Fine Ingredients for the Best Private Chefs

December 18, 2023

New York City is the place to find fine and rare ingredients from all around the world. In just a few subway stops, you can find a wide selection of whatever you’re craving - no matter its origin or exclusivity. But there’s no denying that to find these first-class items you need to know where to look.  Luckily enough, there are some culinary pros who know all the nooks and crannies of the city’s specialty food market… and the private chefs at Gradito are just the experts to ask.

When it comes to finding the best-imported foods and specialty grocery shops the city has to offer, Gradito personal chefs are the best in the game. These top private chefs have high standards when it comes to the ingredients they use for their in-home private chef experiences in NYC and the Hamptons. For them, the ‘fine’ in their fine dining bookings is defined by the quality of their ingredients. They are interested in the freshest and most legitimate items and know exactly who to talk to and where to find them. 

They’re regulars when it comes to shops with premium handcrafted foods, obscure items, and even jarred delicacies… Not to mention, they know what’s closest to the real deal. With years of training at Michelin-starred restaurants and opportunities traveling the globe, these top-ranked private chefs know authenticity when purchasing these specialty food items. And for them, the Gradito luxury dining experience means bringing an authentic taste of flavor right to people’s doorsteps. 

With so many great shops to choose from around the city, there is one that is a fan favorite among the group of talented private chefs at Gradito. With its unparalleled selection of specialty foods and artisanal products,  Formaggio Kitchen at Essex Market in the Lower East Side is a must-go stop on every Gradito private chef’s list. Formaggio is a top-tier “market experience” with a personalized touch. Here you can find a wide selection of rare culinary delicacies, some of which have been introduced to the United States for the first time and are only available at Formaggio. 

Each product at Formaggio is carefully selected and brings forth a culinary tradition from a specific region or country in the world. Whether it's a stroll through Provence or a vineyard in Tuscany, Formaggio brings the flavors of the Old World and its gourmet provisions for us New Yorkers to enjoy and savor. They work with small international producers to source some of the most exclusive cheeses, olive oils, salts, cured meats, jams, and kinds of honey in New York. From their product sourcing to their personalized interactions with their customers, Formaggio should be on every culinary lover’s list… and it’s certainly at the top of Gradito private chefs. 

Here are a few of Gradito private chefs’ favorite essentials from Formaggio: 


There’s no denying that the cheeses at Formaggio are the star of the show. It’s literally in the name. Not only are many of them hand-made by family farms, but many of them are also aged by some of the most renowned affineurs such as Neals’ Yard Dairy, Marcel Petite, and Giorgio Cravero. It’s truly hard to find such a premium hand-picked selection of fine-aged cheeses in the city, and the whole country, for that matter. Whether they’re cooking a five-course meal inspired by the south of France or a luxury menu of Italian rustic flavors, Gradito private chefs are sure to find rare delicacies at Formaggio that will help transport their clients to the Old World’s most beautiful landscapes. 

Gradito favorites:

  • EVOO

Extra Virgin Olive Oil holds a special place in each of Gradito’s private chefs’ hearts, and Formaggio is importing the best of the best. Formaggio understands the importance of olive oil in any kitchen. All of their EVOO products are sourced from several small producers around the world, all of which use traditional olive varieties. Formaggio’s olive oils are characterized by their wide variety of flavor notes and aromas, making it possible for Gradito personal chefs to experiment in the kitchen as they wish to create the most luxurious and innovative in-home dining experiences. 

Gradito favorites:



Formaggio isn’t playing when it comes to their jars of honey. They take into account color, texture, aroma, and even a bee’s source of nectar when it comes to purchasing honey from several domestic and international honey producers. Talk about honey specificity. This is the type of exclusive luxury Gradito private chefs are looking to transmit through their carefully thought-out dishes. With so many uses, these elegant honey products at Formaggio are the perfect sweet touch, and even beautiful detail, to any Gradito full-course meal.

Gradito favorites:

Now you know… if you’re on the lookout for exclusive food specialty shops and curious products, look no further. Formaggio Kitchen at Essex Market is the place to visit. Not only do they have some of the highest quality items in the market, but they also have a high degree of quality when it comes to interacting with their customers. There’s no wonder it’s a favorite among some of the most elite private chefs in NYC. 

With access to the city’s finest ingredients, these top-ranked Michelin-trained chefs are leading the way for in-home fine dining experiences. Whether it’s a unique bottle of EVOO or a peculiar jar of honey for their dessert course, Gradito private chefs know no limits when it comes to creating in the kitchen with the specialty items they can find at Formaggio.

So go ahead and head to Essex Market for your next epicurean experience - certified by the city’s best private chefs. Enjoy some samples and an impressive view of their dangling collection of jamón ibérico. Trust me, you’ll become a regular in no time. 

Camelia Iturregui Fuertes
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