EMERYVILLE, Calif. (May 4, 2016) – New, chef-driven flavors are now available on Whole Foods Market Northern California & Reno hot and salad bars, courtesy of “Top Chef” season 12 finalist and San Francisco chef Melissa King.

King created eight new recipes exclusively for Whole Foods Market. Customers can find her ready-to-eat meals in the Northern California & Reno region’s 43 stores from May 4 to June 28*. King’s favorite raw ingredients and packaged products will also be tagged with “Melissa King Pick” signage throughout the aisles.

King’s cuisine combines a fresh, seasonal approach with traditional Asian flavors, reflecting her culinary experience and upbringing.

“I think Whole Foods and I are going to be really great partners because we both believe in healthy eating, fresh food, and quality,” King said. “My recipes highlight California produce; we incorporate local flavors and ingredients that we see here in San Francisco and bring seasonality to the table.”

Here are the dishes, along with King’s descriptions:

Hot bar

  • Miso Roasted Cauliflower (vegan): “White saikyo miso is a great way to add flavor or an ‘umami bomb’ to your roasted vegetables.”
  • Kimchi Fried Brussels Sprouts: “These roasted sprouts are tossed in vinaigrette made with rice vinegar, Korean chili flakes (gochugaru) and pear, giving them a nice balance of acid, heat, and sweetness.
  • Salt and Pepper Chicken: “These tender bites of boneless chicken are a fan favorite! They’re packed with flavor from being marinated with ginger, garlic, tamari, sake and mirin, and are then fried in potato starch.”
  • Basil Chicken: “This home-style Chinese dish is known as ‘three cup chicken’ because it’s slow braised with three ingredients: soy sauce, Chinese rice wine and sesame oil. You’ll get a lot of flavor from fresh basil and ginger root.”

Salad bar

  • Miso Caesar with Olive Oil Croutons: “Umami is a Japanese term to describe a ‘pleasant savory taste’ which is often found in items such as anchovies, soy sauce, mushrooms and miso. This take on a classic Caesar salad is full of umami.”
  • Black Rice & Quinoa Salad with Spring Peas, Watermelon Radish and Mint: “Forbidden black rice is an ancient Asian grain known to be high in iron, vitamin E, and antioxidants. It gives texture to this blend.”
  • Green Bean Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette: “This texturally satisfying green bean salad is tossed with snow peas, carrots, crushed peanuts, cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs and a nutty vinaigrette.”
  • Cold Hiyayakko Tofu (vegan): “Tofu is high in protein and is a great vessel for absorbing flavor! Our tofu is brightened with sesame oil, tamari, chili oil, ginger, cilantro, scallions and seaweed.”

Some of Chef Melissa King’s product picks include:

  • Ramps: “I grill them whole or pickle the bulbs. The greens are great sautéed like spinach.”
  • Black radish: “Shave it really thin, wash with cold water, and add to dishes for an interesting texture. Leave the skin on for color and a peppery kick.”
  • Green Garlic: “More delicate and mildly sweet in comparison to regular garlic. You can chop the entire bulb and stalk and sauté it in place of garlic.”
  • Whole Fish: “They’re intimidating, but actually pretty easy. Stuff the cavity with herbs and seasonal citrus, lightly oil the outside, and grill each side for about 4-5 minutes.”
  • Coconut Vinegar: “It has better acidity than other vinegars. It’s used in many Southeast Asian recipes and adds a unique zing to homemade vinaigrettes.”
  • Pumpkin Seeds: “Buy these raw because they’ll keep longer and you can decide for yourself how to prepare them. You can sprinkle them on salads, roast them, bake them, or put them in a smoothie.”
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano: “Everyone should have a hunk of this in the fridge. It can be shaved on top of just about anything. The rind can be used to make a delicious broth or deepen the flavor of your pasta sauce.”
  • Italian Batard: “This is my go-to bread. It has a great surface area making it versatile for my morning avocado toast, olive oil croutons, and sandwiches.” 

Follow Chef Melissa King online:

*Offerings may vary by store depending on the size of the store’s hot and salad bars, but all stores will feature at least one of King’s recipes.