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Meet Our Food Experts.

Our merchants are on a never-ending search for amazing new products. They're always in the fields, on the boats, and working with artisans. All in the name of finding great food for our customers.

ALI P

Ali P.Divisional Merchandiser

What do you love about working at FD?

Everyone is so passionate about the food! My first day at FD, a merchant welcomed me with a handful of stone crab claws that had just been flown in. Without a plate. At 9 AM. Not much has changed since then.

Favorite FD item?

Sicilian cracked olives. They're unlike any other olive I've tried and are great when I'm prepping dinner and need something to snack on. Also, they're great to have on hand for impromptu guests when you need to whip up a cheese plate.

What makes a great product?

A great product starts with simple yet great ingredients, is accessible enough that you want to eat it each week, but is unique enough that you can't get it anywhere else.

If we looked in your fridge, we'd find...

Tons of veggies (Brussels, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, sweet potatoes), avocados, whatever fruit is in season, Handsome Brook eggs, Just FreshDirect Raw Almonds and Cashews, Califia Almond Milk, Kombucha, Just FreshDirect Orange Juice, Roots Hummus, Sicilian Olives, 18-month Gouda, Organic Salmon, Farmer Focus Chicken, Van Leeuwen Pistachio Ice Cream, and one million condiments.

The food emojis you use the most are...

Bourbon and the chocolate bar.

Describe your perfect brunch.

Great friends, great drinks, great people-watching and a spread of sharable plates. I love shakshuka with grilled bread, hummus, baba ghanoush, tabouli, and Mediterranean fare.

If you could only eat cuisine from one country for the rest of your life, which country would it be?

Greece. I love fresh seafood, vegetables, olive oil, and wine.

When you're not FreshDirecting, you're...

Chasing after my toddler, cooking, eating, drinking, planning my next meal.

What's your spirit vegetable and why?

Brussels Sprouts. They're very versatile.

BRITTNEY B

Brittney B.Seafood Buyer

What do you love about working at FD?

I love how sacred food is here. It's something to learn about, to treat well, and above all, it's something to share. We share food amongst ourselves, but we're also excited to share it with our customers. We're always eating and searching for the best products and when we find them, the next thought is, how do we get this to the customer?

Favorite FD item?

I eat our Mediterranean wild-caught tuna salad at least twice a week. I grew up eating tuna salad with mayo as an afterschool snack, but this salad just elevates the whole thing. It uses the sustainably caught tuna from a fisherman in Oregon, Sean, who I met two months into working here. I knew little of the industry and just listened to his fishing stories with wide eyes and my jaw on the floor. He's one of my favorite fishermen. But back to the salad! The red onions, capers, and celery just add so much to the flavor and texture, blowing my afterschool tuna salad out of the water. I eat it by itself but mostly throw it in with greens and slice up some radish and tomatoes on top—it's the perfect lunch to keep you going through the afternoons.

What makes a great product?

A great product is all about freshness. There are so many pieces that play into how fresh a piece of fish is when it gets to your plate. It all goes back to how the fish was caught, how the fishermen handled it, how fast it gets to us, and how fast we get it to the customer.

The food emoji you use the most is...

Sushi. I'm always ordering it for lunch and paying people back.

Describe your perfect brunch.

The perfect brunch is a buffet so I don't have to choose between salty or sweet, eggs and bacon or pancakes, bloody marys or mimosas. I can have them all!

When you're not FreshDirecting, you're...

I am either writing stories, poetry, or the occasional song, running around Brooklyn (literally) as jogging has always been the ultimate stress reliever, traveling when I can, and most recently, learning about indoor plants and how to keep them alive. It's been a struggle.

What's your spirit vegetable?

I don't have a spirit vegetable, but I do have a spirit fish! I would say that tilefish is most akin because they arguably have the best diet of the fish world, eating crab and lobster, which were my favorite foods growing up. And their tails are kind of mermaid-like, which was also a childhood obsession... slash secret adulthood obsession.

Watch Brittney's trip to Spain to source turbot and Dover sole.

FRANCESCA D

Francesca D.Senior Associate Grocery Merchant

What do you love about working at FD?

Getting to try amazing food with great people! I love our weekly cutting of Fresh Deals because I learn so much from the other merchants about their categories and products.

Favorite FD items?

Adirondack Creamery All-Natural Ice Cream and Earl's Chocolate Peanut Butter—and it's not just because I'm the frozen merchant! These are the only pints of ice cream that I can eat the entire thing in one sitting and not have a bit of regret. Seriously, you need to try it.

In your opinion, what makes a great product in your area of expertise?

A great frozen product offers a convenient solution and has a great shelf life, while being made with great, quality ingredients. Nice-looking packaging doesn't hurt either.

If we looked in your fridge, we'd find...

I'm pretty basic. I always have almond milk, eggs, the usual condiments, berries, lettuce, avocados, cucumbers, carrots, hummus, nut butter, chia, hemp and flax seeds, chocolate, seltzer, and beer.

The food emoji you use the most is...

The two beer steins cheers-ing (is this a word?) or the popping champagne bottle—always something to celebrate!

Describe your perfect brunch.

Two eggs over easy, thick cut bacon, well-done home fries, rye toast, and a hot cup of good coffee.

If you could only eat cuisine from one country for the rest of your life, which country would it be and why?

Italy for sure. The food is so different throughout the country that I would never get bored.

When you're not FreshDirecting, you're...

Checking out the newest brewery in NYC or heading up the Hudson Valley for a hike, and of course, grabbing a beer after.

What's your spirit vegetable and why?

A little red radish. I like to think I'm down to (the) earth, a little bit spicy, and I blush easily.

JOSH S

Joshua S.Deli & Cheese Merchant

What do you love about working at FD?

The company's passion for food.

Favorite FD item?

FreshDirect beef brisket bacon—great alternative to pork and crisps up just like bacon.

What makes a great product in your area of expertise?

A tasting experience that leaves a lasting impression.

Describe your perfect brunch.

Chicken and waffles or stuffed French toast and a good cup of coffee. Never met a brunch I didn't like.

Which three celebrities (dead or alive), would you invite to your fantasy dinner party? And what would be on the menu?

Will Ferrell, Conan O'Brien, and Dave Chappelle. I find that the best dinners can be measured by the amount of laughter at the table, and with this group of characters there would be no lack of laughter. I don't think the food would matter so long as the drinks keep coming.

If you could only eat cuisine from one country for the rest of your life, which country would it be?

China. I love Chinese food. And the cuisine varies greatly by province so that would allow me to keep it fresh.

What's your spirit vegetable and why?

Garlic. Because it makes everything better.

KRISTINA W

Kristina W.Meat Merchant

What do you love about working at FD?

I love the passion that everyone has for their products, and that I'm constantly being challenged and learning. Oh, right, and that tiny perk of getting to sample all sorts of amazing food!

What makes a great product in your area of expertise?

Meat that is raised right by farmers who are extremely knowledgeable about best practices. This means they raise and care for the animals, environment, and soil in a responsible, regenerative, humane way. Meat raised this way will not only taste better, but also be better for you and our planet.

If we looked in your fridge, we'd find...

It varies by the week as I cook a lot at home and love trying new things. But I always have Just FreshDirect Organic Milk, goat cheese, pickled red onions, spinach, KeVita ginger kombucha, and whole milk yogurt.

The food emoji you use the most is...

I always send birthday cake emojis for, you guessed it, birthdays!

Describe your perfect brunch.

Ideally it's with people I adore, first and foremost. Then if I could somehow magically manage to try everything on the menu, that would be the perfect cure for my food FOMO.

Which three celebrities (dead or alive), would you invite to your fantasy dinner party? And what would be on the menu?

The answer to this question changes each time you ask me, but I would love to have a meal with Stephen Colbert, Mindy Kaling, and Jon Stewart. I love funny, smart people, and they seem like they would have a great time together. For the meal, we would go to Fish Market in Reykjavik, Iceland. The nine-course tasting menu there was one of the best meals of my life!

If you could only eat cuisine from one country for the rest of your life, which country would it be and why?

Fresh, healthy, brightly flavored Mexican food followed closely by Thai. I could eat that lime-cilantro-chili combo in a million ways.

When you're not FreshDirecting, you're...

When I'm not getting my butt kicked at the gym or cooking dinner for my family at home, I'm feverishly trying to check off my never-ending bucket list of restaurants, countries, and new experiences I MUST explore.

What's your spirit vegetable and why?

Spinach, because I'm versatile and full of energy.

MARY M

Mary M.Produce Merchant

What do you love about working at FD?

There is a lot to love here, but most of all, I love the people. This is one of the most interesting, passionate, friendly groups I've ever encountered. I also love sourcing the best fruits and vegetables. There are some amazing producers growing exceptional produce, and I absolutely love finding them and sharing them with our customers!

What makes a great product?

A great product is something delicious and unique that is grown or crafted responsibly by someone with a great story.

If we looked in your fridge, we'd find...

Right now you'd find a corn-tomato salad, a block of parmesan cheese, a few jars of homemade jams, Oatly, and a few ciders.

The food emoji you use the most is...

The French fries or the apples.

Describe your perfect brunch.

Anything smothered in Béarnaise sauce and really good coffee!

Which three celebrities (dead or alive), would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?

Julia Child, to cook with. Mindy Kaling, to laugh with. Frank Sinatra, to croon with.

When you're not FreshDirecting, you're...

Learning new hobbies (right now I'm teaching myself to play the ukulele), cooking, knitting, going for long walks or bike rides, and always listening to music.

What's your spirit vegetable and why?

My spirit vegetable is the Chioggia beet. Grounded but vibrant, surprising, and sweeter than your average beet.

MICHAEL K

Michael K.Fish Finder

What do you love about working at FD?

Coming from a large family, the rare opportunity to have time alone with my father was tagging along with him on weekly grocery trips to Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market. It was part father-son bonding, part window to the world. I still remember asking him what the big red thing was, to which he responded, "A Chinese apple." What we all know today as a persimmon was to both of us something foreign and magical. But he had an answer for me. Working at FreshDirect allows me relive those memories and passion for product I developed on our daily market trips.

Favorite FD item?

As a chef, every change of season reawakens a dormant passion: ramps and nettles to accompany the first soft-shell crabs and bay scallops of the season; local morel mushrooms, just-picked asparagus and garlic scapes to announce the first run of Alaska sockeye and king salmon; harpooned swordfish and cabbage and Brussels sprouts to announce the coming of winter. The fact that hard-to-get items so prized by chefs are available to our customers never ceases to amaze me.

What makes a great product in your area of expertise?

Alive, not fresh. Alive because our team strives to build relationships with the fishermen and baymen who are delivering our seafood. Alive is how all our seafood begins, and the respect for the seafood dictates how it is handled, iced, transported, and prepared for our customers. Our partners have been doing this for generations and we choose guardians of these traditions so that the respect of the product results in the freshest product on your table.

If we looked in your fridge, we'd find...

Lots of pickled ramps and chilies, definitely stinky cheese and charcuterie, and whatever veg is in season. Add a few bottles of vermouth and wine, and some Vermont Creamery salted butter. All that can be a start to any meal.

Describe your perfect brunch.

I don't know why we wait to eat so late that we call it brunch, as we missed the opportunity for breakfast and a lunch, but it needs to include yeast-raised waffles or French toast (I will supply recipes on request), bacon and breakfast sausage, fruit, lots of maple syrup, and salted butter. Plus, coffee and tea made with attention because details make the difference. All of this is only perfect if it results in great brunch conversation and plans for a great afternoon.

If you could only eat cuisine from one country for the rest of your life, which country would it be and why?

New York! Why? Because I've lived and worked in several continents, and if you live in New York, you have the luxury of deciding which country's cuisine you want to eat on a daily basis; visit a neighborhood, talk to the people and enjoy the best, most authentic offerings that their home country has to offer, while learning about the people and culture of that cuisine. Anyone for a trip to Rego Park for some Uyghur pulled noodles?

When you're not FreshDirecting, you're...

Doing pretty much the same thing as when I am because most of my friends are involved in the restaurant business, or the seafood business, or restaurant-designing business. I talk about food, restaurants, and design. I have a small cabin in the Hudson Valley with a garden bigger than the house, which allows me to stay (literally) in touch with the seasons while cooking for and talking with friends.

What's your spirit vegetable and why?

A silly question that I have thought about for years! Risking my long, passionate relationship with asparagus, broccoli is my so-called spirit vegetable. It's stable, sturdy, always there for me, and satisfying in so many ways (a pesto with pasta and great olive oil—yes!—Oh, did I just give one of my secrets away?).

Watch Mike's trip to Iceland to source cod.

NICOLE H

Nicole H.Wine Merchant

What do you love about working at FreshDirect?

Building an exciting, growing business with great people.

Favorite FD item?

Chicken tikka masala, family size. It's delicious and a fantastic meal hack on a weeknight. Also, our jumbo blueberries are pretty great.

What makes a great product in your area of expertise?

You can apply this to all three alcohol categories, but specifically with wine it comes down to balance. To achieve that, as with anything else, you have to start with quality ingredients from the vineyard. Then, you need restrained and thoughtful craftsmanship from the winemaker to let the grapes shine.

If we looked in your fridge, we'd find...

Aside from the popular staples, in my fridge you'd find: FreshDirect kids' meals, grapefruit juice, Siggi's yogurts, castelvetrano olives, French feta, a bottle of white wine, random beer, Soy Vay teriyaki marinade, Edmond Fallot Dijon mustard, anchovy paste (the secret ingredient to making great salad dressing), Persian cucumbers, half an avocado, and bottles of formula.

The food emoji you use the most is...

Champagne popping.

Describe your perfect brunch.

The scene is a large, round table seated with my best friends and family at a neighborhood restaurant with really good music. These ingredients and beverages are involved: Eggs, goat cheese, whole grain toast, potatoes, bacon, truffles, grapefruit, berries, coffee, champagne. My kids are perfectly behaved and willing to eat everything.

If you could only eat cuisine from one country for the rest of your life, which country would it be?

France. Because when it comes to cuisine, they reign supreme.

What's your spirit vegetable and why?

Zucchini. Not sure why, I just like zucchini.

RODOLPHE B

Rodolphe B.Merchandising

What do you love about working at FD?

The people, passion, and products!

Favorite FD item?

Sticky Toffee Pudding Co. Molten Chocolate Baby Cake. It's a quick, professional-looking-and-tasting chocolate dessert—and it can be frozen for use any time.

What makes a great product?

Innovation.

If we looked in your fridge, we'd find...

Lots of wine and cheese.

The food emoji you use the most is...

Champagne popping!

Describe your perfect brunch.

Champagne. Oeufs Brouillard (caviar and truffles optional but encouraged). Toast with butter.

Which three celebrities (dead or alive), would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?

Napoleon. Alex Trebek. Catherine de Medici.

When you're not FreshDirecting, you're...

Reading history or watching car racing.

What's your spirit vegetable?

Aubergine.

SUSAN S

Susan S.Bakery Merchant

What do you love about working at FD?

There are so many people here that are passionate about all areas of food and beverages. It's inspiring.

Favorite FD item?

Our in-house-made croissants are a labor of love. You would be hard pressed to find a comparable croissant as we are one of the only bakeries that makes the dough, laminates, sheets, and shapes by hand.

If we looked in your fridge, we'd find...

Lots of fresh, seasonal fruit and veggies, and one or two seafood or meat items.

Describe your perfect brunch.

A bagel with smoked salmon, raw bar, and an interesting new cocktail.

Which three celebrities (dead or alive), would you invite to your fantasy dinner party? And what would you serve?

Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant, and Barbra Streisand because they are elegant, fabulous, best in class! And what would be on the menu? Whatever Thomas Keller would like to prepare.

If you could only eat cuisine from one country for the rest of your life, which country would it be?

Italy! Seafood, meat, pizza and pasta amazingness...

When you're not FreshDirecting, you're...

Cooking, gardening, relaxing, eating and drinking.

SUZANNE M

Suzanne M.Senior Grocery Merchant

What do you love about working at FD?

Being surrounded by amazing, creative people with a common interest in great food.

Favorite FD item?

Haven's Kitchen Romesco Sauce. It makes the saddest weeknight meal feel special!

What makes the perfect snack?

The perfect snack trifecta is crunchy, salty, and just a little sweet.

If we looked in your fridge, we'd find...

A soy sauce for every occasion (six varieties to be exact).

Describe your perfect brunch.

Bagels at my place with friends. I'd like to think that my neighborhood bagel shop is the best in the city, so I enjoy having friends over for bagels and cream cheese, a leafy green salad, and fresh juice.

When you're not FreshDirecting, you're...

Collecting recipes, learning Japanese, and plotting my next adventure (Tour du Mont Blanc!?).

What's your spirit vegetable and why?

Escarole. It's the laid back, old soul of the vegetable world. Plus, I think it runs in the family—my dad is an escarole guy, too.