Our favourite chefs do have expensive tastebuds.
Mark Edwards, Nobu's executive chef, would love a bottomless bowl of Japanese sugar tomatoes, while Victor Garvey, head chef at tapas restaurant Bravas, at St Katharine Docks, pines for Spain's juicy Huevo de Toro tomatoes, which, alas, don't travel well.
Tim Allen of Kensington's Launceston Place is a fool for the rare delicacy Lardo de Colonnata, traditional pig fat cured with rosemary in marble basins in a Tuscan hamlet; taste a tiny slice of the high life for £12.50 from nifeislife.com.
Anna Hansen, head chef at Clerkenwell's The Modern Pantry, is just as picky. Her fancy for Perigord black winter truffle mustard can only be indulged during the upcoming truffle season: sign up quick for Maille's Truffle Mustard, £29 a pot, at maille.co.uk.
Left: Money can't buy the necessary ingredient for turning Carlcuccio's leftover wine into vinegar. Image: Laura Edwards/Pasta (Quadrille, £20).
Right: The Modern Pantry's head chef, Anna Hansen can only indulge her truffle habit during a very limited period of the year. Image: Danny Elwes.
Damien Leroux, head chef at Alain Ducasse's Rivea London in Knightsbridge, would like a constant supply of fresh green Sichuan pepper. The berries are only found in spring for a few short weeks.
In high demand, and short supply: Sichuan berries are only in season for a few short weeks
Fresh from a visit to a truffle farm in Canberra, Antonio Carluccio is a fool for a different kind of fungus, one that turns leftover wine into pure wine vinegar. Don't bother queueing at Waitrose for this: it's a fungus that is passed from family to family in Italy, down the generations, proving that there are some luxuries money simply can't buy.
For everyone else there's...
Home’s a smoking zone
Mike Denman, executive chef at Plum + Spilt Milk, King’s Cross, wants a home smoker (£149.99, bbq-barn.co.uk). “It means I don’t have to light an open fire on my balcony.”
A juicer would be heaven
Martin Morales of Peruvian restaurants Ceviche, Soho, and Andina, Shoreditch, says the Super Angel 5500 cold-pressed juicer (£845, energiseyourlife.com is “built like an ox, but shaped like a Peruvian beauty queen. All you gotta do is whistle.”
Martin Morales likes his kitchenware to be sturdy but beautiful. Image: Paul Winch-Furness.
Stay cool, Eric
Master pâtissier Eric “Cake Boy” Lanlard would like a Home Blast Chiller (from £1,529, fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk). “It saves so much time lost while waiting for my cakes to cool down before being decorated.”
Very cool: with a Home Blast Chiller, the Cake boy could make even more cakes. Image: Nick Holt.
Ice cream and sorbet maker
Andrew Turner, executive chef at Hotel Café Royal in Regent Street, would go for a Pacojet (from £2,550, cheftools.co.uk), to make ice cream and sorbet from frozen fruit and veg. “I could make all my ice creams and sauces in bulk and freeze them.”