Food & Nutrition

17 Professional Chefs on What They’d Never Order

Chilean sea bass—period

Grilled sea bass fish in paper with vegetables on wooden tableEduard Zhukov/Shutterstock

No matter what restaurant he’s at in any corner of the world, executive chef and partner Fredric Kieffer of Artisan in West Hartford, Connecticut, avoids Chilean sea bass. That’s because this specific catch has been overfished and the population is suffering due to demand, he says. “Their reproduction rate is very slow, which means they don’t have the time reach sexual maturity and reproduce. In this vein, the size of the fish coming to the market shrunk by half over the last ten to 12 years,” he explains. For the environment and for your stomach, he suggests ordering fluke, swordfish, striped bass, or monkfish as an alternative. Find out more about the best and worst fish to eat out—or at home.

Filet mignon

grilled steak filet MignonRatov Maxim/Shutterstock

When there are so many cuts of steak to choose from, chef Perry Pollaci says to avoid filet mignon and opt for something with richer flavor at a much more reasonable price. While this specific variety has an impressive reputation, many chefs agree it isn’t the best part of the cow. Pollaci chooses Zabuton, which is a heavily marbled steak cut from the upper portion on the chuck. “It’s a very tasty smaller size steak that is very rich in flavor,” he explains. “I like to serve it sliced thin on the bias and medium rare—although it’s great well done, too.”

Roasted chicken at a steakhouse

Roasted chicken with cranberries, rosemary and garlic on wooden table, top view.Natallia Harahliad/Shutterstock

As the name suggests, when you’re at a steakhouse, it is pretty evident what you should order. Chef Jeff Chanchaleune of Goro Ramen in Oklahoma City, suggests avoiding a roasted chicken when you’re dining at a place known for their cuts of red meat. And if you can help it, don’t request A1 or Heinz 57, either. ” If it’s prepared right, you won’t need it. I would personally order a pan-seared, dry-aged rib-eye cooked medium rare. Most steakhouses cook it with just salt, pepper, butter, garlic, and herbs, which is all it needs to be a perfect steak,” he explains.

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