5 Unusual Ingredients You Should Be Cooking With

06/06/2014 at 11:45 AM ET

5 unusual ingredients you should be cooking with

Ali Rosen is the host and founder of Potluck Video, a food and drink website that takes you behind the culinary scene with celebrity chefs, restaurateurs, producers, mixologists and more.

We all know that having salt and pepper in the cupboard is essential. But what if you want to have the pantry of a chef?

Ryan Tate of the Michelin-starred restaurant All Good Things in N.Y.C. opens up about what eccentric ingredients he thinks should be a staple for every cook.

Some are unusual but relatable — like the baboon lemon, a large and flavorful variety of the citrus fruit that can be purchased at specialty stores.

Others are perhaps a bit harder to imagine keeping on hand. Tate advocates for monkfish liver, which is a delicacy in many Japanese restaurants but tough for home chefs to find outside of special-ordering it. Yet he believes that this “foie gras of the sea” should be getting more focus.

Watch the video below to discover the other three curious ingredients Tate loves — and learn how to use them all in your kitchen. Your guests will never be so impressed!

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Showing 10 comments

John on

Have you not heard of overfishing? NO to the monkfish liver and the mackerel. Yes to the other three.

Myas on

@John, oh shut up. Fish is good for you.

Guest on

I live in a small city. Getting any of these ingredients

Guest on

I didn’t finish my thought. Getting any of these ingredients is not possible or if I can, it is expensive and out of my budget.

ogates on

Our oceans are so full of pollutants/garbage that our seafood ingests that I have almost entirely cut out eating fish, which I love–I will still splurge on wild caught salmon on special occasions but not much else from the sea!

fieldhockeygk11 on

How about including foods that aren’t impossible to get/prohibitively expensive for the average person?

fieldhockeygk11 on

How about including foods that are more commonly available/more affordable (i.e. NOT prohibitively expensive for the average person?) We already suffer in this country from a huge nutrition gap, and this doesn’t help!

Anonymous on

What a bunch of pretentious B.S.

CJM on

Sorry, but this is a load of pretentious crap.

Guest on

The only one I was interested in was the baboon lemon.

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