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Will BYOB Chef Chris Kearse Can’t Live Without Puffed Quinoa

Hashtag #EaterChefReveals to get in on the fun.

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Welcome to Chef Reveals, a new feature to Eater Philly and @eater_philly on Instagram, in which we display the day-to-day essentials of the city’s top chefs — all shot from above by the very talented TommyBaboon. In today’s inaugural edition: the items Will BYOB chef-owner Chris Kearse can’t live without.

[photo by @tommybaboon]

A photo posted by Eater Philly (@eater_philly) on

What Chris Kearse has done for Philadelphia's food landscape is especially impressive considering his restaurant is a just a humble BYOB (not the most profitable business model). And even after receiving his third bell from Craig LaBan, he's still pushing Philly restaurants forward, constantly raising the bar, exploring new flavors and textures — like boutique curries and spice blends or house-puffed quinoa sunflower seed granola — expensive ingredients and laborous techniques uncommon in a restaurant model with such slim profit margins.

Explained in counter-clockwise order from the picture above:

  1. La Boîte spices: Bombay curry, vadouvan curry (French curry), hibiscus, and ana spice (a La Boîte Turkish-inspired spice blend of sumac, rose blossom and sesame seeds). He prefers Lior Lev Sercarz's spices because "he thinks like a chef when it comes to his blends", according to Kearse. "He simply is the best at what he does because he uses only the best. So a no-brainer for me."

  2. Puffed quinoa: Kearse's puffed quinoa is cooked in-house, and he adds it to dishes for a perfect crunch. Look for it in the sunflower seed granola of this season's sweet potato and apple soup.

  3. D'Artagnan Rohan duck breast: Kearse claims there is no better breast in the game than D'Artagnan's. Perfectly fatty and insanely flavorful, this is his favorite protein to show off.

  4. Almond wood: He brought it in for a pork menu in the past, and it stayed in his kitchen since. Great for smoking vegetables, and perfect for grilling.

  5. Matsutake mushrooms: meaty and bold. Sort of a metaphor.

  6. Tweezers: "The tweezers, I mean I am not a big trash-talker. I try to ignore the naysayers, but it's something I like and I'm used to. It's not really a statement."

  7. Glestain knives: the small one, a 5.9" Honesuki for poultry break-down, and the longer one, a Sujihiki, for slicing at its finest.

  8. Watermelon C4 Energy Powder: Some chefs use coffee, he'd rather get all ripped up before service.
  9. The notebook: this sucker's been around since his days working with Justin Bogle at Gilt. It's full of every crazy, beautiful, weird, and impressive idea and recipe he's ever had.

Chefs, professional cooks, and home cooks, join in on the fun with hashtag #EaterChefReveals on a similar shot in your kitchen. We’ll regram our favorites at @eater_philly.