“I appreciate that it can still be 70 degrees in the day and you can eat an apple, reminding you that cool weather is coming.”
—Barbara Lynch of No. 9 Park and six other restaurants, Boston
“I look forward to calabazas at this time of year to add to atole, a warm, creamy drink made with corn masa.”
—Cristina Martinez of El Compadre and South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelphia
“This leafy green vegetable is one of my favorite ingredients in fall and winter. We use the leaves to wrap and steam fish, and the stem is meaty and super versatile.”
—Tom Cunanan of Bad Saint, Washington, D.C.
“The Caribbean has a big culinary history of stews and one-pot meals. I like grilling the conch meat and adding it to a green-curry-base stew. That herbal brightness balances the flavor and picks up those salty sea notes.”
—DeVonn Francis of Yardy, New York
“In springtime we have a lot of berries happening, and in the fall, persimmon is our way of having that sweet berry taste in dishes.”
—Stephanie Izard of Girl & the Goat, Duck Duck Goat and Little Goat Diner, Chicago
“When they’re not pure sweetness and have a bit of an acidic or tannic backbone, they’re really nice in savory food.”
—Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson of Kismet and Madcapra, Los Angeles
“This is a habanero bred to have all the flavor with none of the spice. It has incredible tropical tastes of passion fruit and pineapple. My favorite way to eat them is pickled. We recently put them in a beet salad with pluots and walnuts.”
—Sam Smith of Tusk, Portland, Ore.
“It’s like adding a natural MSG, bringing a boost of umami to stocks, soups, burgers or, really, anything.”
—Edouardo Jordan of Salare and JuneBaby, Seattle
“The fruit is so versatile, it can bring a lot of things to life. That tartness and sweet-savory balance are integral to Middle Eastern cooking.”
—Reem Assil of Reem’s California and Dyafa, Oakland, Calif.
“For standing up to stronger flavors and introducing something fresh to a heavier dish, radicchio is really great.”
—Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia and Milkwood in Louisville, Ky., and Succotash in Washington, D.C.
Red Fermented Tofu
“There are layers of nuttiness and earthiness that take to dishes that are a little heartier, like a pork roast. It’s also the base for our fall bitter melon soup.”
—Brandon Jew of Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco
“This season has been rainy, perfect for wild mushrooms. We’ve been seeing beautiful maitakes and matsutakes, and turning them into stock, blending them into purées and braising them.”
—Ben Jackson of Drifter’s Wife, Portland, Maine