We Go Inside Chef Bill Rosenberg of NoMa Social’s Fridge

How many fridges do you have? Two, plus a standalone freezer in the basement. The household is full—my wife and I, three kids, in-laws, and two giant bullmastiffs—so we need a lot of food storage.   

What’s the oldest thing in there? Capers—and not the usual small 8-ounce jar but a quart of capers from the restaurant. I use them in basic dishes I cook for the family, like chicken piccata.

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Fussy about any staple being organic, fair trade, etc? I didn’t care about this sort of thing when I was younger and single, but now I try to buy organic as much as possible for the kids’ sake, especially chicken, milk, and produce. Shop for it at Whole Foods in Port Chester.

Most impressive thing? (Siberian caviar, for example.) Imported dry cured chorizo from Spain. It’s like Genoa salami, but cured with paprika. It has a smoky, fatty beautifulness about it. We do a lot of entertaining—at least six parties a year—and it’s the kind of food I’d serve as an hors d’oeuvre. I have a 2,300-square-foot Colonial in Port Chester with an industrial kitchen that opens into a dining room/living room/family room—a great space for entertaining.  

Any embarrassing fake foods, like Cool Whip or Cheez Whiz? Ah…Cool Whip, check. Also Kraft Singles for the kids’ [7, 12, 17] grilled cheeses, plus Pillsbury Grands! Cinnamon Rolls.

How’s the produce situation? Lemons and limes for cocktails and pomegranates for my kids who love ripping them open. I love pomegranates, too, because they keep the kids busy. For veggies, there are peppers, potatoes, and eggplant. I have good eaters, so there’s no trouble getting them to eat their vegetables. In fact, they’re such good eaters they’ve even tried tripe. I make it Italian-style sautéed with bacon, mirepoix, fennel pollen, and whole crushed tomato.   

Got milk? I drove by a dairy farm in Copake, New York, with my youngest—he was 5 at the time—and there were cows grazing, of course, so I said ‘that’s where milk comes from’ and it freaked him out so much he didn’t drink milk for 6 months.

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Everyone deserves a sweet now and then, no?  There are usually donuts and cookies—for the kids only, of course. Entenmann’s Donut Holes are a favorite.

What is the Rosenberg family drinking? Whole Foods 365 milk, Tropicana OJ, Moët & Chandon, and LACTAID lactose-free milk—my wife is lactose-intolerant. Me, I can eat or drink anything.

Any non-food items in there? Does baking soda count?

Let’s talk the really cold stuff, as in 32° F and below. You won’t find any bread—a loaf of bread around here goes quick, so no need to freeze. Especially if it’s the filone bread from Tarry Market—a classic long Italian bread that’s dark, chewy, and so delicious. You will find Häagen-Dazs chocolate-chip mint and Jones breakfast sausage, plus party snacks like spanakopita and shrimp shumai dumplings.

What’s your favorite item hanging on the refrigerator? There’s only a bunch of roosters on the doors—good luck charms. But on the wall next to fridge is an 8’ by 6’ organizational board with corkboard on the bottom half and chalkboard on the top half. When we have one of our parties, people write funny things there. Right now it says “The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!”

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What’s the story with the secondary fridge in the garage and the freezer in the basement?
The garage white fridge used to be in the kitchen but was demoted to being a liquid fridge when we renovated. In it: soda, beer, and Galvanina organic blood orange Italian sparkling soda that I drink a lot of. The basement freezer—a standup white—is mostly food for the kids including pizza bagels, taquitos, back-up ice cream, Marino’s Italian Ices, scallops, burgers, and sausages.

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