As the days grow shorter, and crisp, cool weather rolls in, the fall season settles upon us and brings with it a new harvest of fresh produce. With pumpkin spice, gourds and Thanksgiving turkey on our mind, we asked six of our Flagship Culinary chefs which seasonal ingredients they enjoy working with most, and here’s what they had to say:
I like using fun, fall flavors that bring warmth and deliciousness to my desserts. Spices like clove, cinnamon and nutmeg can really bring the feeling of autumn to desserts. I especially love making sticky toffee puddings, pumpkin cheesecakes, and apple desserts with these spices.
Elizabeth Wees, Pastry Sous Chef – Springfield, NE
I am most excited for our local green chile roasting season. It is a New Mexico tradition for many to buy and roast a sack of Hatch Green Chile to welcome in the fall season.
Saalim Nance, Sous Chef – Los Lunas, NM
I like to use vegetables that coincide with the colors of the season. This time of year, I use a lot of green and orange things like brussels sprouts and persimmon to highlight the fall season.
Tian Yip, Sous Chef – New York, NY
I am most excited to work with apple cider – it’s such a versatile ingredient! My favorite fall time treat are apple cider doughnuts. You can reduce the cider down and use it in cakes, doughnuts and ice cream, or you can simply warm it with some fall spices and have a great beverage to keep you warm.
Christina Kavalis, Pastry Sous Chef – New York, NY
Fried brussels sprouts with bacon and lemon vinaigrette. I used to serve it every fall at my restaurant, needless to say it was very popular. Add a little bacon, garlic, caramelized onions and some green apples (that have been caramelized with butter and sugar) and finish off with a simple lemon vinaigrette. It’s an amazing fall comfort food.
Tam Sugayan, Sr. Executive Chef – Menlo Park, CA
Sweet Potato & Squash
If I had to choose the most exciting fall ingredient to bake/cook with, it would be a tie between Okinawan Sweet Potato and Kabocha Squash. While both are typically served as vegetables, their creamy texture and subtle sweetness allow for a wonderful alternative when traditional fruits for pastry production are locally unavailable. Naturally beautiful in color, they are both a main ingredient and a garnish in themselves.
Janice Febres Rios, Pastry Chef – Seattle, WA