A while back, we unleashed our favorite food-based hypothetical question on the world: the Four Foods Game. My best friend, Chloe Searcy, and I invented this game in college, and now we're bringing it back. The basic idea is that you have to choose the four ingredients that you'd cook with for the rest of your life, in a post-apocalyptic scenario. The full rules are below.
Last time, we had a group of Huffington Post staffers -- mostly on the Taste team -- give their answers. This time, we've asked famous, talented chefs from around the country to play. The chefs' answers were quite different from ours. They were less likely to choose foods that could be eaten directly out of hand, and more likely to pick ones that require cooking -- probably because they love spending many hours in the kitchen every day! The most obvious example of this difference: lemons. Not a single HuffPost staffer included them in their selection -- but seven of the 13 chefs we polled for this post did. Chefs, it seems, understand the versatility of the fruit, and the importance of acid in balanced flavors.
Before we dive into the chefs' answers, a reminder on the rules (which are the same as the last time we played): The world has ended. Everything's destroyed. Gone forever. The only thing left is you -- and the mansion, apartment, shack or house you live in right now. It's pretty sad.
But this apocalypse has a silver lining: Somehow you have a magic refrigerator. This brilliant genius of an appliance holds a constant supply of salt, pepper, oil, flour and sugar -- and whatever four other foods you choose.
You can't choose just anything, though. Your four foods have to be simple ingredients, not composed dishes. Lettuce, not Caesar salad. Ground beef, not Chef Boyardee Beefaroni. Cream cheese, not the New York Cheesecake from Ruby Tuesday. Also, you can be vaguely concerned with health, but you don't need to fret if your four foods don't contain the daily recommended amount of selenium. It's the apocalypse -- you should treat yo'self.
One last thing: You'll get the same four foods for the rest of your life. So you should choose foods that you can combine into enough different dishes to keep you satisfied for the next several decades. Be ambitious! You'll have plenty of time to cook now that your office is a pile of rubble.
On to the chefs' answers! If you'd like to play as well, leave your ideal four foods of the apocalypse in the comments.