6 Tips to Elevate Your WFH Lunch

Give your midday meal a boost with ingredients already stocked in your kitchen.

wfh lunch

Easy tips and tricks to make your standard lunch feel a bit deluxe.

We asked, they answered. Six pros give your sad midday meal a boost with ingredients already stocked in your kitchen.

Chris D’Ambro, chef and owner at Ambra and Southwark
“I prefer to graze — a whack of hummus surrounded by cucumbers or other raw vegetables, a hard-boiled egg, olives, pickles, kimchi and some greens. It’s a healthy go-to that doesn’t require any cooking. Add a toasted bagel or naan, and it’ll feel closer to something you left the house for!”

Cybille St. Aude-Tate, co-owner of Honeysuckle Provisions
“When working from home with littles, my lunch is usually an afterthought, so I opt for something quick and filling. A layered-toast moment never fails me! A tasty imported tinned fish is always in our house, because it’s so convenient, delicious and versatile. We take it up a notch by layering sardines on toasted rustic bread — or Honeysuckle Yamz bread — with herb aioli and a soft-boiled egg and topping it with pikliz, arugula, and some fresh chives or scallions.”

Lee Wallach, chef and owner of Home Appétit
“I love making bowls from whatever leftovers I have in the fridge: usually some rice, salmon or tofu, and fresh veggies. But I always top it with chili crisp. It’s a spicy, garlicky condiment that has a great texture and elevates any dish it’s added to.”

Christa Barfield, founder/CEO of FarmerJawn Agriculture and Viva Leaf Tea Co.:
“In under 10 minutes, I can whip up some roasted radish soup with a little vegetable broth and cream or coconut milk. Sauté garlic, onion and olive oil in a pan, then add the liquids and salt, pepper and dill to season. Pour it into the blender with the roasted radish until it’s smooth.”

Danny Kwon, GM at Southgate:
“Instant ramen is a pantry staple I love to enhance. Entry-level upgrades — a dropped egg to get that perfect soft-boiled goodness, or a favorite cheese like buffalo mozzarella if you have it, trust me — will make cheap ramen into something special.”

Judy Ni, chef and founder of Baology:
“I make chicken salad sandwiches with homemade garlic aioli, but you can just fold roasted garlic into jarred mayo. Add crispy shallots for texture — for Taiwanese folks, mouthfeel is an important part of how we eat — and a sprinkle of five-spice. We make our own blend at the shop, but you can make it at home with a mix of cinnamon, fennel seed, star anise, cloves, and Szechuan peppercorn. I use it to add a little extra warmth and flavor to everything from baked goods to bourbon.”

Published as “Elevate Your WFH Lunch” in the December 2022 issue of Philadelphia magazine.