Chef Roundtable

Food And Dining

What’s your favorite ingredient to use during the winter season?


1. Executive Chef Jason Abo

Christy’s on Broadway

There are a lot of great seasonal ingredients to use during the winter, from wild game to root vegetables to fruits. I love using mushrooms in the winter, especially chanterelles and truffles. In fact, I recently made a sweet and earthy Mushroom Ice Cream, which also has mascarpone whipped cream, candied watercress, and a persimmon chip. Yuzu is another favorite ingredient of mine, with sweet and acidic flavors that complement a lot of different dishes. I like to make a Matcha Green Tea and Yuzu Sorbet to use as a palate cleanser in tasting menus. It’s sweet and not too acidic, and prepares the palate for delicate flavors.


2. Chef Chris Tzorin

Savannah Chop House

With the holiday season upon us, the perfect palate-enhancing ingredient for this time of year is the clove. This spice reminds me a lot of my father, Chef Luis Tzorin, when he’d cook for our family and friends. It’s the perfect accent to ham, turkey, sauces—even cocktails. I personally like to use it in a clove and brandy punch, or in my signature ham dish, Agave Pineapple Tequila Ham. It brings a warm, soothing feeling to your palate.


3. Executive Chef Dustin Houston

RokPrime Steakhouse & Grille

Winter squashes are a treat to work with. Out of all of them, I am really fond of kabocha. With its sweet and distinguished flavor, very little preparation is necessary. A little butter and salt is all you need, as the subtle favor of kabocha speaks for itself.