Professional Chefs Do Not Approve Of The Caviar On Doritos Trend

When you think of decadent food, there's a significant chance you envision caviar. These salt-cured sturgeon eggs are one of the most elegant edibles around. Elite chefs like Jacques Pépin stock their fridges with pressed caviar. Gourmet foodies pair it with fine chocolate. It even comes with its own special spoon. Caviar is the epitome of opulent taste — and it's doing numbers on TikTok.

That might sound hard to believe to those who only know the social media platform by its fast-paced and youth-oriented reputation. Does the average Gen Z kid seriously have the cash to burn on caviar? But, as veteran users know, food trends, tips, and hacks proliferate wildly on TikTok. Every sort of comestible is capable of setting this social network on fire, from ice cream bread to Costco sushi. Now it's caviar's turn to blow TikTokers' minds, and it's doing so through a truly unique culinary pairing — one that professional chefs aren't too crazy about.

Caviar-topped Doritos are deliciously controversial

Danielle Zaslavsky has built a TikTok empire by posting videos of tempting snacks. She has a particular penchant for fine caviar. This makes sense because, as The Washington Post points out, her family owns and operates Marky's Caviar. Zaslavsky celebrates this culinary inheritance in dozens of ways: She slathers sumptuous sturgeon roe atop crisp slices of cucumber, eats it off the side of her hand, and devotes entire videos to simply admiring the way a freshly opened can of caviar glistens in the light. She managed to top this avalanche of adoration in December 2022, when she paired caviar with Doritos. In this video, she crowns each neon-orange chip with a dollop of creme fraiche and a scoop of caviar. Not just any caviar, either — it's Kaluga Imperial Gold, which, she notes, is renowned for its lack of "fishy" flavor. In the space of two minutes, she and her companion down multiple caviar-topped chips and rave about the culinary combination. "You guys have to try this," she entreats her viewers. 

Zaslavsky might love the combo, but many professionals do not. The Washington Post asked a number of celebrated chefs for their thoughts on the pairing, and they replied with firm disapproval. "It's salt on salt," Eric Ripert, owner of New York's Le Bernardin, remarked. "What a waste," Robert Wiedmaier of Washington D.C.'s Marcel's concurred. "When I'm eating caviar, I want to taste the caviar, not the chemicals or whatever they put on those chips."

Expensive food meets cheap snack

Not all high-class chefs disdain combining Doritos with caviar, however. Bonnie Morales, the owner of Portland's Kachka, has been offering Cool Ranch Doritos topped with French onion dip and caviar since 2018. Though she refers to herself as a "caviar purist," she appreciates the whimsy of the oddball pairing and sees it as an excellent entry point for those who'd like to give the luxurious edible a try. After giving caviar-smeared Doritos a chance herself, even The Washington Post reporter agreed. "It felt both decadent and fun," she wrote, "like a party trick I would pull for even my most sophisticated guests."

This particular combo might seem to divide people along lines of stiff disapproval and joyful appreciation. But in fact, those chefs who decry the trend aren't totally averse to the dish, so long as people are enjoying it. As Ripert conceded, "Taste is subjective, so if you like it, why not?" Neither do these professionals oppose the low-class-meets-high-class nature of the snack: Wiedmaier expressed approval of putting cheaper paddlefish caviar on whatever looks tasty, no matter how much it might baffle a longtime expert like himself. Doritos on caviar might not be everyone's snack of choice, but it's certainly made waves — and probably transformed a lot more people into caviar devotees.