What’s in your…: Local chef David Wang shares his kitchen must-haves

Chef David Wang

With Thanksgiving upon us — and the winter feasting season officially under way — local chef David Wang stopped by The Aspen Times office with his bag of tricks for culinary success. A former chef at the Viceroy Snowmass and Meat & Cheese, Wang now runs his own show, working as a private chef, consultant and proprietor of Aspen’s popular ramen pop-ups (the final one is scheduled for early December at Meat & Cheese). Here’s what he never travels without …

Chef David Wang’s kitchen essentials.

Spice of Life: Chefs are passionate about their spices. In Wang’s bag are always flavors such as star anise, cherrywood-smoked salt, black garlic salt, miso, Saigon cinnamon and more. “My style of cooking is to use Asian flavors and incorporate them into items that are more familiar to Western eating habits,” he says. “Miso, for example, is great for fall flavors; black garlic salt is sort of a Korean ingredient; and so on …”

Butter Me Up: Really, people don’t have butter in the refrigerators? “You’d be surprised,” says Wang. “I know it’s kinda weird, as you assume every one has butter at home, but that’s not always true. I bring my own, just in case.”

Chef David Wang’s knife roll filled with all his essential tools. (All photos by Anna Stonehouse/Aspen Times)

Tools of the Trade: “Whenever I cook at anyone else’s house — or even for myself at home — I have my knife roll with all my tools … knives, spoons, graters, sharpeners. And the sous vide machine I have is one of the most efficient travel-sized ones I’ve ever owned; it’s called joule by ChefSteps.

Insider Tip … Chef David Wang will open a permanent pop-up this winter at a downtown location soon to be announced; follow him on Instagram @kingandcook to stay in the know.