Food & Wine’s annual poll of 100 chefs appears in the current issue, and it’s a grab bag of the obvious, the counterintuitive, and the trivial. Still, watching the collective wisdom of 100 culinary experts manifest itself in more than a dozen different permutations makes for interesting reading.
For example: Japanese is the most “revered cuisine” (chosen by 34 percent of chefs) followed by Chinese (17) and French (9). Misono knives are the most desirable. Skillets are the most useful pot or pan. Sugar-cured vanilla beans, ginkgo nuts, and fresh okra seeds are among the ingredient-related flavors of the year.
Reading the poll, you can’t help but wish it rose a little further above the trivial to engage some more weighty issues (trans fats, solutions to the obesity epidemic, why it’s so difficult to get consistently good lemonade), but it’s still an entertaining read.