Most chefs go for the most artisanal products they can find.It has to be hand whipped mayo or a specially pressed olive oil.Yet , surprisingly some of the top professionals actually use ordinary every day products to enhance a dish. Is this kosher? Yes. More and more are using just ordinary food stuffs in extraordinary dishes.
This was the subject of an article in yesterday's New York Times Dining section. The piece written by Dining regular Jeff Gordinier, tells about some of the country's greatest cooks' greatest secrets. Some like Napa Valley'sMichael Chiarello find that mass produced is better than bespoke. He saw that especially in peanut butter. Artisanal or gourmet kinds has a tendency to be dry while Skippy's has a lovely smooth oil enriched texture. This is due to it being mass produced along with all those artificial ingredients that are dumped into it.
Another chef,Tony Maws, of Craigie on Main in Cambridge Mass, extols the virtue s of Hellmans' mayo. He also loves Frito Lays chips even though he makes something similar in his restaurant.One chef has even tried to copy Heintz's ketchup recipe and has used the original in several of his recipes. This is nothing new, Jamie Oliver, that famed and cool British chef has always told his fans to use as much processed food as possible in recipes. The artisanal stuff is sometimes too rough and raw and actually doesn't work. A splash of Coke or a dollop of Hellman's is much better in making a dish taste phenomenal..A lot fo chefs start thwir sandwiches out with Wonderbread, the most blandest of any commerical baked good
Sometimes that special ingredient isn;t so special. Yet if it makes a dish sing, then use it. A dollop of Hellman;s mayo or a scoop of Skippy's is all it takes.