Imagine being stuck on a desert island. OK, now imagine that on this desert island, you're given unlimited food, but it has to be one single dish, forever. For Homer Simpson, it's clearly donuts (in hell). For me, it's falafel. What's the one dish you'll never get sick of?
We asked a group of America's best chefs, and they testified that it's everything from gumbo to pizza to roasted chicken -- at the very least, reading this will give you some inspiration for what to make for dinner tonight. Unless you're stranded on an island. In which case: coconuts and sand it is!
"I could eat bacon every day and never get sick of it. If I have to commit to a dish (I'm told 'bacon' is not a complete dish, although I beg to differ), I could take down a classic BLT every single day and never be upset about it. Delicious, thick-cut, smoky, crispy bacon, a juicy tomato slice, and lettuce leaves on Texas toast with mayo -- that's just about the best thing imaginable. It can be consumed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I could even add an egg once in a while to add another dimension for breakfast. I think I know what I'm having for lunch now." -- Hosea Rosenberg, Blackbelly Market (Boulder, CO)
"A dish I could never get sick of eating every day is gumbo. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a good bowl of chicken andouille or seafood gumbo." -- Emeril Lagasse, Delmonico Steakhouse (Las Vegas, NV)
"I love roasted chicken. I could eat poulet rôti with pommes frites, super-green spinach, tomatoes Provençal, and lots of garlic cloves every day. I would have the leftovers with a lot of roasted vegetables en salade at lunch." -- Daniel Boulud, db Brasserie (Las Vegas, NV)
"Oddly enough, I'd have to say tuna salad with dill pickles and peperoncini. It's my go-to any time of day, snack or meal. Something about the slightly fishy flavor of the tuna combining with the brininess of the pickle and tart spice of the peperoncini hits the spot for me. In fact, I had that at 8am today for breakfast." -- Sean Olnowich, Bounce Sporting Club (New York, NY)
"It is one of the great gems of India and it imposes its will on your taste buds like the Sword of Damocles hanging above your head." -- Justin Cucci, Ophelia's Electric Soapbox (Denver, CO)
"Cobia tartare from chef Alex Chang. It is right across the street and I eat it three to four times a week. It's so well done that I could never get sick of it." -- John Kunkel, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar (Miami, FL)
"I love a really good homemade ravioli dish. It was one of my favorite dishes growing up and it's still my favorite dish today -- with a glass of cabernet of course!" -- Fabio Viviani, Bar Siena (Chicago, IL)
Braised pork shoulder
"My dad used to make a braised pork shoulder with kabocha squash, long beans, and a fair amount of fish sauce. It's a dish from the Northern Philippines. My dad used to grow the produce that he used for this dish in our backyard, so every time I eat it I'm reminded of working in the garden with him." -- Michael Neflas, BOA Steakhouse (Santa Monica, CA)
"Nabe is a Japanese hot-pot vegetable and meat dish that is a staple at our house every winter. It's typically cooked on a portable gas range right at the table and is fun for parties. The dish starts off by adding vegetables and mushrooms and cooking them through. The beauty of nabe is that you can add anything you want, and you can use an off-the-rack soup base from a Japanese market. Our favorite base is a spicy kimchee flavor.
"We usually cook sliced daikon, cabbage, Japanese mushrooms, and whatever else we might have on hand. The daikon, in particular, is delicious in this context. When the vegetables are ready, everyone can dig in, and, at the same time, start the meat portion of the dish. Usually thinly sliced pork loin is cooked shabu shabu-style, and is eaten right away after a few seconds in the boiling soup. If you finish all the vegetables, you can keep adding them as long as you want to keep eating. In the meantime, there's no rush to get through the nabe. It's a social and conversational dish to be shared among friends or family." -- Hiroko Nakamura, Shiba Ramen (Emeryville, CA)
"The love that goes into making oxtail -- these braised gifts from the culinary gods -- is epic. The meat is rich with flavor and leaves you with a Chapstick-like gloss on your lips. I could certainly enjoy oxtail every day and never get sick of it. To prepare it, I simply pan sear and slowly braise with mirepoix, tomato paste, red wine, port wine, and a bouquet of herbs." -- Micah Waltz, Andiron Steak & Sea (Las Vegas, NV)
"I could never, ever get sick of a solid bánh mì. Spicy. Herbaceous. Crunchy. Salty. The perfect meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner." -- Jason Dady, Two Bros BBQ Market (San Antonio, TX)
Cacio e pepe
"Cacio e pepe is one of my favorite comfort foods. Growing up in an Italian immigrant family, I'm used to having at least a side dish of pasta every day. When I get a bowl of perfect cacio e pepe, I'd have no problem eating that every day!" -- Michael Ferraro, Delicatessen (New York, NY)
"Pizza is something I can never get sick of, and do eat almost every day! Pizza can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is delicious any time of year. In the winter, I enjoy a heartier pizza topped with meat, such as spicy soppressata, and I love to grill pizzas in the summer. My favorite grilled pizza is one with clams for a fun, flavorful twist. It’s the perfect summer entertaining dish." -- Laurent Tourondel, L'Amico (New York, NY)
"I'd have escovitch fish with rice & beans. This is a dish I grew up on; the flavors remind me of home and instantly transport me back to Jamaica." -- Cardel Reid, The Signature Room (Chicago, IL)
Cantonese steamed fish
"I could eat Cantonese steamed fish with choy sum and white rice and never get sick of it! When I lived in Hong Kong, I practically ate that dish every day. So fresh, awesome flavors. It's light, clean, pretty healthy with great texture, and it's so easy to make! I'm going to go make one right now! -- Troy Guard, Lucky Cat (Denver, CO)
Tubatini pasta with lentils
"The No. 1 dish I can eat every day and never get sick of is tubatini pasta with lentils. Cook down the lentils with carrots, celery, onion, garlic, tomato, and fresh herbs until soft and tender with chicken stock. Then cook the pasta al dente and toss together with the lentil 'porridge.' Add some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, red chili flakes, and extra-virgin olive oil on top -- it's like a taste of heaven in every spoonful. It has been my favorite dish for over 50 years -- it reminds me of my childhood and has all good memories. The flavors are intense, but the dish is so light it can be eaten anytime for lunch, dinner, late night, or whenever!" -- Ralph Scamardella, LAVO (Las Vegas, NV)
"With a nearly endless combination of meats, seafood, and vegetables, plus toppings and different salsas, you could eat them for a year and not have the same one twice. Throw in different regional styles from Mexico, and they are even more exciting." -- Russell Shearer, JW Marriott (Chicago, IL)
"I can (and do) eat cheese daily -- sometimes it's a slice of my son's aged cheddar, other times it's gourmet, stinky French cheese, or small-batch-crafted Cowgirl Creamery from Point Reyes, CA. My love of cheese means I invariably eat it in many forms -- from hot dishes to soup, salad, and desserts. My go-to simple, daily dish is grilled cheese. I start with some great bread and use almost any kind of cheese. Considering all the different varieties of bread and cheese, I don't know how I could ever get sick of something this good!" -- Kim Canteenwalla, Honey Salt (Las Vegas, NV)
"I never get tired of eating cheeseburgers. It doesn't matter if I make them or if I go out with my son Wyett to eat them. Five Guys is one of my favorite burgers as well as the Vortex in Atlanta, the home of the Cardiac Burger. I eat probably three burgers a week! Not Cardiac Burgers though -- I might have cardiac arrest if I did that!" -- Garrett Pittler, City Winery (Nashville, TN)
"Larb is a dish from Laos. I never tire of eating this combination of rice, lime juice, fish sauce, padaek, raw onion, and cilantro with ground meat. I worked with a Laotian cook when I was in Las Vegas; he made a version for family meal with rabbit scrap, and my mouth always salivates when I think about it!" -- Chris Starkus, Urban Farmer (Portland, OR)
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.