What does a master chef keep on hand to whip up a home-cooked meal? Surely, some of the staples, like carrots, cheese, and avocados and perhaps something fancier like a little foie gras? A new book called Inside Chefs’ Fridges solves the mystery by profiling 40 top European chefs alongside the contents of their iceboxes. The photos reveal what the members of the culinary elite feel is essential to their domestic food supplies, be it a standard like red bell peppers or a wildcard like juniper berries in apple vinegar. Take a peek inside the fridges of five different Michelin-starred European chefs: 

1. BO BECH

The Copenhagen-based chef behind Geist (and reality show host) likes to keep bags of garlic and chiles hanging from his kitchen ceiling, always at the ready. His fridge houses Scandinavian pickled elderberry flower bulbs and hay milk cheese, rosehips in brine, pickles, and produce. He also has a few mystery condiments “left by ex-girlfriends.” When whipping up something at home, however, the award-winning chef usually opts for simple spaghetti in classic sauces. 

2. MASSIMO BOTTURA

Bottura, the culinary leader of Modena, Italy’s Osteria Francescana, has an entire room outside of his kitchen just for his fridge. He stocks it with comfort foods sealed in Ziplocs—like lamb chops straight from his sous chef’s farm. There’s also several types of pickled onions, homemade marmalades, jams, and aged prosciutto. And don't forget the Activia. 

3. HÉLÈNE DARROZE

The proprietor of Restaurant Hélène Darroze, with locations in Paris and London, was named the best female chef of the year by Veuve Clicquot this year. Her fridge is always stocked with fresh produce, foie gras, sardines, and cheese, but occasionally a frozen pizza finds its way onto the shelves as well. She keeps yogurt and chocolate milk around for her daughters, too, just under the wood pigeon stew.  

4. SVEN ELVERFELD

The Wolfsburg, Germany-based chef at Aqua loves Greek foods and homemade jams from his mother. He always keeps a green Frankfurt sauce made of watercress and herbs on hand. His fridge also has venison liver pate, wild garlic pesto, and German quark (a cheese). 

5. MAGNUS NILSSON

Nilsson’s restaurant, Fäviken, is one of the most isolated culinary destinations in the world, located on a private estate in northwest Sweden. He prefers his root cellar to a fridge. There he keeps hand-churned butter and local ham, and a bevy of fermented and pickled vegetables in jars. The avid forager keeps pickled marigold flowers, fermented bean paste, fresh mushrooms, and birch sap syrup in his custom-designed cellar.

Get the book here.  

All images courtesy of TASCHEN