The Grocery Cart Chronicles: Philadelphia chef, Scott Schroeder

Ever wonder what your favorite chef buys when they’re off the clock? In this series, we take a peek into the private shopping habits of some of Pennsylvania’s top tastemakers.

If you’re behind Scott Schroeder in line at the grocery store, there’s one thing that’s almost certain to be in his basket.

“I love anchovies,” he says. “I put them in everything. I put anchovies in things they’re not supposed to go into.”

Schroeder is chef and part owner of Hungry Pigeon, a farm-to-table restaurant in Philadelphia’s Queen Village neighborhood. This all-day spot emphasizes responsible sourcing and local products. While breakfast might involve a simple egg-and-cheese sandwich (on a homemade english muffin baked by Schroeder’s partner and James Beard nominee Patrick O’Malley), and at lunch they sling burgers (ground in-house) and vegan chopped salads, in the evening, things get more ambitious as the restaurant transforms into a stage for whimsical, seasonal dishes. Think braised chicken with local spinach, homemade paneer, apple chutney and yogurt. The entire menu changes constantly based on the best local products available.

“Our chicken comes from Keiser’s Pheasantry out near Harrisburg,” says Schroeder. “It’s a really, really small operation —  Earl Keiser is both the farmer and delivery guy. They’re the best chickens I’ve ever had in my life.”

When he isn’t in the restaurant, Schroeder is still cooking.

“I never don’t cook. My wife thinks I’m nuts,” he jokes. “I like cooking at home. I’m usually cooking for friends, or me and my wife, or my kid. Sometimes it’s a little more basic, but it’s not really that different. The restaurant is very influenced by what I actually want to eat.”

When he hits the store, it’s usually to pick up some seasonal vegetables, some fresh fish, pantry staples and maybe a bottle or two of Pennsylvania wine.

Scott Schroeder’s Grocery List

  • Seafood (Whatever looks good)
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Potatoes
  • Birchrun Hills Blue (This is a raw milk cheese from Chester County made by Sue Miller. “I always have some of her stuff. In addition to being a really great cheesemaker, she’s also a friend.”)
  • Anchovies (See above.)
  • Red Boat fish sauce (This is a pricier product, but for things you only use a tablespoon of, it’s good to splurge.)
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  • Pequea Valley Yogurt (Made in Ronks, Lancaster County.)
  • Galen Glen Winery Riesling (“This wine really opened my eyes to what Pennsylvania winemakers are capable of.”)
  • Crossing Vineyards & Winery Chardonnay 

Check your neighborhood grocery store shelves for their growing local wine selection.