It’s no secret that warehouse clubs like Costco have fantastic deals, especially when it comes to feeding a family. Whether it’s olive oil, cheese, or something as simple as half-and-half, there are so many reasons why we love Costco! It continuously proves itself to be one of the best places to find deals to fit the budget and lifestyle of many families.

Watch on YouTube

Why we love Costco

Watch any of my YouTube videos and you’re likely to find that I’m not only using pots, pans, and ingredients purchased at Costco, but I’m probably wearing a shirt from Costco too!

In this episode we explore the very best food-related deals Costco has to offer, from nuts, oils, and cheese, to meat, honey, and seafood, we outline all the reasons why we love Costco!

Note: we did not receive any compensation from Costco and the opinions expressed in this podcast are solely our own.


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James (00:00):
Welcome back to The Sip and Feast Podcast. This is episode 19. We’re talking Costco today. What exactly about Costco, Tara?

Tara (00:08):
We’re talking about the things that we love to buy at Costco because they’re the best value possible. And I’d like to add here that, although we wish we were, this video is not in any way sponsored by Costco.

James (00:24):
That’s right. I mean, I often joke, I joke all the time on the main channel because we get a lot of comments, be like, “You keep shilling for Costco.” Costco does not sponsor us one bit, and I don’t know if they really sponsor anybody. They don’t have to. They’re just a great business. They’re one of the best success stories of a business probably in the world, and they have extreme brand loyalty. People will travel. Not everything is like here in Long Island where we have a location every 20 minutes away. There’s parts of America that people will drive two hours to get to a Costco and they do it because the deals are just phenomenal. And we’re going to talk specifically about food deals for you today. We’re not going to talk about office supplies and-

Tara (01:12):

James (01:12):
… tires, landscaping equipment, cars. We’re not going to talk about that. This is a podcast about food. So Tara, let’s get right into it. We kind of bulleted these out and not priority-wise, but I think maybe you could tell by the tone of my voice what are the best deals and which I really think you should pursue.

Olive and other oils

Tara (01:33):
First stop Jim, oil.

James (01:35):
Okay. Olive oil. This is just an unbelievable deal at Costco. I recommend you wait to buy your oil until you get to Costco. Now that being said, we do use different types of olive oil. We use Partanna quite frequently, and that’s the good extra virgin olive oil. That’s a Sicilian olive oil. I use that a lot for when I want a high quality extra virgin but not the highest quality. And when I’m using the highest quality, that is Frantoia Barbera. So let’s just get those two out of the way. Those you will not find at a Costco.

Tara (02:10):
That’s right. The brand that we are talking about is the Kirkland brand, which is Costco’s own brand.

James (02:17):
Yeah, it’s their in-house brand. Obviously they’re not in the olive oil making business, so it is probably one of the larger olive oil brands that Kirk is selling directly to Costco. And then Costco will put their Kirkland name on it, which they do for tons of products.

Tara (02:32):
So we’re talking their extra virgin olive oil, which is a great deal, but also their regular olive oil.

James (02:41):
Yeah. So the regular olive oil, and I believe it’s just their Kirkland. It’s the one that probably has the largest display in the store. I think it’s 90% olive oil and 10% extra virgin. They started doing that a couple of years ago to-

Tara (02:54):
I know it’s a blend, yeah.

James (02:57):
Yeah. But it’s just a phenomenal olive oil for cooking general use. And it, up until I think this year, used to be able to buy two three-liter bottles of it, large plastic bottles of it for $25. Now the price has skyrocketed. What was it last time?

Tara (03:14):
That’s right. So I actually just went to Costco last week and I was surprised. I even called you because I wanted to know if you even wanted me to get it, but it was a two count of two three-liter bottles and it was $40, which is a lot. But I guess if you’re comparing it to regular grocery prices, it’s a definite savings and you’re getting it all at one time. So as long as you have the room to store it, it’s a fantastic deal.

James (03:43):
Yeah, that’s right. So there’s a olive oil problem worldwide now, so that’s contributing to the really spiking prices. So, because essentially Costco is their own commodity exchange, where prices change, they’ll update it in real time for the consumer, but it was very expensive that time. That all being said, that’s still not a bad deal. It’s not a bad deal.

Now, can you go to Trader Joe’s? Can you go to Aldi and get this stuff? Of course. And there are reasons maybe to go to those stores, but we’re talking Costco today and Costco is definitely the place for, I would say, a family more so than those other two places.

Tara (04:26):
I agree. I mean, I still think whether or not you have a family or if you have a very small family, I still think a Costco membership is worth it because you do get wonderful value, but yeah, I mean, if you’re a single person, you’re probably don’t need to get two-

James (04:42):
Six liters of olive oil.

Tara (04:44):
… three-liter bottles of olive oil.

James (04:47):
I saw a recent, I think it was Reddit, it might’ve been. It might have been a message board about olive oil skyrocketing prices and people who are on a budget, a lot of them have been saying that they’re switching to sunflower oil.

Tara (05:02):
Yeah, yeah.

James (05:03):
So I still recommend just using your olive oil. Another way to make it more economical is if you put it in a spray bottle. They are a pain, the spray bottles, because they’ll clog very easily, but you can really get more … Because a lot of times when you’re pouring oil, maybe you’re using too much than you should be. Let’s go to the next one.

Tara (05:21):
Okay. Well, before we do move on, I just wanted to just make a mention. They do have other oils, which are good deals like avocado oil, which is normally very expensive. You can get a two liter bottle for roughly $20 or so at Costco, and then they have that giant tub of coconut oil, for those of you who use coconut oil. It’s the solid form of coconut oil, but that’s also a good deal.

James (05:46):
Yeah. They have peanut oil as well. They have vegetable oil, they have canola oil, they have a whole one side of the aisle is devoted to all their oils.

Tara (05:57):

James (05:57):
Great value there. This is the stuff that will save you money.

Tara (06:03):
I wouldn’t buy oil from really anywhere else other than, like you said, the Partanna and the Frantoia that we use-

James (06:09):
Yeah, premium oils.

Tara (06:10):
… for finish. That’s a little bit different, but if you need coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, I would take the trip to Costco and deal with the hassle that I think Costco can sometimes present.

James (06:24):
Yeah, Costco’s a full-day experience for us, even though the Costco is only five minutes from our house because basically before we go there, we try to be really efficient. We make a good list, so we kind of have a plan of attack and then we have to clear out our current fridge here. Anything that’s old, we need to make space for the new massive amount of ingredients that are coming into the home. And we really try not to go to Costco for a hundred dollars worth of things. Do they even have an express line now? They just introduced that.

Tara (06:54):
They have self-checkout. I don’t think the one by us does not have an express line.

James (06:58):
Yeah. This’ll vary by state.


Tara (07:00):
Yeah. Up next are nuts.

James (07:03):

Tara (07:04):

James (07:06):
Okay, so you want to give a little bit on this or do you want me to go for it?

Plate of walnut snowball cookies on top of red towel.

Walnut snowball cookies recipe

Tara (07:09):
Yeah. So I think especially as we’re entering that holiday baking season where we’re going to be using walnuts for walnut snowball cookies, we’re going to be using pecans or pecans. I know somebody’s going to say-

James (07:26):

Tara (07:26):
… something about the way I pronounce it. We’re we’re going to be using those for pecan pie and all sorts of other holiday treats, shelled pistachios they have, which are also good for cranberry pistachio biscotti. I don’t know. I’m just thinking of all the holiday-

James (07:48):
Pistachio pesto.

Tara (07:49):
Yeah, I’m thinking of all the holiday cooking that’s coming up and just, I know from years of experience buying these things at Costco, it’s just you can’t get these deals anywhere else.

James (08:03):
I mean, it will save you just alone because I’ll often see people in our comment section, again, on the main channel and on other videos and maybe message boards and whatnot, saying, “I don’t need a Costco membership. You’re paying money essentially just to go to a store,” but it will pay for itself, not even in one visit. Especially the baked goods alone are just, you might kid yourself thinking you’re getting a better deal at Trader Joe’s on their little packages of nuts, but if you were to take probably eight of those packages or more and equal what’s sold at Costco, the Costco price will almost always be lower.

Tara (08:47):
Yeah. I mean, just as an example, and I pulled this off of Costco’s website. I know it varies by location.

James (08:53):
And Costco’s website is often more expensive than in-store.

Tara (08:57):
That is true. So I just wanted to pull this to illustrate my point. You can get a three-pound bag of walnuts, shelled walnuts, so you’re not paying for the shells, for 8.99.

James (09:11):
Wow! I mean, yeah, you’re not even going to come near that.

Tara (09:15):

James (09:16):
And that’s often where you get ripped off the most in a supermarket is when you are buying-

Tara (09:20):
Oh, forget it.

James (09:22):
We’ll talk about pignoli nuts also.

Tara (09:24):
Mm-hmm. Yeah, so pignoli nuts, they’re still on the pricier side no matter where you go. The Costco website had those listed for one-and-a-half pounds of pignoli, 31.99, and that’s roughly what I remember it being in the store. Maybe 26, $27. But those nuts are on the pricier side.

James (09:46):
They’re very expensive and those are the Chinese pignolis. Those are not the Italian ones. The Italian ones will cost way more than that. And the way you can tell is you go into a bakery, which most Italian bakeries will be using the Italian pignoli nuts or pine nuts. They’ll be longer, more elongated than the other versions that are much shorter and smaller. On our website, on the times that we’ve used them, which was for the pignoli cookies, which are absolutely delicious, we used-

Baked pignoli cookies on grey wire rack.

Pignoli cookies recipe

Tara (10:18):
And pesto.

James (10:19):
… the Costco ones and pesto. We used the Costco ones. We really try to provide value, not just for you, but for us in our own cooking. What I recommend to you is what we’re using for our day-to-day.

Tara (10:33):
Mm-hmm. That’s right.

James (10:35):
Because you can go into a supermarket and buy the Italian pignolis, maybe a little Cento jar, and it’ll be a two-ounce jar and it will be six or seven or $8 or … It’s crazy how expensive they really are. And you put them in braciole, too.

Tara (10:53):
And if you don’t want to spring for pinoli and you want to make a pesto, let’s say, walnuts are definitely a good and more affordable substitute.

James (11:02):
Definitely. Let’s go to the next one.


Tara (11:04):
Up next, one of my favorite things in the world, cheese.

James (11:07):
Cheese, cheese. I love cheese. And listen, at the end of this episode, we’re going to rank, I’ll do my top three, Tara will do her top three what we think are the most important values here. I think we’ll just do that right at the end.

Tara (11:19):

James (11:20):
But for now, let’s cheese and cheese is a great value at Costco. So they have a really good selection of cheese and they have mostly high-end cheeses that are sold at really good prices. Are they even making money on their cheese? Are they losing money? Are these loss leaders? I don’t know, but they are so much cheaper. They’re 24 month Parmigiano-Reggiano, and remember, it’s got the seal, it’s from Italy. It cannot get that seal. It will not be able to get that seal if it’s fake. It’s a great value. It’s not the most high-end Parmigiano-Reggiano in the world, but it’s great. 24-month one is the one that you’re going to use for most of your cooking and stuff like that. And I think it’s only 11.99 a pound, right?

Tara (12:07):
So when I went there last week, it was 10.99 a pound.

James (12:10):
That is crazy. And that’s something that I feel they’ve been holding the line on because I think even five years ago, 10 years ago, it was around that price. Maybe it was 8.99, maybe 10 years ago, but you contrast that with a visit to Whole Foods or any supermarket and it will run you for 24 month. I’m not even talking 36 month or a longer aged one. They’ll run you $27 a pound minimum. But I mean, I can’t even tell you the last time we bought that.

Tara (12:41):
I just don’t.

James (12:41):
We just don’t.

Tara (12:42):
We just don’t.

James (12:44):
You are literally burning money if you do that. When we go, because obviously we use a lot of cheese in our cooking, we’ll buy three of those blocks and the expiration dates often are 18 months out and they’re vac sealed, they’re fine. Now that’s just Parmesan. They have pecorino also. They have the Locatelli brand, which is by far the most largely distributed brand in America that comes from Italy. Again, it’s a good value. They also have bags that are graded.

Tara (13:12):
Me, too.

James (13:13):
A lot of this stuff is sold for caterers and whatnot, the bigger amounts.

Tara (13:16):
Yes. Yeah. They do have that. They have goat cheese. I think they actually have a pre-arranged cheese board. So if you wanted to serve a variety of cheeses, they have four or five of them that are already packaged for that.

James (13:34):
And that’s their hard cheeses. That’s not even talking about the mozzarella.

Tara (13:38):
Yeah, they have the mozzarella and they have the, let me try and pronounce this, Rougette.

James (13:44):

Tara (13:45):
Did I say that the right way?

James (13:49):
Rougette. Rougette! No, no. Ricotta, they have that and that is a phenomenal deal. In New York, they always do Apollo. Maybe in your state it will be Galbani. They definitely mix and match their brands and they often sometimes will have both of them sold at the same time. They’ll have not Galbani, it’ll be BelGioioso. They’ll have the little mozzarella balls that are marinated.

Tara (14:10):
That’s right. They always have that. Yeah, and the fresh mozzarella slices.

James (14:14):
And they have Brezza, too. You need to go to Costco for this stuff, one trip and you will be hooked. And what’s great about it’s, you don’t need to make a trip every week. Costco, it will not take control of all of your grocery shopping. That’s not what Costco is, though you probably could do it with their vegetables and stuff, but you wouldn’t do this.

Tara (14:39):
They don’t have fresh herbs there. You can’t go there and just get parsley or …

James (14:43):
And you don’t want to buy 10 pounds of garlic the way they sell it.

Tara (14:45):

James (14:46):
I don’t like that garlic they sell. It’s little tiny bulbs of it and it’s just … Sometimes you get one rotted head and then it will ruin the whole bag of it.

Tara (14:53):
Yeah. I mean, honestly, unless you are feeding a large family. If you have four kids in your family, then I think the produce is probably a good deal, but you don’t need a crate of peaches if you have just a family of four.

James (15:14):
We haven’t had good luck with the fruit, too.

Tara (15:16):
We haven’t. I mean, honestly-

James (15:16):
So just so we’re not lifting-

Tara (15:16):
Yeah. We haven’t.

James (15:16):
… them up in all respects here.

Tara (15:19):
I won’t buy apples from Costco. Costco used to actually have really good apples and then something happened and they just-

James (15:26):
We had a bunch of bad experiences, just as an anecdote here. This isn’t, you know.

Tara (15:29):
Yeah. I won’t buy them anymore. I’d rather get them somewhere else where I can pick out the individual apples. But if you’re going to make a sangria or something like that where you’re going to use a lot of fruit, maybe then Costco is a good deal for that. But usually when I go there, I’m not getting the produce that is the fruit and the vegetables.

James (15:54):
I agree. It’s one of the few areas of Costco that I skipped by. We’ll stop it. Okay, what’s next, Tara?

Half and half

Tara (16:00):
All right. Next, half and half.

James (16:02):
Yeah, half and half is a steal. Now, maybe you don’t use that stuff, but they also have heavy cream. We use a lot of half and half for our coffee. Just … Tara’s stepfather, he is a coffee addict. Guy doesn’t drink, doesn’t do anything. He just drinks two pots of coffee a day and I’ll open the fridge when we go to Tara’s mother’s house and there’ll be 14 quarts of half and half.

Tara (16:31):
He’s cut back. He’s cut back on his half and half consumption.

James (16:35):
Oh, okay. But the price there at Costco, it always varies. It’s normally a dollar 99 to 2.49 for a quart of it versus a supermarket, you’re talking five or $6.

Tara (16:45):
That’s right. And just to clarify, this is the Land O’Lakes brand that’s sold in the Costco near us. I’m sure the various locations across the country have a different brand, but the Land O’Lakes one sold here on Long Island, a dollar 99 the last time I went for a quart. The grocery store, it’s 5.49, 6.99 for that specific brand.

James (17:09):
And the dates also-

Tara (17:10):
So, huge value. They’re far outpace-

James (17:12):
What this is another thing, maybe you’re an expert on this, maybe you worked at a grocery store, maybe you’re involved in this. Enlighten us. The dates at Costco on, say, Land O’Lakes Half & Half, but it’d also be on butter and cheese is so much further out. So are they getting a better, fresher product than supermarkets are? But I’ve heard this, that some supermarkets will buy stuff that other supermarkets passed on for a much cheaper price, and I’m sure date plays a huge factor in that.

Tara (17:43):
Yeah. If anybody’s listening and knows the answer, let us know.

James (17:47):
I mean, one of my pet peeves about Whole Foods is every time Tara will buy half and half there, when we’re just not going to Costco and we don’t have it, it’ll often be bad. It’s like somebody left it out or something, or maybe they’re just not selling enough of it. And there’s been multiple times. Now that might be that particular brand that they’re selling but-

Tara (18:06):
Yeah but sometimes if I buy the 365 brand, it’s not the best. And then the other one is the … What’s the organic one? Organic Valley I think is the other one.

James (18:14):
Yeah. Oh, the purple one.

Tara (18:15):
The purple one?

James (18:15):

Tara (18:17):
But yeah, oftentimes it’s like, you’re right. It’s not good. It’s chunky.

James (18:21):
And there’s nothing more annoying when you make your coffee. You made your whole pot of coffee, and I do the, what’s it called, the Chemex, the drip one.

Tara (18:30):
The pour over.

James (18:31):
Because I’m a fancy boy and I make it all and then pour my cup and then the half and half is bad.

Tara (18:38):
Yeah, you don’t like chunky half and half.

James (18:39):
Oh! Yeah. All right, next.


Tara (18:42):
Let’s move on. Still in the dairy category, butter.

James (18:46):
I don’t even know the price difference here, but you can buy 16 sticks of butter. So a stick in America is 117 grams, right? 18 points?

Tara (18:56):

James (18:57):

  1. It’s eight tablespoons. So for all your baking needs, it’s almost mandatory. Shop at Costco. Again, you could substitute BJ’s, which is another wholesaler. I don’t know if that’s nationwide, and Sam’s Club, which is owned by Walmart. They will have similar prices.

Tara (19:15):
I’ll also say that if you enjoy the Irish butter, like Kerrygold, do not get it at a grocery store. Get it at Costco because you will save a lot of money. That’s my butter of choice. If I’m going to use butter on bread or if I’m going to put butter on something to eat it.

James (19:35):
But not for cooking-

Tara (19:36):
Not for baking-

James (19:37):
… because the regular Kerrygold is salted.

Tara (19:39):
… or cooking. Well, they have salted and unsalted at Costco.

James (19:41):
They do? Okay.

Tara (19:42):
Yes. Yes, they have both.

James (19:43):
But I really think, I don’t want to go on a tangent here about Kerrygold and whatnot, but I think a big part of why people think it’s better is because they’re buying the predominant brand is that gold one that’s salted. So people eat it and they’re like, “This tastes so much better.” But if you’re using unsalted butter, you’re comparing apples to oranges.

Tara (20:02):
No, it’s also I think a richer flavor. It also has that darker butter color-

James (20:09):
Yeah. Yeah. It’s gold.

Tara (20:09):
… whereas regular butter is white.

James (20:11):
That’s right.

Tara (20:12):
I think it has to do with the fact that the cows are pasture fed.

James (20:15):
Yeah. We don’t want to go too far down there. Let’s move to the next one.


Tara (20:20):
Okay. This is a very broad category, so I’m going to just have you do a quick deep dive, meat.

James (20:27):
Okay. Meat. Yeah, meat. So listen, if you love this episode and you want more in depth, we can do in depth of one department because I got a photographic memory when it comes to stuff, and I can really remember the prices of everything, too. So meat is a large section of Costco. It’s in the back of the Costco right near where the rotisserie chickens are, and the meat section will have a mix of choice meat and prime meat.

To my knowledge, Costco does not sell select beef, which is the grade under choice. Often you’ll find situations where Costco’s choice meat should have been graded as prime. I’ve had this happen a few times. So if you got a good eye and you find a nice marbled one and its choice, that probably should have been labeled as prime. I think prime only amounts to 2% of all graded beef that’s sold in America. But the steaks are good. I have had a couple of times where they weren’t good, but those couple times is over a course of 25 years of shopping at Costco, prime steaks.

Tara (21:34):
Mm-hmm. Ah, we’ve been shopping there for that long.

James (21:34):
Yeah, I’m not a fan of their sausage. They just sell the brand Premio. I don’t really like it.

Tara (21:40):

James (21:40):
That’s what you get.

Tara (21:42):
It’s good if that’s all you can get. When we lived in Minnesota, that was kind of all we could get.

James (21:44):
Remember that time in the Costco when you got so embarrassed with me?

Tara (21:46):

James (21:47):
So we’re in Costco in Minnesota and-

Tara (21:48):
In St. Louis Park.

James (21:49):
St. Louis Park, Minnesota, and that’s the one we used to go to because we lived in a town called Minnetonka. Anyway, go there and it was crowded. This one was probably more crowded than most of the ones that we frequent here in Long Island. There’s just tons of people and Tara’s probably 50, 40 feet away from me because we filled up the cart, so we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss anything. I’m like, “Tara, did you get the sausage?” And I’m telling you, when I mean a pin drop, the place stopped. Even the workers, it was hysterical. And Tara was mortified.

Tara (22:23):
You underdid the way you said it. You were like, “Babe, they have sausage. Sausage!” And I was like, “Oh, my God,” because I mean, that’s not how it’s pronounced there. It’s sausage and it’s very passive.

James (22:43):
Passive. Even my movement. My movement. I was walking too fast.

Tara (22:46):
You were so aggressively-

James (22:48):
I’m sorry.

Tara (22:49):
… excited that there was sausage.

James (22:52):
Yeah. There was no reason to get that excited in the state of Minnesota over sausage.

Tara (22:55):
Yeah. Even I cringed inside because I just knew what everybody around us was thinking.

James (23:02):
All right. Well let’s continue on the meat. There are great deals on everything from pork loin to beef to chicken.

Tara (23:11):

James (23:12):
Lamb. There is a ton. It’s too much-

Tara (23:14):
Ground turkey.

James (23:15):
Ground turkey. It’s too much to go over in this episode. Honestly, again, if you like this and you want a deep in-depth dive of meat, because meat is a huge thing here. During Christmastime, you can get a great rib roast. They’ll have them all out, they’ll have choice and then it’ll have prime rib roast. And I believe the choice are normally 8.99 to 10.99 a pound depending on prices of beef that year. And their primes are, I think, around $15 a pound and always have had great success with the rib roast there though I have been able to find rib roast at a local place here cheaper. So that one is not the best deal, but the quality of their meat is really good. I heard a rumor that the meat company, the wholesaler that sells the Costco is the meat that’s in Ruth’s Chris.

Tara (24:03):

James (24:04):
I mean, it’s multiple places on the internet that say that. So Ruth’s Chris is a nationwide chain. They need a lot of beef. So I don’t know. I mean, yeah, it kind of makes sense to me. Now Costco’s not selling dry aged beef or the ultra high-end stuff, though I have seen pictures. I’ve never seen it in New York, but I’ve seen pictures of people buying Wagyu in Costco.

Tara (24:28):
I’ve seen that, too.

James (24:29):

Tara (24:29):
All right.

James (24:30):
Never had that here.


Tara (24:32):
I don’t want to jump around from aisle to aisle. So since we’re talking meat, let’s just quickly talk about seafood. Do you think the seafood is a good deal there?

James (24:40):
Yes, I do believe that the seafood is a great deal at Costco. People got upset with us, well me specifically, that I used farmed salmon in salmon oreganata. Yeah, I use farmed salmon and I’m not apologizing for it. You’re cooking for a family. There’s four of us. What if there’s six in your family? What if there’s seven? You’re not buying $150 of wild salmon for a weeknight meal. I mean, maybe some people are, but no, we like to, the stuff that I’m showing you there on the channel is the stuff that we actually do eat and I’m fine. I’m fine with farmed salmon. I know that there might be some things about the ecology and whatnot. That is way, way past the scope of this podcast and there’s practical and then there’s just over the top, and it’s not just salmon, it’ll also be about oil. Sometimes when I’ll use vegetable oil a second, people will say, “That stuff will kill you,” and all that and everything in moderation here. Wild salmon I don’t think is worth the triple cost of a farmed salmon.

Four pieces of salmon oreganata in white plate.

Salmon oreganata recipe

What do you think, Tara? Feel free to disagree with me.

Tara (25:52):
No, no, no. I can see both sides. I mean, I know that the farmed salmon I think is not fed the most desirable things, but somebody had made a comment that farmed salmon is not sustainable. I thought it was more sustainable. So I was kind of unclear about that. I’d have to do more research there. I think they color the farmed salmon, too, to make it more orange.

James (26:20):
It is. It is. It’s totally gray.

Tara (26:20):
Does that make me feel good? No. Would I prefer to give my family the wild salmon? Yes. But again, when we’re talking about feeding a family and being able to have enough money to save for your kids’ college education and all these other things.

James (26:43):
Do what you like. But anyway, they do have wild salmon there, too, that you can buy. Often, they’ll have nice whole fish. Dates are really, it’ll show you the day that it was packaged and stuff is very fresh. Can you get better stuff at the Fulton Market? Yeah. I mean you can always level up anything if you want, but I love the clams there that they have. They show you the date that they were harvested and I mean they are on there with the seafood.

Tara (27:14):
The crab legs are a great value.

James (27:16):

Tara (27:19):
Also, I don’t know if this is all over the country, I’m guessing it’s probably just in this general area, but around Christmastime when you’re gearing up for the Feast of the Seven Fishes, they do have a lot of good value. They have the full squid for calamari.

James (27:38):
Yeah. They do the block of squid is there and they have other stuff just for the scungilli. They’ll have that stuff just for the Christmastime. Yeah. And if you’re interested, I did a Feast of the Seven Fishes series on YouTube years ago. It didn’t do well and typically our seafood videos don’t do nearly as well as our pasta or the beef dishes. But yeah, you can get a ton of seafood there. Very fresh seafood all year long and during Christmastime in the New York/New Jersey area, and I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but here in New York/New Jersey, it’s great, it’s great and prices are great. Prices are excellent on seafood. Never had anything bad really at Costco either. Often you’ll go to even a fish market and if you’re not astute and you’re not really being overbearing to the guy in back of the counter asking what’s fresh, sometimes you won’t have a good experience. That’s happened a good amount.

Tara (28:44):
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

James (28:45):
You know?

Tara (28:45):
Yeah, definitely.

James (28:46):
All right. Let’s move on.

Canned tomatoes

Tara (28:47):
For the sake of time, we’ll go through these quickly. All right, I’m just going to say it and you give me your opinion. Canned tomatoes and tomato products like tomato paste.

James (28:56):
Huge, huge deal. They have here, again, this is going to vary by country, but the tomato paste cans, amazing deal. You get 12 cans, six ounces for I think it’s six to $8. Why are you using tubes? You’re throwing money away with tubes. You could take the stuff out of the can, freeze it in bags and it’s just … I mean tubes are probably 4,000% more expensive than cans. So, that’s a great deal. They have the big cans of Nina here locally. They also sometimes will have Centos or other brands. They’re very good deals and it’s an aisle I wouldn’t pass up.

Olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes

Tara (29:39):
Olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes.

James (29:42):
So this is right near that aisle. It actually might be on the other side of that same aisle. And yes, I go to Costco a lot, but the capers are a huge jar. I think it’s a 32-ounce jar. If you go to a supermarket and you see those little tiny jars of capers, you’ll notice if you’re doing, say, cod piccata, chicken piccata, you’ll have to use the whole entire jar for one dish because there’s vinegar in there, too. So the Costco one and they last forever. You put them in your fridge, they’ll last for two years in the back of your fridge. You take the capers you need. Phenomenal deal. It’s $6, $7 for that. Sun-dried tomato, same thing, really good price. What were the other ones?

Tara (30:18):

James (30:19):
Olives. Olives, I tend to, they’re always the in-water olives and they’re good, but when you do buy those olives, you got to eat them fairly quickly so it might be too much and they might go bad on you. Yeah.

The spice aisle

Tara (30:31):
That’s true, that’s true. Spice aisle, chicken base, beef base, and then all the other stuff in the spice aisle.

James (30:38):
If you do watch the channel, you know how much I use chicken base and beef base and they also have vegetable base. These are excellent products to make a stock. So what they’re doing is the company there, it’s called Better Than Bullion, the brand. They’re making stock and they’re ultra concentrating it into a paste and the Costco size jar is a lot bigger than the supermarket and it’s six or $7, you’ll get a hundred cups of stock, a phenomenal deal and that stock is much better tasting. The beef one specifically has a much more beefier taste than the crap box beef stock, which box beef stock is one of the worst things.

Tara (31:18):
Not good. Not good.

James (31:19):
Yeah. If you know a brand that you like that you think is good, please let us know, but in order to know if it is good, you would have to compare it against homemade stock and ew, not even close.

Tara (31:32):
Next, I have honey and maple syrup and I will jump in and speak for the honey because a lot of times, I like to buy the local raw honey from the area, especially for it’s supposed to help with allergies and have other sorts of supposed medicinal properties. But if I’m going to be baking with honey or if I’m going to be using it in a salad dressing or something where I need a decent amount more, I use the Costco honey because it comes in a large bottle that’s squeezable, that’s easy to get out and it’s a wonderful value.

James (32:12):
Yeah, it’s amazing. Amazing.

Tara (32:14):
And then same for the maple syrup. I mean, I think it’s 12.99 for a giant bottle-

James (32:18):
It’s crazy. And maple-

Tara (32:19):
… yeah, of maple syrup.

James (32:20):
… syrup’s another one. You will end up spending three times the price for that or more at a supermarket, Whole Foods, whatever.

Tara (32:29):
The only other place that I think is comparable for the maple syrup is actually Trader Joe’s. They have-

James (32:34):
Or Aldi, yeah.

Tara (32:35):
Yeah. So Trader Joe’s, I haven’t been to an Aldi in a long time, so I can’t say, but Trader Joe’s has, I think the same size bottle for a similar price.

James (32:43):
Before we did this, we were discussing, it’s kind of the evolution of a family. When you’re young, you can still get by … When your kids are young. I mean, when they’re two, you could still get by, even if you have a family of four or five, you could go to Trader Joe’s, Aldi. It makes less and less sense as your kids start getting older. I don’t have to tell you if you do have a teenage boy, how much they will eat. So a lot of those packages in Trader Joe’s are … For example, in the frozen section, there’ll be like pakoras, it’ll be eight of them. James could eat three boxes of those himself, so it just doesn’t really make sense for us to buy stuff at Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s is when you’re looking for just a little something.

Tara (33:24):
Yeah. I do like Trader Joe’s, though.

James (33:27):
Yeah but do you disagree with what I’m saying about the size and stuff?

Tara (33:31):
No. No.

James (33:31):

Tara (33:32):
But there’s some stuff that you can only get from Trader Joe’s, especially this time of year with all the pumpkin stuff.

James (33:38):
Yeah. It’s a cute place. I mean, I like Trader Joe’s.

Tara (33:40):
It has a good vibe and everybody there is always so happy.

James (33:43):
And you can’t do all your shopping there, but you can’t do all your shopping at Costco either. So, yeah.

Tara (33:47):
Next, I have rice.

Large baking dish with riso al forno on wooden board.

Riso al forno recipe

James (33:50):
Rice is a great value. We eat a ton of rice, which there’s only one rice dish we made. Oh, I did some risotto too, but we did the riso al forno, which by the way, if you haven’t seen that one, if you’ve been thinking about making it, do yourself a favor and make it. It’s one of the best dishes, not according to me, but just read the comments on it and read the comments on the site. You will love that one. It’s a great one. And you don’t have to use arborio rice for that. You can use any type of rice. We typically buy the 25-pound bag of jasmine rice at Costco and we put it in the big Cambro plastic containers. Once we get it home, I cut the bag open and I get it in containers and that 25 pounds will last us a long time. Great value.

Tara (34:34):
Yeah. It is.

James (34:35):
And they have four or five different brands of rice.

Tara (34:39):
All right, up next I have baking goods, so flour, chocolate chips, sugar, almond flour, all of those.

James (34:49):
They’re all great deals. You can get better deals on flour from Restaurant Depot. And again, Restaurant Depot is not the same as Costco because Restaurant Depot, you got to be a restaurant owner or a caterer and it’s just not the same. Restaurant Depot is great and the prices are often even better than Costco, but I don’t really want to include that in the list here. That’s not going to be accessible to most people.

So bringing it back here, yeah, Costco, they sell 25-pound bags of flour. That’s good for a homeowner. You don’t necessarily need the 50-pound bags that they’re selling at Restaurant Depot and you don’t want the five pound bags that Whole Foods or supermarket are selling because that’s not going anywhere near meet your baking needs during Christmas cookie holiday season.

Tara (35:42):
Right, exactly.

James (35:43):
Yeah. But then all that other stuff, good value, sugar, you buy big bags of sugar, everything. There’s so much stuff at Costco and I love Costco. It’s one of the most exciting-

Tara (35:55):
I know. He gets so excited. And then you also buy your whole wardrobe is from Costco.

James (35:58):
Well, this is it.

Tara (35:59):
Well that’s not but-

James (36:00):
This is from the Nike outlet. I shop at outlets and Costco.

Tara (36:05):
Yeah. Yes.

James (36:05):
Listen. When you’re my age, if you’re trying to look really good, there might be something wrong with you. You got to be more practical at this point in your life.

Tara (36:16):
Stop. There’s plenty of people who try to make themselves look good.

James (36:20):
I guess if I was single, it would be a little different. Not that I want to look bad for Tara, but I don’t want to be like Tara, “Hey, I’m going to go get an Armani suit,” $3,000 later. Should be like, “What the hell are you doing, Jim?”

Tara (36:33):
Well, that would be really weird because you don’t really have an occasion to wear an Armani suit.

James (36:38):

Baked Goods

Tara (36:39):
Quickly. These are the last of the food items, baked goods, like the pumpkin pies. I think you can get a giant pumpkin pie for $5 and the apple pies and the muffins and all that stuff.

James (36:52):
Yeah. We didn’t go into the cooked food, but this has been worked out. There’s hundreds of articles on this. You cannot make a pumpkin pie, apple pie, any dessert that they make, you cannot make it cheaper even if you make it yourself and you’re not even factoring in your labor then, which if you’re not aware, it takes a long time to make that type of stuff.

Tara (37:15):
Their birthday sheet cakes are an incredible value. I will add that, too. I’ve done that for James’s birthdays. In fact, I think, for my dad’s 70th, that’s where we got his cake from and I think their sheet cakes are $20. They’re massive and they taste good, too. I mean, are they gourmet? No, but can they feed a crowd inexpensively? Yeah. Hell, yeah.

James (37:46):
Yeah, it’s great value. Are you going to go into the others?

Tara (37:50):
Let’s not talk about any more food thing because I don’t want to run out of time. I want you to answer some questions. Very quickly, talk about not food-related items like paper goods, pots and pans, and liquor.

James (38:02):
Liquor is not at all Costco’s, but the prices are very, very cheap. Paper goods, the paper towels, the Kirkland brand paper towels are better than any brand. They’re better than Bounty or … What are the other brands? Brawny. I don’t even know the other brands. They’re better. They’re bigger. The rolls are bigger. The sheets are wider. They’re thicker. They are way better and they are cheaper by a unit price than the other ones because they will sell a couple of the other brands next to it.

Plastic wrap and foil. You get the restaurant style ones, they will last you. I think the plastic is 3,000 feet of it or something. And the foil, for the amount … And we do a lot of cooking for the channel and everything. And those will last us a year, the plastic wrap and the foil and I just leave them out on the counter. If you watch my Instagram stories, a lot of time, you’ll see it. And I want it right next to me for cooking.

Tara (38:58):
Sterno trays.

James (39:00):
Sterno trays, too. Great. I love because if we’re cooking a lot here, we never waste our food. All the food we make is family food for our family and it’s a four-portion or six-portion meal. But if I’m filming four videos in two days, we’re not going to be able to eat all that food. So we’ll put it in the foil and we’ll either put the foil cover or wrap it a couple times with foil tight, mark the date, mark what it is, put it in the freezer and now we have a full meal. So that foil just makes it way easier than the little roll that you buy at a supermarket. Yeah.

Tara (39:36):
Right. Now, just quickly, last item, again, not food, but food related. Can you talk about pots and pans?

Random items

James (39:42):
Okay, this is a good topic. Good topic. We actually just went to the outlets yesterday. We went into the Zwilling store. Zwilling now owns Henckels knives and Staub Pots. Staub is an expensive brand. It’s on par with Le Creuset, very expensive pots, the Dutch ovens, all that. Even in the outlets, it was like a six quart. It was $400 or something like that.

So you go to Costco and I just bought a two pack Tramontina Dutch ovens and I believe it was a 5.5 quart one and a four quart one or a three. So you got two of them. It was 60 bucks and it’s been performing flawlessly and any of these things, it’s questionable if one’s made better than the other. People get very opinionated about this. The reason people get opinionated about this stuff is because they just blew $400 on the name brand. And it’s the same thing with the All-Clad, like three ply, five ply stainless steel pans. You’re already biased. You already blew the money. You cannot be impartial now at this point.

I will tell you simply from my experience owning a lot of these products over the years, and take my word for what it is, they all perform very close to each other. There are ultra cheap brands on Amazon, but Tramontina is not a bad brand and that’s sold to Costco a lot. They also have Calphalon, I noticed and some other ones. There will always be really good deals on this stuff at Costco, tremendous deals.

When we go to Costco, we go down every aisle. We never miss an aisle, but I like going down that aisle and it’s only one aisle or two aisles because they have blenders and stuff on the other aisle. I always like to see the new stuff they got because they move stuff quickly over there.

Tara (41:36):
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

James (41:37):
The pot’s been great. I got that two set of Tramontina, they don’t sponsored this channel either. They actually did talk to us about a sponsor a while back, but we never did it and we don’t do sponsors anymore on the main channel, which by the way is the most amazing thing ever. Do you agree with that, Tara? Tell people. Tell people how amazing it is.

Tara (41:58):
It’s time consuming doing sponsors more than you would think.

James (42:03):
The brands have a lot of asks.

Tara (42:04):
There’s a lot of back and forth. Yeah.

James (42:08):
I don’t know. It’s nice to not do them. And now you know that we don’t do them, though there might be some on this podcast eventually, I would say.

Tara (42:14):
Yeah, and that’s not to say that if the right brand came along that we wouldn’t do a sponsorship.

Rotisserie chicken

James (42:18):
I don’t think we can talk about Costco without mentioning … I know I mentioned briefly in the beginning, so the rotisserie chicken, it supposedly is a loss leader at Costco. They are not making much money on it. I’ve heard that the quality of their rotisserie chickens has improved in the last couple of years. My biggest problem was they were using way too large chickens in the past. I get suspicious when a chicken’s over six pounds.

Tara (42:41):
I was never a fan of their rotisserie chicken. I just felt like, like you said, they’re too large and probably amped up on-

James (42:52):
I mean, they’re all amped up, I mean, yeah.

Tara (42:53):
… steroids or whatever. So I was never really a fan. And the texture of the chicken also, it was never good.

James (43:00):
If they grow too fast and they’re too big, it’s often rubbery.

Tara (43:03):
Mm-hmm. Yeah, rubbery. That’s what it was.

James (43:05):
I was never that big of a fan and I realized I might be shocking you by saying that because the rotisserie chicken is one of their most popular things they sell. That and the cooked pizza. Those are the two things that they sell a ton of. We both share the same opinion, but I have heard that the rotisserie chickens are better now the last couple of years.

Our top 3

So before we move into questions, we’re going to just rank our top three value things at Costco. Tara, what do you think yours are?

Tara (43:31):
My top three, and I’ll start with number three would be maple syrup.

James (43:39):
Maple syrup.

Tara (43:41):
My second one would be nuts. And my number one value is definitely the half and half.

James (43:50):
Yeah. If you’re a big half and half drinker, and this is tough. Most things are really good values. Just a little inside baseball here. The worst place to buy stuff in Costco. Tara, do you know the worst place to buy stuff where you actually don’t get a deal?

Tara (44:05):
The middle?

James (44:06):
The middle. Do you know why?

Tara (44:08):

James (44:09):
The middle is their seasonal stuff and those are things that your mind is operated by an incentive that you have to have it now. So they’re selling a hose when the summer’s starting. You can’t wait to buy that hose until December. So they can sell that at a higher price. Their Christmas paper, their bows, all that stuff, the Christmas ornaments, all the decorations they can sell at a higher price. This was actually discussed in a documentary that was done on Costco, a CNBC documentary about it. Yeah.

Tara (44:42):
Mm-hmm. So you say that, but then we’ve found great value buying lawn furniture, right?

James (44:49):
That’s true.

Tara (44:49):
Like chaise lounge chairs.

James (44:53):
Yeah. We even bought, our-

Tara (44:54):
And our gazebo.

James (44:55):
… gazebo we bought from Costco.

Tara (44:56):
I mean, those values were great.

James (45:00):
I’m not saying it applies to everything. I think it’s more for those smaller items like toys.

Tara (45:03):
So wrapping paper, things like that. Okay.

James (45:07):
Yeah. Okay.

Honorable mention for me is the paper towels. I mean really, I don’t want to put that as number one because we’re talking about food.

Number three is going to be the oils. Now, regardless of what’s happened with the world supply of olive oil, you’re still going to find the best deals for olive oil at Costco. Don’t come back here. Don’t tell me though, “Jim, it’s in a plastic bottle. It’s not good.” Just put it in a can, then if you want, when you buy it. It comes from a dark bottle and you could buy other … They sell some cans there, too. It’s a great deal. That’s number three. Again, that might not be your number three if you don’t use as much oil as we do.

Cheese is number two. And again, this might not be your number two either, but cheese is a phenomenal deal from their hard cheeses like the Parmesan and pecorino. And they have a whole variety of other ones, too. You can get a big bag of shredded mozzarella and all the cold cheeses, ricotta and also the sour cream. That’s all in the dairy, too. Phenomenal deals.

But I am going to say that my number one is meat and there’s no, in my experience, better place on the planet than the whole meat and seafood section at Costco. It’s really hard to beat. Now you could say a high-end place maybe has better stuff, but you are going to be spending two, three, four times the price. And again, this is geared towards families, so meets my number one.

But just so you know, don’t think that Costco people are cheap. I think the right better word for Costco shopper is they value their dollar. They’re looking for a good deal.

Tara (46:48):
They’re informed.

James (46:50):
They’re informed. A lot of Costco buyers, they’re business owners. You walk around, a lot of people are business owners. They know, and supposedly there’s no higher income level group of person shopper than a Costco shopper. So they’re serious people and they know what they’re doing. Though, I have seen my share of idiots at Costco.

Tara (47:17):
That’s everywhere.

James (47:19):
Yeah. Yeah. So, I think Costco is the highest income-earning shopper, though, I heard Apple is, but I don’t know if Apple should be included in that list because you just go to Apple to get a computer or a phone. Take what you will from that, okay? So let’s go to the questions.

Question 1 – storing cheese

Tara (47:40):
I’ve got two questions for you. The first one I selected because I think it goes really well with the theme of this episode about Costco. This question comes from Brooke. Brooke has purchased a quarter wheel of Romano and a half wheel of parmigiano at a very good price. But when she received them, she was afraid to cut into them. They’re vacuum sealed. She wants to know how to store them after she breaks the seal. Can you help?

James (48:10):
So Brooke, that’s awesome. You must be so excited. I’ve never done this. Tara and I have never done something like this and I don’t really want to make a video of it. I’ve seen some gimmicky ones on YouTube channels where the guide will buy the whole wheel, which is $1,800.

Tara (48:27):
You can buy a whole wheel from Costco. I checked Costco’s site.

James (48:31):
You can, yeah.

Tara (48:31):
It’s $900.

James (48:33):
Oh, $900. Okay. So it’s probably for 24 a month.

Tara (48:35):
I don’t know.

James (48:35):
Yeah, I don’t know. Actually, I think I read that the wheels are more per pound than the individual blocks, I guess because-

Tara (48:43):
Maybe shipping. It’s-

James (48:44):
It’s scarcity, too. I mean, there’s not as many wheels as there are blocks.

But yeah, Brooke, what I do, and I’ve never had a problem with this, so if you go online and you read, most of the time they’ll say, after you portion it, you can then wrap it. The best way to do it is to wrap it in wax paper. Then, after it’s wrapped in wax paper, then you wrap plastic wrap around it, too. That works. I’ve never had a problem wrapping tight with plastic wrap.

Now you can do two, three, four wraps. Just make sure you don’t have any air in it. So again, this comes back to that Costco plastic wrap because that’s a huge box and it’s sitting kind of high and it has the perfect cutter. It’s a thing that you just grab with your fingers and move it.

So, you can, and this is what they use in the cheese shop, whether you’re in Whole Foods or Fareway or Wegmans or whatnot. You can see them because they’ll let you taste the cheese a lot of times. And then right after they do that, they’re wrapping the block back up again. They’re wrapping it tight in plastic. That is your best bet. I mean, I’ve never had a problem with it. I heard that, so when you open up a wheel of cheese, that’s when the aging process stops now at that point.

Now, I don’t know about a half block. I would say it’s probably still improving, but I’m sure that’s super exciting, Brooke. I mean, did you go in with other people because that’s the way to buy it, I would think. And then each person gets a 10-pound portion of it. Remember Pops how he used to go to Italy and come back with those-

Tara (50:11):
He would come back with provolone.

James (50:14):
I think they were Provolone del Monaco, those little ones.

Tara (50:16):
Yeah. So they were little so they were sealed. Yeah. It wasn’t like buying a big one.

James (50:20):
They’re like the pears. And he would come back with 20 of them. And every year I think we used to buy them from him, right? And tell him we want them?

Tara (50:28):
I think a few times he just-

James (50:31):
A long time ago, yeah.

Tara (50:32):
… gave them to us time. I don’t think we paid for them.

James (50:32):
It’s hard to remember.

Tara (50:34):
That’s my stepmom’s dad, who’s sadly no longer with us. He was almost 99, I think.

James (50:38):
Yeah, he’s 99.

Tara (50:39):
He passed.

James (50:39):
And he’s the one we talk about who moved here. How old was he when he moved here? 40?

Tara (50:48):
Probably, yeah.

James (50:50):
But he was nuts. He’s the guy who-

Tara (50:51):
And nuts in a good way.

James (50:53):
I don’t know if we spoke about it on the podcast. I think it was in the video I spoke about it. He tried to bring a whole bunch of live Maine lobsters on a plane to Italy because he had all his family there. He wanted to impress them all and customs, they obviously took it. They wouldn’t let him bring it. Yeah.

Tara (51:10):
Yeah. He’s actually, I don’t know if any of you are in the Baltimore area, but if you are and you listen to, I don’t even know what channel Scott is on, but Scott Rearden is on the radio there. Scott Rearden is one of Pop’s grandsons, and he would often prank Pops on the air and have him … It was very entertaining.

James (51:37):
He’s the morning host of WIYY 98 Rock. So it’s a Hearst radio station.

Tara (51:44):
Yeah. But I know years ago, he would have Pops on every now and then. So if you’ve listened to that station and you’ve heard Scott talk to his grandpa.

James (51:54):
Yeah. That’s him.

Tara (51:54):
That’s him.

James (51:55):
That’s the guy.

Tara (51:56):
That’s Pops and Pops would always call everyone. “Such a brute. Ah! You’re such a brute.”

James (51:59):
Yeah, yeah. He never learned to speak English. I mean, it was just a version of English.

Tara (52:07):
Yeah. But he was awesome. He was great.

James (52:10):
Yeah. Yeah.

Gordon vs Bobby

Tara (52:11):
Next question. This question was not emailed to us. Rather it was asked on YouTube and I saw it and I thought it was an interesting question, so I grabbed it. “Jim and Tara, are you aware of Gordon Ramsay’s longstanding challenge to Bobby Flay for a cook-off? Who do you think would win?” And I didn’t even know about this.

James (52:33):
So he has a long-term challenge to Bobby Flay. That’s odd. I always thought that Gordon Ramsay, again, I’m going to be bashing Gordon Ramsay again. I always thought he was scared to go on Iron Chef or any of those competitions. So I’ve never seen him do a competition in my life. But Bobby Flay did that for years on Iron Chef and he had the show Beat Bobby Flay.

Tara (52:51):
Mm-hmm. Throwdown with Bobby Flay.

James (52:54):
I always thought Gordon Ramsay was the one who was scared of the challenge. Clearly Bobby Flay is not scared of a challenge. He’s an egomaniac and he would just knock on people’s doors. He’s like, “I heard you make good meatballs. Let’s go right now.” Which obviously is all set up. But yeah, I didn’t know that Gordon Ramsay would challenge him. Why would Bobby Flay not accept it then? He’s going against everybody.

Tara (53:19):
I don’t know.

James (53:20):
Honestly, I think they have it reversed. Bobby Flay has the long-term challenge to Gordon Ramsay.

Tara (53:26):
Okay. Well, regardless of who challenged who, who do you think would win? Who would you put your money on?

James (53:32):
In my opinion, Bobby Flay is a superior cook to Gordon Ramsay.

Tara (53:36):
My money would be on Bobby Flay, too. I like Bobby Flay. Yes, he has a tremendous ego. But I like him and I think he’s very, very talented.

James (53:46):
Both of them have been celebrities for so long, they haven’t done that much professional cooking. Bobby Flay was put on the Food Network when he was in his late twenties or thirties.

Tara (54:01):

James (54:01):
So, he only had 10 years in a professional kitchen. And then I know he supervises all his restaurants.

Tara (54:09):
Anytime I’ve eaten in his restaurants, they’ve been really good.

James (54:12):
I don’t know, I mean, when you get to that point, you put your name on anything and it will do well.

Tara (54:16):
No, I’m talking specifically about Mesa Grill here, which was his first restaurant, which I think he had that restaurant before he became a celebrity.

James (54:24):
Yeah. So I don’t know. I mean, maybe Gordon Ramsay would beat Bobby Flay, but again, I question the long term … I think that’s easy for him to put out. But no, he hasn’t challenged anybody in his life ever. All he’s been doing is ripping restaurant owners to shreds, and he actually did one in Long Island and that place went out of business three months after he came there. I don’t think it was a good place. That’s the whole thing. It’s like a joke show. This was show number-

Tara (54:56):
What was the name of that show?

James (54:56):
… 75 that he had.

Tara (54:59):
What was the name of that show again?

James (55:00):
It was like he would go to a-

Tara (55:01):
Kitchen Nightmare? No.

James (55:02):

Tara (55:03):
Restaurant Nightmares?

James (55:04):
Restaurant Repair with Gordon Ramsay or something. He would go to a restaurant and fix it.

Tara (55:09):
Restaurant 911?

James (55:11):

Tara (55:11):
Hold on. I got to do a little search for this.

James (55:14):
I must admit, I’ve probably watched the least amount of Gordon Ramsay of anybody who watches food stuff. I haven’t really watched him. And Bobby Flay, I watched more because we were watching him when we used to like the Food Network, which was 20 years ago. But that’s when I saw a lot of Bobby Flay. Maybe it was because he was a fellow New Yorker.

Tara (55:37):
It was Kitchen Nightmares. Yes.

James (55:42):
Kitchen Nightmares, right.

Tara (55:42):
Yeah, yeah.

James (55:43):
Yeah. I don’t know. I guess I would like to see it, but why should they have a chef battle? They should have a boxing match. That’s what everybody does now. Why are we doing cooking?

Tara (55:53):
Who would win that? My money’s on Flay.

James (55:56):
I think Gordon Ramsay would beat him in a boxing match. They’re both 55 now.

Tara (56:01):
Yeah, but Flay’s a New York City boy. I think he could take …

James (56:05):
Yeah. I don’t think Flay has any muscle on his body. Gordon Ramsay looks a lot bigger.

Well, this has descended into-

Tara (56:17):
[inaudible 00:56:17] story.

James (56:17):
I feel like we got to stop talking about … We shouldn’t have Gordon Ramsay talk anymore in our episodes. It always just devolves into me, “Jim, you’re just jealous of his success. You can’t handle the fact that you’ll never be as good as him.” Well, you know what? You’re probably right.

Tara (56:37):
Do you know the white dinner plates we have are from the Gordon Ramsay Dinner Collection?

James (56:42):
They are?

Tara (56:42):
Yeah. I got them from HomeGoods a long time ago.

James (56:45):
Hey, I mean, that’s the dream. You get to that point. You have all your pots, your pans, your dishes, your spices, and then you put your name on any restaurant, it’s going to do well. Yeah.

Tara (56:55):

James (56:56):
Thank you for listening. Podcast at for your questions. Do not ask another Gordon Ramsay question. That is not going to be on anymore. We’ll see you next time.

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1 Comment

  1. Alan Snipes says:

    I live in Chicago and unfortunately, the Copstco here does not sell condiments like capers and wine vinegars like you have available in the new York are. I think that you should point out that many of their deals are only available in certain parts of the country.
    I do buy Kirkland Olive Oil and things like Granulated Garlic, but for a lot of condiments, all Costcos are not created equal.