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Things you should know before we start: Joe Yonan is the editor of the Washington Post’s food section and an amazing chef. He has been spending the last seven or eight months working on his new recipe book “Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One” which should be completed in a few weeks containing about 100 recipes and a number of essays on the art of eating well while only cooking for yourself. He’s a calm, charming man who has been pent up developing recipes daily in his Dupont apartment along with his doberman Red. I would describe Joe as a mad scientist of a chef, coming up with various concoctions and trying just about every variation of ingredients until the mixture has been perfected. His fridge and freezer were packed with Ball jars containing these compounds along with what seemed like only market or high end specialty store products. His knowledge of worldly foods and techniques blew me away a bit…as if there were any doubt, Joe definitely knows his eats.

Top shelf of fridge: 2 dozen chicken eggs, 1 dozen duck eggs (from the 14th and U farmers market), homemade preserved lemon slices (with garlic, shallots, and spices), pickled onions (recipe from Pati of Pati’s Mexican Table), organic chicken stock base, tuna fillets in olive oil, jar of salted shrimp (for kimchi), extra firm toru (from a specialty asian store), organic grass-fed heavy cream, coconut water, leftover lentils, leftover tuna in olive oil, Greek style Yo Lite (he reuses the yogurt containers for all kinds of foods), Clear Spring Creamery organic grass-fed whole milk, Depaz cane syrup (use as a sweetener the same as simple syrup), sweet vermouth (it’s a common misconception that this can be kept outside of the fridge), 2 bottles of Dubonnet


Middle shelf of fridge: fresh rhubarb, homemade kimchi with napa cabbage and asian pear, white anchovies (aka Boquerones), homemade red pepper chutney pepperonata, leftover sauce for a slow-roasted pork recipe, leftover pork from the recipe, store bought hummus (he was kind of ashamed to admit it wasn’t homemade), sardines (from Vace Italian market in Cleveland Park), another jar of organic chicken stock base, hibiscus mole sauce (recipe again from Pati), homemade black beans, both store bought and homemade hibiscus flowers in syrup (he liked the store bought better because of using dried hibiscus as opposed to fresh), orange Jalapeño jelly from Mexico (a gift from a friend, everyone seems to bring him foodie gifts when they travel), apricot jam, hibiscus syrup, mulled red wine syrup, mulled hibiscus with peach syrup, blueberry lemon jam, Copper Pot red cherries and bourbon, orange marmalade, jalapeño jelly

Bottom shelf of fridge: homemade cashew tamari salad dressing, a homemade “spicy paste”, a homemade Thai condiment (made with fish sauce, Nam pla prik, and thai chilies), miso paste, 2 jars of homemade cilantro salad dressings, homemade chili lime pickle (an Indian condiment), Sambal, 3 jars of “12 hour tomatoes” (tomatoes roasted on low heat for 12 hours, taste similar to sundried), Jalepeno salsa fresca, store bought kimchi, sake, duck fat, beers (he asks that we not label him a “beer man” but not a bad selection – Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Presidente, and Raven from Baltimore beer works), homemade roasted peppers, various jars of different types of green olives, pickled umi plum, olives stuffed with citrus peel, pickled raisins (the only way he likes them), whole sweet piquante peppers, pickled grapes (recipe from Carol Blymire of French Laundry at Home), preserved orange peel, preserved lemons (recipe from David Hagedorn of Washington Post Food), pickled okra, sea salt packed capers (2 jars…and the trend continues with everyone having capers in their fridge), leftover canned crushed tomatoes, Rick’s Picks sliced dill pickles, Cochan Butcher B&B pickles, pickled chard stems (recipe also from Carol Blymire), his sister’s pickles (from Maine), pickled cherries (recipe from Trey Massey, a DC chef)

Crisper drawer on left: tomatillos (two bags, the one from the farmers market was $8, the one from Whole Foods was twice as much and “about half the cost”), fresh asparagus, lemongrass, green onions, fennel bulb, green garlic, carrots, jalepenos, sunchokes, radishes

Crisper drawer on right: cilantro (bagged in a damp towel to keep longer), artichoke hearts, young celery (smelled so good), napa cabbage, eggplant, 2 red peppers, 1/2 an avacado (if you wrap them in saran wrap and press it close to the flesh it stays green), 1/2 a cauliflower head

Meat drawer: ricotta, feta, creme fraiche, gouda, parmesan, speck, Laughing Cow light garlic and herb cheese, smoked trout, boneless ham steak, parmesan rhinds, bacon

Butter flap in fridge door: butter, shortening, yeast

Top shelf of fridge door: nut oils (walnut, sesame, and pistachio), tomato paste, Korean chili paste, bean sauce, chili lime pickles, spicy ginger and garlic tandori sauce, red curry paste, Mexican nut mole, more tomato paste

Middle shelf of fridge door: 2 bottles of mayo, chipotle sauce, Louisiana Gold pepper sauce, Nando’s hot peri peri sauce, Ol’ Red Eye hot sauce, sancho paste (all asian-language label, he think’s this is what it is), Pickapeppa suace (in the south they eat cream cheese covered in it), Joe Perry (oh yes, of Aerosmith) mango peach tango sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mushroom flavored soy sauce, double black soy sauce, sesame oil, Newman’s teriyaki marinade, tamari soy sauce, Ponzu (a citrus soy sauce), oyster sauce

Bottom shelf of fridge door: capers (not salt packed), maple syrup, hazlenut cream (like “fancy Nutella”),  agave vanilla peanute butter (also from Copper Pot), organic Heinz tomato ketchup (he then realizes he has no mustard), almond butter, cashew butter

Top shelf of freezer: goose ragout, canned chicken stock, lard, chicken livers, a canister from his ice cream maker (to keep it ready at all times), half smokes, veal scallopini, chicken thighs, leftover pesto seasoned meat, racks of pork ribs, veal bones (for stock), pork rib chops, Whole Foods skirt steak, frozen bay shrimp, sausage (not sure what kind), more chicken thighs, 2 Poussin (similar to Cornish hens), pork chops, Sambal, shrimp shells (for stock), a whole chicken

Bottom shelf of freezer: Copper Pot sweet potato gnocci and beet pappardelle, 4 bags of homemade pizza dough (some with spelt flour, some without), cooked farro,  puff pastry, wonton wrappers, bread crumbs, organic brown rice, a few types of cornmeal, almond flower, flax seed, grits

Top shelf of freezer door: fast acting yeast, cheese making ingredients (he said it was extremely difficult), shelled lima beans, pine nuts, cranberries, blueberries, shaved coconut, curry leaves

Bottom shelf of freezer door: icepacks, homemade chocolate tart shells, chocolate cookie dough (ready to be baked in small quantities, pistachio butter and chocolate chip cookies, caramel sauce, cappachino pudding, tapioca (doing a freeze test to see how well it holds up)

The king of jars and memorized recipes, there were more than a couple times that he had to smell the contents but in the end he always knew what they were. Really looking forward to the release of his book and the secrets behind all these wonderful recipes.

Like what you saw? Check out previous “What’s in You Fridge? ” posts

Is there a fridge you’d like to see in here? Let us know in comments or at [email protected]