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


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.