Why Top Chef Stephanie Izard Is Barrel-Aging Just About Everything

Why <em>Top Chef</em> Stephanie Izard Is Barrel-Aging Just About Everything
Joshua Kessler

The cooking genius behind Chicago’s cult comfort food mecca The Girl and the Goat and Top Chef’s first ever female winner, chef Stephanie Izard has long been an InStyle fave (check out her decadent mac and cheese recipe here!) We caught up with her at this weekend's Food & Wine Classic in Aspen to learn about what’s cooking in her kitchen lately.

Last meal on earth? A little cup of French fries and a small piece of toro (raw tuna) served with a little soy sauce and some fresh wasabi.

Favorite gadget? I’m very simple when it comes to kitchen gear. I have a small Chinese rolling pin that I’ve been using a lot to roll out dumpling wrappers (I’ll be opening a Chinese restaurant soon….)

Favorite ingredient right now? Fermented tofu! I age it in a barrel with some chiles. It’s soft, like pudding, and I like to include it in vinaigrettes and soups.

What you’ll be sipping this summer? Barrel-aged Negronis. Anyone can do it! You can buy a small barrel online and age a batch of the cocktail for a few months. They are amazing.

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