Chopped champion Silvia Baldini remembers one of her first jobs on the line at the Ritz-Carlton in London: Peel as much garlic as possible. Her hands smelled terrible for days, but the exercise taught her to appreciate quality produce and the beauty in small details. Besides, pre-peeled cloves are most often moldy and soggy, so she didn’t have much of a choice.
Similar to Baldini, you’ll never see these 29 chefs purchase pre-packaged stock, pesto, garnished meat, and other supermarket mainstays. While there is a time and a place for shortcuts (note: chefs love these), some foods are worth the wait, according to these industry pros.