Chocolate came out on top of the list of the most used ingredients in an analysis of two and three-star menus in the UK.
The research was done by ingredient specialists Sous Chef to uncover the most used ingredients and techniques in the kitchens of the best restaurants in the UK.
Chocolate appeared on 80% of Michelin star menus as the king of ingredients with caviar and potato on equal footing in second place with 72%. The versatile lemon came in third place with a presence on 64% of menus.
For the top tier of three-star restaurants, the expected foie gras, lobster and caviar were ever-present on 100%, but surprising the luxury ingredients were accompanied at the top of the list by the more humble sweetcorn, hazelnut, mushroom and celeriac. Hazelnut and walnut also appeared on 100% of all three Michelin star menus.
Seasonal ingredients in the three-star category were represented by pumpkin, chestnut, Jerusalem artichoke and blackcurrant.
Surprisingly no red meat made it onto the list in the three-star category, except for veal, but poultry makes and appearance with chicken and duck on the menu. When you move down a tier to the two-star menus, you can find beef and pork.
The difference between two and three-star menus becomes apparent when you look at techniques employed in the kitchens. Three-star restaurants tend to use more French technique such as confits, purees, and jus.
Smoking came out overall as the most employed technique across all Michelin star menus, used as a description in 68% of menus. Pickling was the second most common technique at 52%. Two-star restaurants also employ French techniques but also lean heavily on smoking, roasting and pickling.
The 20 most used ingredients in the UK's 2 and 3 Michelin star restaurants
The most used techniques in the UK's two and three Michelin star restaurants
6. Ice cream
For the full list and a breakdown of two and three-star restaurants click here