Even the most kitchen averse among us has a favourite dish in our arsenal that makes us feel at home. Now, with nothing but time on our hands – and grocery delivery at our fingertips – we have no excuse not to take our comfort foods to the next level. To up your gastronomy game, all you need are a few quality tools and a list of recipes to spark some culinary inspiration. Whether you’re a devoted home cook or weekend warrior, we’ve rounded up a list of elevated comfort food recipes from world-renowned chefs to get your started.
David Chang’s Bo Ssam
Chang’s Asian style pulled pork is cooked low-and-slow until the unctuous meat practically falls apart. It’s also an umami powerhouse packed with flavours that tickle the taste buds: sweetness from the added sugar, heat from the gochujang, a hit of salt from the soy and a funky twang from the fermented bean-and-chili-paste. Find the recipe here.
Luciano Monosilio’s Carbonara
Who doesn’t crave a bowl of spaghetti with a silky cheese sauce? If you can’t find guanciale (cured pork jowl), you can substitute pancetta in a pinch. There’s a reason why Chef Monosilio is known as the King of Carbonara. Find the recipe here.
Daniel Boulud’s Coq Au Vin
The best thing about this recipe? It’s fuss-free: you make the sauce one evening, and sear and cook the chicken the next day – all in one pot. Best served with roasted potatoes, fluffy wild rice, or, if you’re feeling decadent, buttered French bread to mop up the sauce. Find the recipe here.
Thomas Keller’s Roast Chicken
This simple recipe is the brainchild of one of the world’s most celebrated chefs, Thomas Keller of Napa’s The French Laundry. Keller’s secret? Don’t forget about the chicken oysters: they’re the most tender parts of the bird. If you’re keen for sides, opt for maple roasted parsnips and white rice to soak up those delicious pan-drippings. Find the recipe here.
Rick Bayless’s Short Ribs
The maestro of Mexican cuisine offers this hearty dish that brings the heat. The meat juicy with a welcome smoky quality. Pro-tip: if arbol chiles are hard to come by, substitute with ground cayenne pepper or crushed red chili flakes. Serve with Mexican rice and sweet plantain. Find the recipe here.
David Lee’s Plant-Based Mac N’ Cheese
This classic comfort food has been transformed into a plant-based pleasure. If you want to amp up the (faux) cheese factor, you can easily double the plant-based parm ingredients. Find the recipe here.
Padma Lakshmi’s Mahimahi Coconut Curry Stew
Mahimahi is an ideal fish for this dish: it has a mild and sweet profile that’s perfect for absorbing the perfumed curry flavours and has a firm texture, so it holds up well while stewing. If you can’t find it at the supermarket, use halibut or swordfish. Find the recipe here.
Ferran Adrià’s Black Rice with Squid
This recipe will change the way you think of comfort food. Michelin-starred chef Ferran Adrià’s groundbreaking restaurant/culinary hub El Bulli was responsible for promoting molecular gastronomy on the world stage. But don’t be spooked by the dish’s illustrious origin story: the simple prep, luscious textures and rich flavours will feel like a warm hug. Pro-tip: make friends with your fishmonger and ask him to clean the squid for you. Find the recipe here.