10 Herbs Chefs Use to Redefine Dishes

More than its medicinal properties, some herbs Chefs use are also used for cooking and have produced some of the world’s best dishes. Countless culinary herbs are used explicitly to flavor meals and dishes worldwide, from homes to restaurants! Herbs, both fresh and dried, are used in everything from rich sauces to salads and baked goods. 

Simply put, the world’s most famous culinary herbs have become mainstays throughout cuisines in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and North and South America. 

So, without further ado, here are the top ten herbs chefs use to redefine their dishes:


Basil has glossy, green, pointed leaves with a sweet-and-savory flavor laced with anise, mint, and pepper. Fresh or dried basil is used to flavor everything from Italian dishes to Asian curries. It is commonly used for pesto, a sauce primarily made with fresh basil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, kosher salt, black pepper, and olive oil—a classic Italian favorite!


Sweet, aromatic, and cooling, mint has delicate, bright green leaves used in beverages such as mint tea and dishes such as Vietnamese pho and Thai stir-fries. Fresh mint is preferred in cooking over dried mint, the latter of which is mainly used in tea concoctions.


Parsley is a leafy herbaceous Apiaceae plant with a bright yet bitter flavor that complements other flavors. There are numerous varieties of parsley, including flat-leaf parsley (also known as Italian parsley), curly parsley, and Japanese parsley (aka Chinese parsley). You will most probably find this in the Mediterranean dishes, Chimichurri, and Tabbouleh.


Cilantro, often known as coriander, is a zesty, lemony herb with delicate, bright green leaves. Most of the time, its seeds are crushed to a fine powder texture. This aromatic herb is used in Mexican, Middle Easters, Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese dishes.


Oregano is an earthy and fragrant mint family herb with a sweet yet spicy flavor. Chefs and gardeners adore oregano’s pungent aroma and small pale green leaves in Turkish, Italian, Greek, and Mexican cooking. Fresh oregano is a heat-resistant herb that may be used in all stages of cooking. Because it can withstand intense flavors, this herb is frequently used in hearty and fatty dishes.


Tarragon is a tough plant with anise, licorice, and chervil undertones. This herb may be used fresh or dried to flavor hearty meat dishes and lighter egg and fish dishes. Tarragon has a long history of being a healthy herb, having been utilized to boost vitality by ancient Roman warriors.

Bay Leaf

Although native to Asia, this Mediterranean herb is most closely associated with Greece and Italy. Dried whole bay leaves are steeped in stews, soups, and sauces during the cooking process. Bay leaves are used in Indian, Asian, and French cuisines.


Rosemary has been prized for centuries for its powerful, fragrant sprigs and rosemary oil. Its fresh leaves are often incorporated in various dishes, including roasted vegetables, whipped goat cheese, and aromatic bundt cakes. Found in many cuisines, rosemary is mainly infused into heated oil or butter for meat, vegetables, and other delectable recipes.


Sage is a perennial herb known for its earthy, sweet-and-savory, peppery flavor and is frequently used in Chinese herbal tea. In the culinary world, sage is often paired with hearty vegetables and warm, comforting meals. Moreover, chefs commonly use sage to create a browned sage butter that is delicious with pasta.


Dill may be found in pickling, sauces, egg dishes, and creamy salads, such as potato salad. Fresh dill complements rich, creamy dishes such as cream cheese. To ensure you can get the most out of this curious little herb, its seeds and flowers are edible as well.


There’s nothing quite like a cooking experience when you’re accompanied by a wide array of herbs chefs use to explore! When you have options, you can create more possibilities for improving and evolving your culinary skills. 

Make sure to keep this list in mind on your next market run. Get ready to redefine your home-cooked dishes and wow your guests, family, friends! When all else fails, however, a private chef is always prepared to help!

Are you looking for a private chef in Asheville? For your next special event, you can hire the ultimate private chef experience with Food Fire + Knives! Our team of culinary professionals is committed to giving you and your guests an outstanding gastronomic experience that you’ll never forget. Book now to reserve!