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

Favorite Stoves

1. Viking (17%) These stoves have super-precise burner controls (

2. Molteni (12%) There are fewer than 50 of these custom-designed stoves (above) in the U.S. (

3. Wolf (10%) "It lights quickly with a strong, direct flame," says Ming Tsai of Blue Ginger in Wellesley, Massachusetts (

4. Electrolux (10%) Its S90 professional stoves have add-on options like an electric fryer (

Most Useful Pot or Pan

Chefs sound off on their stovetop essential.

1. Skillet (31%) Perfect for quick searing and stir-frying; Washington, DC’s Todd Gray of Equinox even uses it to "semi-deep-fry" chicken.

2. Saucepan (20%) "Straight sides let you cook sauces without burning the edges of the liquid," says Scott Dolich of Portland, Oregon’s Park Kitchen.

3. Dutch oven (10%)"It’s universal. You can roast a steak or make a vegetable ragù," says Josiah Citrin of Melisse in Santa Monica, California.

Best Gadgets

1. Surgical tweezers Sean Brock of McCrady’s in Charleston, South Carolina, gives these to his cooks for aligning tiny garnishes (Miltex; $45, Caligor, 212-369-6000).

2. Sewing scissors Grant Achatz of Chicago’s Alinea uses extra-sharp scissors to clean shellfish (Wiss; from $26,

3. Peelers "At home, I use them to make carrot noodles for my daughter," says Seis Kamimura of Boka Kitchen + Bar in Seattle ($3; Pearl River, 800-878-2446).

4. Surgical tongs Vikram Garg of Washington, DC’s IndeBleu likes the fine-pointed tips (Misdom-Frank; from $20, Caligor, 212-369-6000).