Most chefs can concoct a snack that's as inspired as a restaurant dish, but if they're making it at home, there's one major requirement: "Because we spend so many hours cooking in a restaurant, it always has to be fast," says Jason Wilson of Crush in Seattle. Here, Wilson and four other Food & Wine Best New Chefs share their favorite superfast snack ideas.
1. Salad tacos from Jason Wilson of Crush in Seattle (an F&W Best New Chef 2006)
"We get very little sunshine in the northwest, so when we do, I prepare the components of this snack to go: romaine lettuce leaves, smoked salmon, eggs, olives and tomatoes. When we're sitting around a picnic table enjoying the good weather, everyone can assemble the ingredients in their own romaine cups. I also wrap romaine around leftover chicken, corn and asparagus, tossed with vinegar and olive oil. My wife and I eat these 'salad tacos' with our 20-month-old sonhe has a slightly older friend, 28 months old, who asks for them by name."
2. Bacon popcorn from Gavin Kaysen of Café Boulud in New York City (an F&W Best New Chef 2007)
"I drizzle hot bacon fat from the skillet over popcorn, then season it with salt and pepper. I don't think life gets any better than thatyou could put pork fat on a muffler, and it would still taste good! I've also made popcorn with foie gras drippings."