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    18 Pro Chefs Reveal Their Favorite Comfort Foods (And Exactly How To Make Them)

    From Ina Garten to Marcus Samuelsson, here's what real chefs cook to keep cozy.

    Winter is the official comfort food season. And while you could probably live off of grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup, sometimes you crave something more original. So we asked pro chefs from across the country for their favorite winter meals. They explained how to make them at home and even provided the full recipes.

    1. Ina Garten: Author & Host, Barefoot Contessa

    Barefoot Contessa / Via barefootcontessa.com, Via barefootcontessa.com

    Her go-to comfort food: Cauliflower toasts.

    "These decadent cauliflower toasts from Cook Like a Pro are one of my all-time favorite lunches. I combine roasted cauliflower with nutty Gruyère cheese and crispy pancetta to make open-face sandwiches that are creamy, comforting, and totally over-the-top!!"

    Get the recipe here.

    2. Marcus Samuelsson: Red Rooster (Harlem)

    Marcus Sammuelson / Via marcussamuelsson.com, Getty Images

    His go-to comfort food: A delicious stew, like lamb with glazed cabbage.

    "My wife will go and get lamb or goat from a farm and then we'll take a Sunday to make a big stew with cabbage. We'll have that for the week and usually will eat it with rice or couscous."

    Get the recipe here.

    3. David Nayfeld: Che Fico (San Francisco)

    c/o Che Fico, Getty Images

    His go-to comfort food: Pasta. In particular, rigatoni with sausage.

    "Pasta is one of my go-to comfort foods, especially this recipe. It's very easy to make. Just sauté garlic and onions in olive oil until translucent, add sausage and cook until it is lightly browned. I like it spicy, so I add some kind of chili to the pan in addition to chopped tomatoes, vinegar, and basil. While the sauce simmers, cook your pasta, reserving some of the cooking water to loosen the sauce. Once you toss the pasta in the sauce and season, finish it with butter and garnish with some freshly grated pecorino."

    Get the recipe here.

    4. Chef Nina Compton: Compère Lapin & Bywater American Bistro (New Orleans)

    5. George Mendes: Aldea (New York City)

    Getty Images

    His go-to comfort food: Portuguese vegetable soup.

    "My mom made this classic Portuguese vegetable soup when I was growing up, and it's still one of my favorite, all-time comfort foods that gets me through winter."

    Get the recipe here.

    6. Chef Kevin Fink: Emmer & Rye (Austin)

    Brianna Balducci, Getty Images

    His go-to comfort food: Pasta with blistered brassicas, chili, and queso fresco.

    "This pasta recipe is hearty but also light enough to not weigh me down, and it can be a delicious, chilled pasta salad the next day."

    Get the recipe here.

    7. Marc Vidal: Boqueria (New York City and Washington D.C)

    c/o Boqueria, Courtesy of Marc Vidal

    His go-to comfort food: Wine-braised chicken with prunes and cinnamon.

    "In the winter, I love to make wine-braised chicken with prunes and cinnamon. It's super simple and easy to make, with very few ingredients, and you only need one pan. The prunes and caramelized onions melt into the wine sauce. Be sure to have a ton of bread on hand to soak up the delicious sauce."

    Get the recipe here.

    8. Clare de Boer & Jess Shadbolt: King (New York City)

    9. Chef Sarah Grueneberg: Monteverde (Chicago)

    Galdones Photography, Getty Images

    Her go-to comfort food: Venison sausage, white bean, and kale stew (or any one-pot stew with braised meat).

    "I love to cook one-pot stews and braised meats during the winter time. In particular, I make a venison sausage white bean kale stew every year using venison that is made by my grandparents in Texas and sent up to Chicago."

    Get the recipe here.

    10. Thomas Chen: Tuome (New York City)

    Tuome / Via tuomenyc.com, Getty Images

    His go-to comfort food: Braised short ribs with winter root vegetables

    "This is hands-down my favorite winter meal. All you have to do is sear the short ribs and deglaze the pan with Shaoxing wine. Cover the seared short ribs with water and add root vegetables, soy sauce, and star anise. Then braise until tender."

    Get the recipe here.

    11. David Bouhadana: Sushi by Bou (New York City)

    12. Mike Lata: FIG & The Ordinary (Charleston)

    Eat At Fig / Via eatatfig.com, Getty Images

    His go-to comfort food: Beef stew.

    "Beef Burgundy calls for beef marinated in red wine and rich spices. You can get creative about what you serve it with, but some favorites are fresh buttered noodles, potato or ricotta gnocchi, Carolina gold rice or rice grits, or even roasted sweet potatoes. It’s a hearty dish that warms your soul – and bones – on a cold day."

    Get the recipe here.

    13. Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson: Frasca Food and Wine (Boulder) & Pizzeria Locale (Denver)

    Frasca Food and Wine / Via frascafoodandwine.com, Getty Images

    His go-to comfort food Simple focaccia made with pizza dough.

    "This is my go-to comfort food in the winter. The dough will soufflé a bit when cooked, and you can butterfly it open and stuff with anything for a perfect panino."

    Get the recipe here.

    14. Alex Hong: Sorrel (San Francisco)

    Sorrel Restaurant / Via sorrelrestaurant.com, Getty Images

    His go-to comfort food: Carrot soup with miso, ginger, coconut, and orange.

    "This is my twist on a traditional carrot soup. Crystallised ginger gives it a sweet, spicy kick and texture. The best part is that all of this can be made with one pot and a blender."

    Get the recipe here.

    15. Alex Seidel: Mercantile Dining & Provision (Denver)

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    His go-to comfort food: Duck cassoulet.

    "This one dish meal is warming, filling, and satisfying. Along with loaf of crusty bread....it's all you need on a snowy winter day. I've featured it on my menu on many occasions."

    Get the recipe here.

    16. Reem Assil: Dyafa (Oakland)

    Luke Beard, Getty Images

    Her go-to comfort food: Sahlab.

    "It's an Arabic/Turkish dessert drink, and it's my all-time favorite comfort food. It's served warm and we usually have it in a mug."

    Get the recipe here.

    17. Dianna Daoheung: Black Seed Bagels (New York City)

    c/o Black Seed Bagels, Getty Images

    Her go-to comfort food recipe: Beef pho.

    "You can make your own beef broth, but if you don’t have time, just grab pre-made beef broth and add spices like cinnamon, star anise, and allspice. Then, grab some rice noodles and the typical fixings: bean sprouts, Thai basil, limes and thinly sliced beef or tofu."

    Get the recipe here.

    18. Jamie Malone: Grand Cafe & Eastside (Minneapolis)

    c/o Grand Cafe, Getty Images

    Her go-to comfort food: Chicken chili verde.

    "I sear chicken thighs and braise them in blistered tomatillos and onions. Finish it off with crema, lime juice, and cilantro. This meal is super simple, pretty good for you, and incredibly comforting!"

    Get the recipe here.