They may have highly sophisticated palates, but when it comes to Halloween candy, famous chefs are just like us. Read on to find out which candies Cat Cora, David Burke, and more top chefs loved getting in their loot bags when they were kids — and which ones they couldn't wait to trade away.
1. Cat Cora
"My absolute favorite Halloween candy was Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I wouldn't even wait to get home and empty my bucket of treats before I would devour those little cups of yumminess. When I eat my peanut butter cups, I eat the chocolate around the edges first, then I pop the whole center into my mouth and savor it. This was and still is my favorite candy of all time. The only difference is that now I put them in the freezer and buy as many as I want!
I thought Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses were nasty when I was younger. At the time, they were like Halloween rocks wrapped in orange and black wrappers. However, I now have a whole new appreciation for those peanut butter treats, especially since peanut butter is one of my favorite pleasures." —Chef and TV personality Cat Cora of Ocean by Cat Cora, Cat Cora's Kitchen, and many more
2. Rick Moonen
“Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are one of my favorite candies. Peanut butter is my secret addiction — I make my own peanut butter now. I used to love Smarties. I can’t eat them anymore because they’re full of sugar. My brother and I used to fight over them as kids on Halloween.
I hate candy corn, especially the pumpkin-shaped kind — I think it tastes like wax. When I was a kid, it was the last thing that people would trade in their Halloween hauls.” —Chef Rick Moonen, Chef/Owner of Rick Moonen’s rm seafood and Rx Boiler Room and Top Chef Masters cheftestant
3. David Burke
“My favorite candy was Mary Janes, which are peanut butter and molasses flavored. I used to fold them into my ice cream when I was a kid. I also still love anything chocolate, like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Milky Way bars.
[My least favorite candy was] Good & Plenty licorice candy. I hated them and the advertising campaign they used to run where they would shake the box. I just couldn’t stand the noise it would make.” —Chef David Burke, Executive Chef of Tavern62 by David Burke and Top Chef Masters cheftestant
4. Leah Cohen
"My favorite Halloween candy was either mini Snickers or mini Kit Kats. To this day, I still like the minis because it makes me feel like less of a fat ass eating the minis. It also satisfies my candy and chocolate cravings, especially during Halloween time when I eat a lot more candy than normal.
The candy I hated getting and still don't like is candy corn. Nothing about it is good. I prefer to indulge in chocolates over pure sugar." —Chef Leah Cohen, co-owner and chef of Lower East Side’s Pig and Khao and Jersey City’s Piggyback Bar and former Top Chef cheftestant
5. Adam Richman
"I would say probably [my favorite candies were] something like mini Baby Ruth chocolate bars or mini Kit Kats. An honorable mention goes to individual Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
Why? Because they are awesome, individually wrapped, which meant mom was OK with them to some extent, and they are delicious chocolate bars — hello!"
Good & Plenty and anything that had that weird black licorice flavor, like black Jujubes, are pretty disgusting. Gumdrops sucked too, and I don't think anybody liked the lady who gave fruit." —TV personality, culinary traveler, cook and author Adam Richman
6. Charlie Palmer
"As a kid and even still as an adult, I absolutely hate candy corn — I think it tastes like wax. I loved Reese's Peanut Butter Cups but would get so mad when I would go trick or treating because my neighbors never gave any way. They were a highly sought-after candy." —Chef Charlie Palmer of Aureole, Charlie Palmer Steak, and many more
7. Ray Lampe
"I’ve always been a peanut butter and chocolate lover, so my favorite Halloween candy was and still is a peanut butter cup. Don’t bring out a fake one — I want the real thing from Reese’s. The bite-sized one is fine, but if you really want to make my day, toss in a full-size version.
The worst thing anyone could ever put in my trick-or-treat bag was the dreaded popcorn ball. It was a bunch of stale popcorn somehow glued together into a ball and wrapped in plastic. Possibly homemade but not in a good way. I don’t think I ever actually ate one because the whole idea just grossed me out.” —TV personality, author, and barbecue expert Dr. BBQ, aka Ray Lampe
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