One of the things that drove me bitter in my second gig at the Greatest Newspaper on the Planet at Least in Its Own Estimation was the frustration of, metaphorically, trying to make stellar soup out of wilted carrots. At best we could get the turkeys off the ground. It was impossible to make them fly. So I especially enjoyed a fellow refugee’s recent instigation of a debate on which is more important: spectacular ingredients or mad-wise kitchen skills. Obviously, you can guess my answer. Even Thomas Keller could not turn Perdue chicken into L’Ami Louis’ juicy roast. Or rancid buckwheat into shining gold leaf.