Michelin-starred chef John Fraser is recognized as one of the best vegetable-forward chefs in the world. Lucky for everyone in Los Angeles, this summer Fraser re-opened the very buzzy Ardor at The West Hollywood EDITION where we’ve spotted everyone from Emily Ratajkowski to just about every wellness-loving babe we know in the city.
The space is brimming with giant tropical plants, wood details, mood lighting and the kind of plant-based dishes we dream of. A definite date-night or girl’s night out must.
Fraser’s other restaurant ventures include The Terrace & Outdoor Gardens at The Times Square EDITION where menus are also plant-forward in a way we promise even your night-life loving, carnivorous crew will love and respect.
After another delicious dinner at Ardor recently, we asked Chef Fraser to join our In the Kitchen series. Here are all the planty, boozy, and condiment-rich remarks we expect from a chef like Fraser to inspire you in our your own kitchen and restaurant adventures…
In my kitchen you’ll find plenty of: Condiments. I have tons of hot sauce and mustard – they’re favorite ingredient. I probably have over 30 in my pantry. Because I taste things for a living, my palate needs things on the extreme side.
I have a love affair with mustard – it is such a diverse product and a blank canvas to work with, sometimes spicy and sometimes sweet.
Recipe staples always on hand: Kale. I try to put it in everything I make as it’s hearty, brings a ton nutritional benefits and has a conveniently long shelf life.
I also eat a ton of eggs for protein – I can have a soft scramble in the morning, hard scramble for lunch and a breakfast taco for dinner.
Ingredient that makes everything taste better: Olive oil – I have 5 or 6 types and pick up a new bottle every time I travel. A bottle of local olive oil tells a unique story of a destination.
Best food memory: Eating milk bread in Japan. I tried it on my first trip there and began to re-work it once it got home. I added tomatoes, and salt then used olive oil in butter. Our version is the Californiacation of milk bread.
Food philosophy in one sentence: Keep it simple and courageous.
Fave ingredient lately: At the moment, peppers. I did a lot of research into them for Iris, which draws upon my Greek heritage and deep admiration for Turkish cuisine.
The patio at Ardor
Midnight snack perfection: Microwave popcorn with olive oil and black pepper.
Food you love to eat with zero prep/additions: Peppers!
Most impressive dish: The cauliflower cacio e pepe at Ardor. We use raw cauliflower which brings an fantastic amount of texture to the dish. It feels complex but is so simple.
Healthiest habit in the kitchen:Keep washing your hands.
Fave condiments: Mustard, olive oil and hot sauce.
Best bargain tip: Head to the farmer’s market. You can control portion size and therefore reduce wastage.
Fave veggie + what you make with it: Asparagus is my favorite. Simply pan roast with olive oil, salt pepper and lemon zest.
Must-have munchies: Cool Ranch Doritos.
Craziest thing I buy at the market: House plants.
Favorite splurge: Ruinart Blancs de Blancs champagne.
Your idea of an ideal dinner setting… Sitting at a bar having snacks and bites (not a full meal). Start with a Manhattan, finish with a glass of calvados.
For last minute entertaining, I… Order out. I love Italian Ribalta in New York.
Signature cocktail: A perfect Manhattan with a twist.
Simple go-to recipe: An overly toasted English muffin with heaps of cream cheese, too much black pepper and Maldon salt, sliced avocado and olive oil.