The Top Chef Masters Season 3 finalist has a restaurant empire anchored by San Francisco’s Jardinière. She tells F&W’s Kate Krader about 10 obsessions, including her backgammon board made from old flip-flops.
1. Mortar & Pestle
"I like quiet in my home kitchen; I hate to even hear a blender. So I love mortars and pestles, especially big granite ones. I have about nine now."
2. Workout Gear
"Icebreaker New Zealand Merino clothes are made of wool, not synthetics; they feel so great next to your skin."
"I started playing it as a kid. I collect backgammon boards during my travels. I found one in Africa made out of old flip-flops."
"For my version of the Danish open-face sandwiches called smorrebrod, I toast the bread to add texture. The roasted beet topping is vegetarian, but thinly sliced roast beef is nice as well."
"I just took the trip of a lifetime there. I went on a thrilling helicopter ride, then an elephant was testy and threatened to charge. I realized that I like to be scared."
6. Sea Salt
"I like to travel with Maldon salt and fleur de sel. If there’s a threat of under-seasoning somewhere, I’ll bring salt."
Tips from Top Chef Stars