Are Celebrity Chefs Feeding Their Pets Five-Star Meals?
These expert-approved recipes will help you use all the food in your kitchen.
Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)
Many chefs are notoriously bad about cooking for themselves. After all, they have plenty of others to feed and impress, so when it comes to making meals for themselves, they’re exhausted. That whole “put on your own oxygen mask first” concept doesn’t exactly apply in the fast-paced restaurant industry. But how do these master chefs approach feeding their pets and getting them the nutrition they need?
After polling dozens of culinary professionals, we found that some are perfectly fine feeding their four-legged friends out of a bag or straight from the can and calling it a day. But some others do take the extra time to whip up homemade meals and treats — often repurposing the odds and ends from their own cooking in the process. Here’s what some very lucky dogs, cats — and chickens — across the country are eating out of the palm of a chef’s hands right now.
Chicken, vegetables, and broth kibble toppers
Michelin-starred chef Iliana Regan, the founder of The Milkweed Inn in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and author of Burn the Place (2019) and Fieldwork: A Forager’s Memoir (published last month), tops her pups’ kibble with the spoils of her suppers. “Being a chef, I often make chicken stock, and I use what meat is left on the bones and pull for them,” Regan tells The Wildest. “I mix a bit of roasted sweet potato, peas, blueberries, and brown rice together with the chicken and place it with a small amount of broth over the top of their kibble. Whenever they see chicken, they know they are in for a treat.”
Leftover rice porridge with salmon oil
For his pup, Dodger, celebrity chef and Top Chef contestant Shota Nakajima transforms vegetable scraps from the compost bin into something special. First, he braises the scraps with water and whatever protein source he has, then adds rice and salmon oil at the end. “I originally didn’t have salmon oil, but he had some dry skin, so I started to add it to his food,” Nakajima says. “His skin and hair are shinier than they’ve ever been!”
Meat scraps from the kitchen
“Dogs have been eating human scraps since they were first domesticated from wolves tens of thousands of years ago,” notes Jessica Randhawa, the head chef and recipe creator behind The Forked Spoon. Not one to shy from tradition, Randhawa finds that leftovers keep her very active eight-year-old German Shepherd, Australian Sheepdog, and Husky mix in great shape. “My dog loves gnawing on leftover large beef bones from my bone broth, chicken tendons, and other chicken scraps,” Randhawa says.
Date, oat, and nut butter treats
Sustainable chef and podcast host Dan Churchill saves his best creations for his rescue dog, Mav. Case in point: sweet treats made from a blend of dates, oats, and peanut butter, rolled in flour, and oven-baked. Read more about making the recipe at home here.
Chicks appreciate special treats, too. Fifth-generation chicken keeper and author of The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook (2022), Lisa Steele often gives her chickens kitchen scraps, but come winter they get a hearty serving of oatmeal with blueberries, garlic, and cinnamon.
A flavor-packed soup to rehydrate dry food
Bridgette Witte, the chef behind Culinary Debates, recommends this nutritious soup to anyone looking to jazz up their dry dog food. Just be sure to adjust the vegetables and meat based on your dog’s needs. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can make a big batch, and it’ll stay good in the freezer for up to two months.
While we’ll never tire of seeing celebrity chefs feed their pets directly from their plates — looking at you, Roy Choi and your endless restaurant adventures — these recipes are the only motivation we need to feed our pets some Michelin-quality meals.
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Emma is a writer, editor, and environmentalist based in New York City. She is the senior sustainability editor at mindbodygreen, the author of Return To Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us (April 2022), and the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self-Care. While she doesn’t have any pets of her own, she is a loving dog aunt to Pip the pup.