In our annual poll of 100 top chefs, we asked about their kitchen essentials and cooking inspirations.

By Ratha Tep
Updated March 31, 2015

Sustainable Seafood

Leading chefs around the country are making a point of serving sustainable fish. According to California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium, the best choices include tilapia, Alaskan wild-caught salmon and pole-caught tuna. Among the varieties to avoid: Chilean sea bass, red snapper and imported shrimp.

Most Revered Cuisine

Japanese (34%) "I love the simple, light flavors and the reverence given to ingredients," says Michael Anthony of Manhattan’s Gramercy Tavern.

Chinese (17%) "Seeing the delicious street food in Hong Kong 14 years ago was a turning point for me," says Laurent Manrique of San Francisco’s Aqua.

French (9%) "Fundamentally, it provides the best building blocks. You learn when and how to use butter," says Stuart Brioza of San Francisco’s Rubicon.

Dream Knives

21% Misono The extra-thin blades, perfect for fine dicing, are crafted in Japan’s traditional sword-making town of Seki.

12% MAC The flexible blades on these Japanese knives allow for effortless cutting of tough meats and hard vegetables.

6% Wüsthof These German-made knives are among the sturdiest; the Grand Prix II line has ergonomic handles.