chefs don't make everything from scratch when they're cooking at home. photo illustration by michelle volansky

St. Louis chefs share their favorite pantry staples

Not everything has to be made from scratch. Here’s what chefs always have on hand in the kitchen.

Chili Onion Crunch
SweetArt chef and co-owner Reine Bayoc swears by this blend of dried garlic and peppers in olive oil from Trader Joe’s.
$4. Trader Joe’s, various locations,

Soulard Spice Blend
Culture Food Group chef and co-owner Ceaira Jackson said this smoky blend is perfect for everything from eggs to potatoes to steak.
4 ounces: $3.50; 8 ounces: $6. Soulard Spice Shop, Soulard Farmers Market, 730 Carroll St., St. Louis, 314.783.2100,

Read More // 8 easy recipes St. Louis chefs make at home

The Ginger People Sushi Ginger
Olive + Oak chef Jesse Mendica will only buy this brand of pickled ginger for its impeccable flavor. She’s also a fan of The Ginger People’s Sweet Ginger Chile sauce and Soy Vay teriyaki sauce.
$3. Whole Foods, various locations,

JFC International Furikake
Louie chef Sean Turner always keeps a shaker of furikake – a dry Japanese seasoning blend that usually includes seaweed and sesame seeds – in his kitchen.
$3.50. Jay’s International Foods, 3172 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.772.2552, Facebook: Jay International Food

Podravka Ajvar or Euro Gourmet Romanian Zacusca Ajvar     
At Balkan Treat Box, chef and co-owner Loryn Nalic makes her own ajvar, but for an at-home shortcut, she recommends these two brands of the roasted red pepper spread.
$4 to 6.50. Global Foods, 421 N. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, 314.835.1112, Facebook: Global Foods Market

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

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