You may not be jetting off to far-flung locales this summer, but you can certainly stoke your wanderlust—and avoid culinary ennui—by incorporating global flavors into basic dishes. Chefs from some of our favorite hotels and restaurants offer up the secret sauce, so to speak, in the form of zesty salsas, spreads, and dips to upgrade anything from grilled meat to a grilled cheese sandwich this Memorial Day Weekend, and beyond.

Bolder-is-better steakhouses, meat emporiums celebrated for their giant ribeyes and truffle dusted sides, are Chicago’s calling card. At RPM Steak, it’s par for the carnivore course to go full tilt with a specialty condiment: think peppercorn sauce, decadent foie gras butter, or béarnaise sauce, the most popular option. Aside from the classic pairing of steak, Chef Eddie Ishaq suggests upgrading roasted asparagus and broccolini, poultry, seared salmon, or even a hamburger with a dollop of the savory emulsion.

Béarnaise Sauce from RPM Steak in Chicago

Recipe (Makes about 1 cup)

2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, divided – 2 Tbsp. cubed, the remaining melted

1 medium shallot, very thinly sliced

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

½ cup dry white wine

¼ cup white wine vinegar

4 sprigs fresh tarragon, divided

2 egg yolks

1 sprig fresh parsley

Fine sea salt

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp. butter. Add the sliced shallots, cover and cook 2 minutes. Add black pepper and continue cooking until shallots are soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in white wine, vinegar and 3 tarragon sprigs. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Continue cooking until mixture has reduced by three-quarters, about 5 – 7 minutes.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, reserving both the liquid (shallot jus) and cooked shallots. Discard tarragon.
  4. Let shallots cool slightly, then finely chop. Reserve.
  5. Fill a small saucepan with two inches of water and bring to a low boil. In a medium metal mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the reserved shallot jus and cooked shallots. Set the bowl over the saucepan and reduce heat to low.
  6. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the melted butter to make an emulsion. Continue whisking until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat.
  7. Finish the sauce with 1 sprig each finely chopped tarragon and parsley leaves. Season the Béarnaise sauce with fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.