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Acquiring Your Kitchen Staples for The End of the World

What’s in your refrigerator and kitchen cabinets?

When the sh*t hits the fan and the world comes to an end, what will you be able to cook and eat before time runs out? If your answer is moldy cheddar cheese spread over a popcorn kernel with a bottle of beer, it might be time to grow up….just a little. Take a hint from some of our favorite celebrity chefs and food personalities:

Michael Symon of The Chew keeps his pantry stocked with canned tomatoes. You can never go wrong with canned tomatoes – their shelf life is long, and those tomatoes can form the base for great pasta sauces, soups and marinades, which means you’re read to boil, grill, sauté—just about anything.

Geoffrey Zakarian, winner of The Next Iron Chef and co-host of The Kitchen keeps lots and lots of butter within reach. Time Magazine recently declared it’s not as horrible for you as everyone thought, and it’s certainly not the main thing that’s killing people or making them fat. Don’t be afraid to love the butter. A little bit goes a long way to add some flavor!

Jamie Bissonette, owner of Boston-based Coppa and Toro restaurants, and on the rise with his cookbook, The New Charcuterie Cookbook, isn’t afraid to embrace things in boxes and cans: mac and cheese, salsa, canned seafood from Spain. Having basic staples with expiration dates several months out that you can then doctor up and make your own by adding seasonings and pizzazz says a lot about your resourcefulness and willingness to improvise.

Marc Murphy, owner and executive chef of Landmarc and author of Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking, and frequent guest judge on Chopped, believes in the power of chickpeas and beans. No one ever thinks about chickpeas and beans. But they should. They’re healthy, they add texture, they say, “Fancy,” immediately. And who doesn’t want to be fancy when the end of the world is coming?

Anne Burrell, host of the Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America, loves her some Cannellini beans. These didn’t even occur to you, did they? Leave it to a woman to be inventive. Beans provide great nutrients, are filling, tasty, and can be combined into nearly anything (pastas, their own side dish, etc) to serve up something with a wow factor.

Jeff Mauro, host of Sandwich King and co-host of The Kitchen, loves pesto and cream cheese. If the world is going to end, your taste buds should have a final thrill ride, so why not indulge them and combine that pesto and cream cheese on a cracker, bagel or sandwich, and enjoy your tongue explosion before the big explosion.

Dena Marino is a chef and partner at MC Kitchen and gushes about no-bake lasagna sheets and mascarpone cheese. It’s the end of the world and you can bake lasagna in less than half the time? And then top it off with dessert of mascarpone cheese? Everyone will feel like a king, and no one will die hungry.

Jose Garces, winner of The Next Iron Chef and author of The Latin Road Home, loves pita bread. Pita bread is spreadable – it is a surface on which anything can go – you can eat it as is, toast it, grill it, whatever strikes you in the moment. (You can also carry it with you on the go when you’re forced to hit the streets.) If you have bread when things go south, you will inevitably last longer than others who are bread-less.

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