F&W talked to top chefs around the country to learn everything from the quickest way to prepare chicken to the must-have condiments that make almost any dish instantly delicious.

Tarver King (at right) of the Goodstone Inn & Estate in Middleburg, Virginia, uses potato flakes by Idaho Spuds instead of bread crumbs for gratins, croquettes and baked oysters. “They’re supercheap and make an incredible crust,” he says.

20 Lessons from the Pros

More Tips from Top Chefs

Creamy Lima Bean Gratin
Pan-Seared Sausages with Apples
Credit: © Marcus Nilsson
Smoky Tomato Soup with Maple-Candied Bacon
Credit: © Anna Williams