What's your favorite new ingredient?
Dehydrated fruit. I like to garnish fresh fruit with the dehydrated version. We'll do a compote of pear with foie gras and a salad of crispy pear chips.
What's the most versatile spice?
Green peppercorns. Peppercorns are becoming the new salt. I singled out green, because I like to use it in sauces against birds or with sorbet. We do a huckleberry sorbet with duck, with green peppercorn sauce and foie gras. They're great things to bring together: sweet, savory, with some spice in the middle.
What's the most underused spice?
Red chile flakes. I think that there are so many new chiles on the market, but red chile flakes are one of the great foundations of Italian sauces. We put them in vinaigrettes or in marinades for a little subtle heat. You don't see them in recipes anymore—it's more often a spice of the moment.