The 7 Ingredients Chefs Can't Do Without - The Telegraph

Food writer Xanthe Clay interviewed Sous Chef's founder, Nicola, about food trends and ingredients we love. 

Read the full article in the Telegraph here

"Wandering among the shelves stacked with Sous Chef’s stock is a food lover’s fantasy." - Xanthe Clay

These were Nicola's top 7 picks for ingredients that chefs just can't do without:

Coco Lopez - Cream of Coconut 425g

A key ingredient in the original Piña Colada recipe - no bartender should be without this. Also fabulous in sweet coconut desserts.

Kikkoman Traditionally Brewed Marudaizu Shoyu Soy Sauce 1l

Made with whole soybeans and slowly fermented for a smooth texture and mellow flavour.

Tonka Beans

Lend complex vanilla-clove-cherry aromas to custards, souffles and even scallops. Also fantastic infused in vodka or whiskey to give a new depth to cocktails.

Freeze-Dried Strawberry Powder 50g

Add an intense hit of colour and fruity flavour to chocolates, meringues, icings and macarons. The strawberry is particularly good with white chocolate ganache to make 'strawberry and cream' truffles.

Christine Ferber Charlotte Strawberry Jam 220g

These seasonal jams, hand cooked in small batches in Alsace, are often thought to be the best in the world. Just as exquisite on toast as in pastry cases for desserts and afternoon tea treats.

Perello Gordal Pitted Olives

A cult favourite - plump and crisp with a slight chilli kick. The bright packaging looks fantastic on display in the kitchen, too.

Acquerello Aged Carnaroli Rice 500g

This aged carnaroli rice is rather special. It can absorb more liquid than other risotto rice and still keep its structure - without even needing to stir. A must have for your best risotto yet, loved by top chefs like Heston Blumenthal and Alain Ducasse.


  • @Annie – yes, we did! Thank you, that’s been edited now.

    @Jane – agreed! Such a wonderful ingredient, only narrowly missed out being on this list!

    @Les and @Barbara – it’s true they may not be ingredients used every day in home kitchens. But by swapping an everyday jam or risotto rice for the ones listed here, for example, you’ll notice a huge difference in the food you cook. And we doubt you’ll want to go back! If you are looking for a salt or pepper to elevate your everyday cooking, please get in touch with our friendly customer service team who will be happy to suggest some of the great products in our range.

    Thank you to everyone who commented!

    Aisha at Sous Chef on

  • Did you mean Heston???

    Annie Cudmore on

  • Maggie Beer’s verjiuce – nothing else like it!

    Jane Roberts on

  • I suppose kosher salt and black pepper was a little too obvious as an ingredients that chefs cannot do without. This article was a waste of time only serving to advertise selected products that very few people use in everyday cooking.

    Les on

  • I’m not a chef but I manage perfectly well without any of those ingredients.! How about Rick Salt, Black Pepper, Lemon, Parsley, Garlic, Chilli & Vinegar.

    Barbara on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Latest Articles & Recipes

  • The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives

    The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives

    June 24th, 2022
  • Cucina Popolare's Incredible Lemon Meringue Pie

    Cucina Popolare's Incredible Lemon Meringue Pie

    June 23rd, 2022
  • How to Sharpen Your Kitchen Knives

    How to Sharpen Your Kitchen Knives

    June 16th, 2022