosario – It started during Covid. We were looking for a way to keep the business going, a way to keep our people working. We were doing to-go orders and started just by selling frozen pizzas to the people who were there to pick up orders. We started jarring our sauce at the same time. We started a great relationship with Schnucks grocery store. They liked that our product was local, made with a focus on local products, and now our frozen pizzas are available in 115 of their stores! Our frozen ravioli, marinara and two salad dressings are also available in their stores.

    What would your advice be to chefs or restaurateurs who are looking to break out of the brick-and-mortar mold?

    Anthony – Do your research, but take a chance. If you have something that is unique and different, get out there and try it. Just take the chance.

    La Mozzarella: A Journey from Italy to Your Plate!

    By | Cheese, Chef's Feed, What Chefs Want

    Buongiorno, food aficionados and culinary enthusiasts! Today, we invite you to join us on a delectable journey to the heart of Italy with La Mozzarella, where a passion for tradition and the finest Italian cheese can be delivered right to your kitchen.

    Meet Lara Postiglione, the dynamic owner behind La Mozzarella, whose unwavering passion for the art of cheesemaking has shaped her journey from Italy to the United States. Lara has poured her heart and soul into creating a business that transcends the boundaries of just being another supplier.

    The journey began when Lara and her husband, Rosario, arrived in the U.S. back in 2001. They brought with them an insatiable longing for the taste of authentic buffalo mozzarella cheese, a delicacy they had grown up cherishing in Italy.

    Lara remembers the moment she tried mozzarella di bufala for the first time when she was a teacher in Italy.

    “It was so amazing and I just couldn’t believe what I was eating,” said Lara Postiglione, owner of La Mozzarella.  “I told one of my students about it the very next day and he bought me a kilo of mozzarella the following week for my birthday. I ate it all in one day.”

    Fast forward to 2001, when Lara and Rosario realized they couldn’t find any of the product in Chicago.  Recognizing this gap in the market, they embarked on a quest to introduce original buffalo mozzarella, natural, fresh, and steeped in generations of tradition, to the eager palates of the Chicagoland area. Now, La Mozzarella is available in 18 states and continues to grow. Through the What Chefs Want partnership with La Mozzarella, we are the exclusive distribution partner who can bring this taste of Italy to your restaurant.

    A Standout Product & Philosophy

    La Mozzarella’s philosophy is built on the principle of personalized service, where each customer is treated as the most important one. Lara believes that technical skill is essential, but it is her passion for what they do that sets them apart. The La Mozzarella team carefully listens to every chef’s unique needs, ensuring that the products they deliver are of the utmost quality.

    “We are so grateful to have our customers and we are committed to giving them the best product, while also focusing on being kind,” said Lara. “Kindness is the most important thing and isn’t always common in the industry, so we make sure everyone on our team keeps that focus on kindness.”

    Lara personally traveled through Italy, handpicking her Italian suppliers. She traversed various regions and visited numerous producers, ensuring that only the finest ingredients find their way into La Mozzarella’s offerings.

    Mozzarella di Bufala

    One of their proud treasures is the Mozzarella di Bufala DOP, made from the milk of Italian water buffalo, arriving in the United States within a mere 36 hours of being crafted in Campania. With a tradition dating back to the earliest days of mozzarella di bufala production, this cheese carries the esteemed “Denomination of Protected Origin Status,” safeguarding its authenticity and artisanal value.

    The majority of fresh mozzarella available worldwide, including in Italy, is crafted from cows’ milk, resulting in a firmer texture with lower moisture content and a subtle taste. However, Mozzarella di Bufala stands in contrast, boasting an immensely flavorful profile, a luxurious butterfat richness, and a truly satisfying experience.

    SEARCH ITEM # 32707Order by Wednesday and receive this made-to-order product, straight from Italy, 8 days later!


    And let’s not forget about their Imported Burrata, lovingly crafted from cow’s milk in the heart of Bari, Italy. As burrata’s birthplace, Bari holds a special place in this cheese’s rich history. The name itself, burrata, originates from “burro,” meaning butter, a subtle reminder of the luscious creaminess that sets this imported delicacy apart from domestic alternatives. La Mozzarella was the first to bring burrata to both Chicago and Denver, and now you can purchase it for your culinary needs at What Chefs Want.

    SEARCH ITEM # 26078 Order by Wednesday and receive this made-to-order product, straight from Italy, 8 days later!

    Committed to Being the Best

    What truly elevates La Mozzarella to greater heights is their commitment to delivering the freshest and highest quality product. Their experience of importing fresh Italian cheeses spans over 22 years, and they have mastered the art of multiple direct flights from Italy each week. With a seamless process that ensures each cheese is made to order and arrives within 36 hours of production, La Mozzarella remains unrivaled in the United States.

    But it’s not about being the largest importer for Lara; it’s about being the best. Her ambition lies in serving you the most exceptional flavors and providing an unparalleled culinary experience. La Mozzarella cheese is more than just a product; it’s a testament to their passion, love for tradition, and dedication to sharing Italy’s gastronomic treasures with the world.

    Drooling yet? Well if not, check out some recipes La Mozzarella shares, featuring mouthwatering ideas like a Burrata Pesto Burger,  Peaches with Burrata, Basil, and Raspberry Balsamic Syrup, and Mozzarella with Summer Squash and Olive Puree.

    So, dear foodies, let La Mozzarella transport you to the sun-kissed hills of Italy, and let the delicious journey from Italy to your plate begin!

    Buon appetito! 🧀🍕🍝

    Search the What Chefs Want site for these products using item codes:

    • Mozzarella di Bufala – item 32707
    • Burrata – item 26078

    It’s Corn! 10 Unconventional Ways to Utilize Fresh Local Corn

    By | Chef's Feed, Local, Produce, Vegetables, What Chefs Want

    As summer arrives with its sunny warmth and vibrant flavors, there’s one star ingredient that dominates every farmer’s market and dinner table: fresh, local corn! At What Chefs Want, we believe in embracing creativity in the kitchen, and what better way to do so than by experimenting with this versatile golden gem? Get ready to embark on a cornucopia of fun and unique ideas that will have your restaurant patrons buzzing with excitement.

    Spicy Corn Fritter Tacos

    Transform traditional tacos into a fiesta of flavors with spicy corn fritter tacos. Whip up a batch of zesty corn fritters using locally sourced corn, diced jalapeños, and a blend of bold spices. Serve these crispy delights in soft tortillas topped with tangy lime crema and fresh avocado salsa for a mouthwatering explosion of tastes and textures.

    Corn Popsicle Delight

    Beat the summer heat with an unconventional treat: corn popsicles! Create a refreshing and surprising dessert by blending fresh corn kernels with coconut milk, honey, and a pinch of salt. Freeze the mixture into popsicle molds, and voilà – a sweet and savory delight that will have diners raving about your inventive dessert menu.

    Corn and Basil Ice Cream

    Take your ice cream game to the next level by infusing fresh local corn into a creamy basil ice cream base. The natural sweetness of the corn complements the aromatic notes of basil, resulting in a truly unique and sophisticated dessert that will leave your guests in awe.

    Corn Ceviche

    Add a twist to the classic seafood ceviche by incorporating charred corn kernels into the mix. Marinate fresh shrimp or fish with zesty lime juice, diced tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, then toss in the corn for a burst of smoky sweetness that elevates this dish to new heights of flavor.

    Corn and Chorizo Stuffed Peppers

    Amplify the flavors of stuffed peppers by adding a corn and chorizo filling. Mix charred corn with spicy chorizo, black beans, and cheese, then stuff it into colorful bell peppers. Bake until tender and bubbling for a dish that packs a punch and showcases the delicious potential of fresh local corn.

    Corn and Goat Cheese Croquettes

    Combine the delightful creaminess of goat cheese with the satisfying crunch of corn croquettes. Blend locally sourced corn with tangy goat cheese, breadcrumbs, and herbs, then fry to golden perfection. These delectable bites are sure to become a beloved appetizer at your restaurant.

    Corn Dumpling Soup

    Give traditional dumpling soup a summery makeover by adding corn dumplings. Mix cornmeal, eggs, and a dash of nutmeg to form dumpling dough, and drop spoonfuls into a flavorful vegetable broth. The tender dumplings and sweet corn make this dish a comforting and innovative addition to your menu.

    Corn Pancake Stack

    Brunch enthusiasts will flock to your restaurant for a delightful corn pancake stack. Blend fresh corn into pancake batter and cook until golden brown. Stack the pancakes high, alternating with layers of crispy bacon and drizzles of maple syrup, creating a sweet and savory tower that’s a feast for the eyes and taste buds.

    Corn-stuffed Ravioli

    Dazzle your guests with a corn-filled surprise by offering corn-stuffed ravioli. Create pillowy pockets of pasta filled with a delectable mix of corn, ricotta cheese, and fresh herbs. Toss the ravioli in a luscious brown butter sage sauce for an unforgettable dish that celebrates the essence of summer.

    Corn Sushi Rolls

    Put a twist on sushi night with corn sushi rolls. Swap traditional nori seaweed sheets for soft corn husks and stuff them with sushi rice, avocado, cucumber, and fresh corn. Roll it all together and slice into bite-sized pieces for a sushi experience that’s both innovative and satisfying.

    Search the What Chefs Want site for corn or search using item codes:

    • Bi Color Corn – item 20041
    • Yellow Sweet Corn – item 20047
    • Fresh Corn Kernel – item 17043
    • Shucked Corn on the Cob – item 17041
    • Corn Husk for Tamales – item 92208

    Learn More

    With these ten playful and imaginative ideas, you’re well-equipped to wow your restaurant’s diners with an extraordinary corn-centric menu. Embrace the abundance of summer corn and let your culinary creativity shine! What are you waiting for? It’s time to let the cornucopia of fun begin!
    And not to end on a corny note, but if you need a little inspiration while cooking to celebrate all things corn, don’t forget about this little viral sensation:

    Everything But the Booze: Elevate Your Restaurant’s Beverage Service with What Chefs Want

    By | Beverages, Chef's Feed, Paper / To-Go, Purees, What Chefs Want

    Get ready to shake things up and raise a glass! At What Chefs Want, we know that the devil is in the details when it comes to running a restaurant. From the perfect lighting to the mouthwatering menu, every element contributes to creating magic for your customers. But hey, let’s not forget about the bar service! We’re here to make sure your drinks are as extraordinary as your cuisine. That’s why we take pride in providing a comprehensive range of products that can transform your bar into a destination for exceptional libations. From paper products to skewers, mixers to garnishes, we offer everything you need to elevate your beverage service to new heights. Let’s dive into the categories we provide and explore how What Chefs Want can be your go-to partner for all your bar service needs.


    Creating delicious and refreshing beverages requires a wide range of mixers, and we have you covered. Our inventory includes Island Oasis drink mixes in a variety of flavors, ginger beer for those spicy favorites, and a selection of bloody mary mixes to appease even the most discerning taste buds. Additionally, we offer an assortment of juices, kombucha, many different flavors of syrups, and purees to unleash your creativity and craft unique and irresistible concoctions.

    Speaking of purees, we currently stock Perfect Purees in meyer lemon, pineapple, pomegranate, prickly pear and strawberry and if you are looking for some summer cocktail inspiration, you can check out some of their recipes here.


    Don’t underestimate the power of the perfect garnish to enhance the flavors and presentation of your drinks. At What Chefs Want, we understand the importance of fresh and high-quality garnishes. That’s why we offer an array of options, including olives, cherries, and a selection of fresh produce. Edible flowers also add a delightful touch of beauty and elegance to cocktails, turning them into visually stunning and Instagram-worthy creations.

    Skewers for Garnishes

    Garnishes are the finishing touch that transforms a regular drink into a work of art. Our collection of skewers, made from bamboo and sugar cane, provides an elegant and eco-friendly way to present garnishes like fruits, olives, and more. Elevate your cocktails’ visual appeal and impress your patrons with these stylish and sustainable skewers.

    Paper Products

    While they aren’t as exciting as garnishes and mixers, no bar is complete without the essential paper products that keep things running smoothly. From high-quality napkins to sturdy straws, we offer a wide selection of paper goods that strike the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics. With different sizes, colors, and materials available, you can find the perfect match for your establishment’s style and branding.

    Summer Cocktail Inspiration

    Ready to make one of the trendiest drinks of the Summer? This refreshing drink is built around St. Germain, giving it a light and invigorating flavor with hints of elderflower. Perfect for those who want a lighter and slightly sweeter alternative to Aperol, it’s no wonder TikTok creators are calling it the drink of Summer 23’.  

    The Hugo Spritz

    • 5-6 mint leaves (item #40052)
    • .5 oz lemon juice  (item #99202)
    • .75 oz St. Germain or elderflower liqueur of choice
    • 3-4 oz prosecco
    • Ice
    • lemon wheel for garnish (item #10505)

    Here’s how to make the light and refreshing Hugo Spritz:

    1. Muddle lemon juice and mint leaves in your glass
    2. Add desired amount of ice
    3. Add in St. Germain
    4. Fill up the rest of your glass with prosecco
    5. Garnish with lemon slice and/or mint leaves

    Learn More

    At What Chefs Want, we believe that a remarkable dining experience encompasses more than just exceptional cuisine. Elevating your bar service is crucial to leaving a lasting impression on your guests. With our wide range of paper products, skewers, mixers, and garnishes, we can be your one-stop-shop for all your bar service needs. From providing functional and stylish paper goods to offering a plethora of mixers and fresh garnishes, we are dedicated to helping you create a bar that stands out from the rest. Let What Chefs Want be your trusted partner in achieving excellence in every aspect of your restaurant, even beyond the kitchen.

    To make it easy to shop our bar selections, we’ve created a feature list called Everything But the Booze. Click there to see a curated list of some of our best bar offerings!

    Burger Week, Local Sourcing and Inspiration: A Q&A with Catherine of Naïve and Nostalgic

    By | Beef, Chef's Feed, Farm To Table, Local, Vegetables, What Chefs Want

    With Cincinnati’s Burger Week wrapping up, and Louisville’s Burger Week ramping up, we are paying tribute to America’s beloved sweetheart – the Hamburger! This week we are featuring Louisville restaurants Naïve and Nostalgic Cocktail House, which have two different burgers featured for Louisville’s Burger Week.

    We spoke with Catherine Mac Dowall, owner and operator of Naïve and Nostalgic. Catherine began her career in the restaurant industry over 16 years ago, working her way up the ladder from hostess, line cook and every job in between to becoming an Operations Manager for Michelin Star and James Beard Award-winning Chef Jose Andres. Catherine brought her passion for culinary excellence to Louisville in 2016, opening Naïve, starting as just a concept at a 10X10 tent at a farmers market. From its humble beginnings, Naïve has flourished into a thriving enterprise, including catering, wholesale services, and the brick-and-mortar restaurant. In February of this year, Catherine opened her second restaurant, Nostalgic. She is soon to be featured in a CNN documentary put on by Bobby Flay, so keep your eye out for Catherine!

    WCW: Your menus at Nostalgic and Naïve are incredibly diverse. What makes something like Burger Week exciting to you?

    This is our first burger week and we are excited about it! We’ve had a ton of success during Restaurant Week and Burger Week seemed like another opportunity to introduce ourselves to people who haven’t made it here yet. It’s a great approachable way for new people to experience us.

    WCW: Can you tell us about any unique burger ingredients or flavor combinations that you’ll be featuring during Louisville Burger Week?

    At Naïve we are featuring a really unique burger. It has two beef patties, a yuzu koshu aioli, basil relish and a ton of mozzarella cheese, all on a homemade sesame potato roll.  

    At Nostalgic we are featuring a classic burger – our Smash Burger. It has two lacey thin beef patties with seared onions smashed into them, American cheese and burger sauce on a homemade sesame potato roll. It is such a classic burger, but the quality of the ingredients really make it special. It is one of our most popular menu items.

    WCW: How important is the sourcing of meat for your burger creations, and what factors do you consider when selecting the best quality beef for your patties?

    We just started serving beef at Naïve this year. We served nearly every other type of protein and our customer base was asking for it. We have always sourced very sustainably at the restaurant, using as many local ingredients as we possibly can to put really great seasonal dishes on the menu. So, when we added beef, working with Berry Beef and knowing they are local was important to us.
    We brought that same philosophy to our new restaurant as well. I put a huge emphasis on doing things the right way, and the right way for me is supporting the local community.

    Berry Beef is a cooperative model developed by Kentucky farmers to provide chefs and institutions with a consistent supply of regionally-raised beef.

    Berry Beef cattle are raised on pasture their entire lives, eating a blend of grass and locally-grown grains. This produces the well-marbled cuts your customers love, while maintaining high animal welfare and environmental standards. Berry Beef is distributed exclusively through What Chefs Want to cities across the country.

    Search Berry Beef in the app or item #26695

    WCW:  Seeing how much you love local food, are there any specific local ingredients or flavors from Kentucky that you love to showcase?

    We are currently obsessed with sorghum. It’s a really intriguing ingredient and so versatile!

    You can find sorghum in Nostalgic’s Weisenberger Grits, Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Grilled Broccolini, and Sweet Tea Fried Chicken. You can also find sorghum on some of Naïve’s tasting menus.

    If you are shopping the What Chefs Want app and are interested in sorghum, you can find Bourbon Barrel Foods Pure Cane Sweet Sorghum with item #93514

    WCW:  Do you have a personal favorite burger combination or flavor profile that you always go for when you go out to eat?

    It really depends on the mood I’m in. If I’m looking for something that is that comforting, I gravitate towards something I’ve had and know, but if I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll reach for something with ingredients that I’m not as familiar with or something where the preparation is unique.

    WCW: Who are some of your biggest culinary inspirations?

    My old boss, Jose Andres is a huge inspiration to me, not only for his culinary background, but for his business acumen. I truly admire him!

    It’s hard to pinpoint a singular person or restaurant. With everyone online and at our fingertips, we can really see and explore what other restaurants and chefs are doing anywhere in the world. It never used to be that way.

    I do love going out to the West Coast and trying all the different restaurants throughout LA. Gjelina Group is such a staple in LA and Rustic Canyon was doing some really interesting things that we pull inspiration from as well.

    WCW: How do you stay innovative and ahead of the curve?

    I believe in not taking your foot off the gas, because once you do, someone is right behind you to pass you. Always try to be creative, reinvent yourself and push your comfort zone and your customers comfort zones!

    Learn More

    Both Naïve and Nostalgic are open six days a week and have menus that change seasonally.

    To visit their websites, peruse their menus and see their business hours, visit:

    Locally Grown, Delivered to You

    By | Chef's Feed, Farm To Table, Local, Vegetables, What Chefs Want

    In today’s globalized world, where products from around the world are readily available at our fingertips, it’s easy to overlook the significance of supporting local producers, especially when it comes to fresh produce. However, by prioritizing local sourcing, we not only embrace the unique flavors and freshness of our own regions but also foster a strong sense of community and sustainability.

    Building Relationships with Local Farmers & Producers

    In the heart of the Midwest, What Chefs Want has found a remarkable partnership with the Mennonite community farmers from Scottsville, KY. Hand-picking a wide variety of locally grown produce, the Hoover family behind H & H Farms provides What Chefs Want with more than 16 different types of produce. This collaboration not only showcases the remarkable diversity of our region but also highlights the vital role that local producers play in nourishing and enriching our communities.

    In June, some of our What Chefs Want team members had the opportunity to visit with the Hoover family of H & H Farms. They enjoyed a gorgeous day on the farm, complete with a tour on a wagon pulled by draft horses, past fields of squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and watermelon. Our team was invited to eat lunch with the Hoover family in their home as we learned more about their family and the incredibly hard work that goes into producing the crops that go from their local farm to your tables.

    Working with local farmers has many advantages for both the farmers and our business. H & H Farms will adjust their crops based on our needs, so when we saw a demand for more watermelon last year from our customers, they adjusted to grow more watermelon for us. They pick squash blossoms twice a week for us very early on the mornings that our truck is scheduled to pick up from them. This “right out of the field and onto our truck” dynamic is only made possible by working closely with local farms.

    In addition to H & H Farms, the Scottsville, KY area is also home to the Miller family, who grow exquisite heirloom tomatoes. The Millers specifically cultivate and grow special varieties of their tomatoes to get specific colors, tastes and shapes. The family who produces Spring Valley Farms jams is just down the road as well.

    Local Opportunities in Every Region

    These are just a few of the MANY local producers that we partner with across the country. What Chefs Want works with local producers across all our different regions to provide our customers with fresh, local and seasonal produce.

    Ready to Buy Local?

    If you are in our ordering system and looking for local items, look for the green LOCAL tag:

    Or use the local filter found in the left “filter by” column:

    Local offerings will look different based on your location.

    Red, White and BBQ

    By | Chef's Feed, Farm To Table, Local, Meats, Seafood, The Butchery, Vegetables, What Chefs Want

    Grilling inspiration for your 4th of July menu

    The 4th of July is just around the corner, and you know what that means—time to fire up the grill or smoker and give your customers a menu that sets off fireworks of flavor and leaves everyone craving more. That’s why we’re here to share our BBQ favorites, guaranteed to add sizzle and excitement to your holiday feast. From hand-cut, premium quality steaks to the freshest produce, we’ve got the ingredients that will inspire grilling greatness and create an unforgettable 4th of July experience.  

    Center of the Plate Stars for the Grill

    The sizzle and aroma of a perfectly grilled steak evoke a sense of anticipation and delight, as each bite offers a tender and juicy experience that is simply irresistible. Try one of our favorites, the Black Hawk Reserve Striploin. Black Hawk Farms cattle are selectively bred for intense marbling and robust flavor. (Search Item #26955)

    Nothing says the 4th of July like a burger hot off the grill, but how can you take those burgers to the next level? It’s all about the quality of the beef itself. Try Berry Beef Burger Patties. Berry Farms dry ages their beef, allowing the natural flavors to be enhanced while making the meat more tender. (Search Item #26696)

    While beef remains a favorite in star-spangled spreads, don’t overlook the incredible flavors of fish, which prove to be an excellent and delectable option for the grill as well.

    It is wild caught salmon season, ensuring a steady supply of Sockeye Salmon and the perfect grilling companion, King Salmon. Sockeye salmon is known for its intense flavor and vibrant red color, while King salmon is revered for its large size, high fat content, and luxurious taste. (Search Item #28603)

    Cobia, a versatile and delicious fish, is an excellent choice for grilling enthusiasts. With its firm and flavorful flesh, Cobia holds up well on the grill, allowing for various preparations and marinades to enhance its taste. (Search Item #48021)

    Don’t Forget the Smoker

    We can’t let the summer season start without a nod to the magic of smoked meat.

    Smoking lamb neck or lamb shoulder creates a tender and flavorful culinary experience. The slow smoking process allows the lamb to develop a rich smoky aroma and a melt-in-your-mouth texture, resulting in a truly unforgettable dish. Freedom Run Farm Lamb is more tender and mild than virtually any other lamb available in the market today. (Search Item #62506 for lamb neck and #62502 for lamb shoulder)

    Smoked beef brisket is a barbecue masterpiece that promises an explosion of smoky and savory flavors. We recommend smoking the Black Hawk Brisket. (Search Item #00336)

    Produce that Pops on the Grill

    Summer is the perfect season to showcase the vibrant flavors of fresh vegetables on the grill. Grilling vegetables enhances their textures and creates a delicious char, elevating them to a whole new level of culinary enjoyment during the sunny and bountiful days of summer.

    Grilling asparagus highlights the natural sweetness and earthy flavors of this versatile vegetable. With a slight char on the outside, grilled asparagus offers a perfect balance of crispness and tenderness, making it a perfect side dish or addition to salads, pastas, or as a standalone appetizer. (Search Item #20000 for jumbo and #20005 for standard)

    Broccolini and caulilini are excellent choices for grilling due to their unique attributes. Broccolini, with its tender stems and small florets, grills beautifully, developing a smoky flavor while retaining its crunch. The thinner stalks of caulilini allow for quick and even cooking on the grill, resulting in a delightful blend of charred and slightly sweet flavors. Both vegetables benefit from the grill’s heat, transforming into deliciously charred and caramelized delights that add a delightful twist to any summer meal. (Search Item #20012 for broccolini and #03643 for caulilini)

    Sweet corn is in season as well, so don’t forget that it is a treat on the grill! (Search Item #20041)

    Gourmet Goods to Enhance your Grill

    Take your grilling to the next level by incorporating flavorful glazes. Elevate your dishes with the luscious sweetness of fig balsamic glaze, made by enriching balsamic vinegar of Modena PGI with fig juice, or indulge in the earthy richness of truffle balsamic glaze, infused with the aromatic essence of truffles. (Search Item #29869 for fig balsamic glaze and #29853 for truffle balsamic glaze)

    Change your whole flavor profile with spices like ras el hanout or za’atar. A prized Moroccan spice blend, ras el hanout takes its name from an Arabic phrase that can be loosely translated as ‘top of the shop’, meaning the very best a spice merchant has to offer. Za’atar is a complex medley of seasonings is notable for its rich aroma and well-balanced curry-like flavor. It is an authentic Middle Eastern mix of herbs and spices, featuring sumac, thyme, oregano, sesame seeds and salt that is sure to add a new pop of flavor to your grilled favorites. (Search Item #97142 for ras el hanout and #97181 for za’atar)

    Elevate your grilled fish with extra virgin olive oil with lemon or yuzu. The yuzu oil, a fantastic complement to grilled seafood, offers a refreshing twist as a versatile citrus substitute. (Search Item #18268 for EVOO with lemon and #95411 for yuzu oil)

    What Chefs Want is Delivering Your Grilling Favorites

    What Chefs Want has you covered with a selection of grilling favorites that will make your menu shine. From hand-cut steaks to the freshest seasonal produce, our premium quality ingredients are sure to elevate your summer menu and leave your guests craving more.

    With split cases, daily delivery (even on the 4th!) and no minimum orders, we give chefs what they want and need to create summer menu magic.

    *Not available in all regions – see website or app for more information.