Chefs in Louisville have access to an abundance of fresh, high-quality ingredients for their creations. But what would they do if they were limited to just five? We asked some local chefs: If you had to start a kitchen with only five ingredients (salt, pepper and olive oil are on hand), what would those ingredients be? And what dishes would you make with them?
Coby Ming, Harvest
Whole pig, whole cow, whole chicken, whole onions, whole garlic.
All ingredients coming from an assortment of my favorite farmers. The thought is that it would be a small butcher shop with a few items available to eat at the countertop.
A few things that would be interesting are breaking down the animals and selling a small amount for retail and preparing things also for retail like house-cured bacon, guanciale, country-style pate, house-made stocks (beef, pork and chicken), hardwood-grilled beef and chicken skewers, roasted garlic, many kinds of sausages (chorizo, Italian, smoked chicken, andouille), tasso ham, dry aged steaks.
Bruce Ucan, Mayan Cafe
Achiote, pumpkin seeds, black beans, pork shoulder, lime.
They all have good flavors that can stand alone and can be mixed and matched in a variety of ways.
Dishes: cochinita pibil with pork and achiote and lime, with black beans on the side; black bean stew with pork, ground pumpkin seeds and lime.
Dallas McGarity, Theater Square Marketplace
A pig — lots of options for types of protein; black beans — very versatile and a staple in my home kitchen; garlic for intense flavoring; vinegar to enhance flavors; and heirloom tomatoes because they are delicious.
Dishes: crispy pork shoulder with roasted garlic black beans and a fresh heirloom tomato salad; ground pork “meatballs” with a roasted heirloom tomato sauce and black bean puree; crispy pig ear salad with chopped heirloom tomatoes and a roasted garlic vinaigrette; sous vide and roasted pig feet with griddled tomatoes and a black bean-vinegar sauce (kind of Asian meets Southern); braised baby back ribs with an heirloom tomato and smoked black bean barbecue sauce.
I could probably open a restaurant with this kind of pantry.
Jim Gerhardt, Limestone
Spinach, pasta, garlic, beef tenderloin, lump crab.
Dishes: crab pasta with spinach and garlic, olive oil and black pepper; roast tenderloin on wilted spinach and garlic; crab cake and tenderloin duo; seared beef pasta; grilled steak on fried pasta dusted with pepper; spinach and lump crab salad; crab cake or seared beef over spinach pesto; pasta with roasted garlic, fried spinach.
Anthony Lamas, Seviche
Fish, citrus, tomatoes, jalapenos, avocados.
All of these ingredients are so versatile and have lots of possibilities. They are really important to the foundation of my flavor profiles. I could make a ton of different dishes using just these five ingredients:
Fresh fish seviche. I could use the citrus to cook the fish and make a wonderful seviche. I would start by slicing thin ribbons of fish and tossing them in citrus for a few hours. I could then use the jalapenos, avocados and tomatoes to make a salsa or relish to go with it.
Grilled fish with avocado-jalapeno puree. I would combine the avocado, jalapeno and citrus and puree to make a sauce, then smear the avocado puree on the plate and place the grilled fish on top with some fresh tomatoes and olive oil.
Refreshing gazpacho. I would chop up all the ingredients (except for the fish), puree some and leave some chunky so that the gazpacho has texture.
Ryan Rogers, Feast Barbecue
Fresh eggs, butter, flour, sugar, heavy cream.
With only five ingredients I’d go out of the box and open a dessert bar. With five simple ingredients, dessert options are almost limitless.
Dishes: Cream caramel, creme brulee, creme anglaise, zabaglione, pudding, olive oil cake, ice cream, etc., not to mention eggs 100 ways, pasta and more!
Arpi Lengyel, Hillbilly Tea
Flour, eggs, smoked ham, cheese and Nutella.
Dishes: Crepes! For breakfast, egg crepe; for lunch, ham and cheese; and for dessert, Nutella crepe.