If you love to cook, chances are you have a signature dish—the one thing you’re known for cooking or baking that you can make with your eyes closed, that nobody else can make quite like you can, that you always feel great about serving (and eating! Oh, the eating). For my mom, it’s a tie between tomato sauce and the stuffed artichokes I beg her to make all the time for special occasions. For my grandma, it was Christmas cookies. Don’t get me started on my boyfriend’s chicken wings. LEGEND.
Recently, the inquiring minds here at Sur La Table asked the managers of our 100+ stores* to tell us what their signature dishes are. No real purpose other than a conversation piece— if you’ve been to a Sur La Table store, then you know that our employees love to talk about cooking. Pretty sure it’s listed on the job description.
What we heard back was great; everything from pancakes to paella, rib eyes to ramen. Our store managers clearly love to c-o-o-k! Some highlights of what they shared:
- 19 different chicken dishes. Paprikash, pot pie, enchiladas, meatballs and more.
- 14 kinds of dessert. What up, bakers?
- Pastas, various: 11. This included several delicious-sounding variations of lasagna. To the manager of our City Centre store in Houston: your shortrib lasagna rollups live in my dreams.
- “Pizza Pot Pie”: 1, and I want the recipe
- Mac and cheese: 4 (that’s it??)
- Dueling blueberry dishes, “Buckle” and “Boy Bait”
- The fascinatingly named “North Dakota Hot Dish”
- Signature dishes or dance duos? You decide: “Spicy/Fresh” and “Spicy & Spicy”
- Meatloaf: 1. YES.
… and many more, from old family favorites to original recipes. We also received “fava beans & a nice chianti” from the manager of our Ferry Building store in San Francisco. Well played, sir. Well played.
As for me? While cheese rolls are a go-to, my signature dish is, currently, a category: the sandwich. Sure, not much actual cooking is required, but from grilled cheese sliders with balsamic onions to “La Patate” (I’m not going to lie here, people; this one’s potato salad on bread), sandwiches are what I feel most proud to put on a plate these days. I try new things out, get weird, and seem to have a knack for finding just the right combos that people enjoy. Until I finally roast that chicken, that sounds like a signature dish to me.
What’s your signature dish? Comment below to let us know. We’d love to hear about it and why it’s special to you!
*Yep, it’s true! We currently have 122 Sur La Table stores and counting across the US. Find one near you.