"When you learn how to cook scallops with a crisp golden crust, they're just so good," says Top Chef Season 3 winner Stephanie Izard. To help brown the scallops, she adds butter to the pan halfway through cooking. The butter and bacon that flavor the colorful chard make the dish nicely rich, a quality balanced by a fruity, slightly acidic Gewürztraminer.
Top Chef Season 4 winner Hosea Rosenberg created this quickly seared tuna recipe in 2001, when he was head chef at Boulder's Dandelion restaurant. It immediately became his dad's favorite dish. He spikes the ginger cream with Sriracha, the spicy red Thai chile sauce.
As a student at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Top Chef Season 3 winner Hung Huynh learned to cook with the Chinese trinity—GGS, or ginger, garlic and scallions. He uses all three here to flavor his earthy, mushroom-and-bacon-studded clay pot rice.
Unlike most pasta dishes, which are best served immediately, this baked rigatoni by Giada De Laurentiis is perfect for preparing ahead and heating just before serving. To make this recipe for 12, double it and bake it in two 9-by-13-inch baking dishes.
"This is the most fabulous chocolate cake that I've ever made," says Ina Garten, host of Food Network's Barefoot Contessa. "It's so easy and so moist and light. There's buttermilk and a cup of coffee in the batter! The frosting is just buttercream and a little coffee."