Bloomberg Businessweek

The New Originals

Top chefs name the iconic dishes they wish they’d created—and reveal how they’ve reinvented them in their own kitchens
Oyster pie at Bellemore in Chicago

From Soup to Salad

Some dishes are so essential to a country’s cuisine that most diners don’t remember that they were revolutionary to begin with. Nobu Matsuhisa changed American sushi forever when he added jalapeños to hamachi. Wolfgang Puck’s smoked salmon pizza, first served after Spago opened in 1982, gave future pizza makers license to put anything (and everything) on a pie.

The 1980s were a particularly rich period for fine dining in America. Enterprising chefs in major cities were breaking out of restrictive cooking histories: New York began to see fine-dining options that weren’t traditionally French, for example. In California, chefs took simple farm-fresh food and expanded it with ideas from Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

Consider Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s molten chocolate cake. It became famous all around the globe even though we had no internet and no Instagram to get its gooey heart to go viral. And yet, using old-fashioned methods such as word-of-mouth, it so penetrated the culture that it now feels as if it’s a dessert default. “That cake is on the menu at Applebee’s,” says Philadelphia restaurateur Peter Serpico. “People think that’s where the cake

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