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We Asked 3 Chefs to Name the Best Potato Chips, and They All Said the Same Thing

published Jun 20, 2024
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overhead shot of potato chips in a beige bowl
Credit: Alex Lepe

It may be safe to say that, at this point, we’ve reached peak potato chip. These days, there’s a type of potato chip to satisfy everyone’s individual taste buds, whether you gravitate toward a classic salted potato chip, a spicy chile-lime situation, or a chip that hits sweet and tangy notes. Personally, I’m a fan of international Lay’s — specifically the Mieng Kam Krob Ros chips from Thailand, which conjure the flavors of a popular Thai and Lao snack of betel leaves, ginger, garlic, lime, and peanuts. 

Credit: Alex Lepe

On the hunt to discover my next new favorite, I consulted chefs about the bags of chips they stock in their own homes — when they’re off the clock. With so many varieties of chips on the market, it was a challenge to find the one flavor among all the chefs I spoke with, but there was a common thread: Kettle Brand chips were a consistent favorite.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

The Best Store-Bought Potato Chips, According to Chefs

For Marguerite Bottorff, senior sous chef of restaurant associates at The Kennedy Center, the big crunch of Kettle’s Crinkle Cut Salt & Pepper chips is the gold standard. “They go with everything and have the exact perfect bite to satisfy all snacking and pairing needs,” she says.

In addition to snacking on Kettle chips straight from the bag, Bottorff says she adds them to sandwiches for extra crunch, dips them in chocolate and peanut butter for a salty-sweet treat, and, of course, tops them with crème fraîche and caviar for a classy snack.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

“I can never refuse a handful of Kettle chips,” confirms Diane Kochilas, Mediterranean cuisine expert and author of the New York Times bestseller The Ikaria Way

While potato chips are a sometimes snack, saved for special occasions, she hasn’t met a flavor of Kettle chips she doesn’t like, but adds, “the spicy Habanero Lime chips are divine. They’re crunchy without being oily and every crumb is bursting with flavor. I love the thickness and the relatively firm texture of these chips.”

Credit: Mara Weinraub

Chef Amando Auleley, on the other hand, likes chips so much he put them on the menu at The Smith Chicago. Those potato chips are made from scratch and paired with blue cheese fondue, but the chef says when it comes to his personal chip consumption, he prefers the simplicity of Kettle’s Sea Salt Potato Chips

“The perfect balance of salt and crunch highlights the natural taste of the potatoes without overpowering them, which I genuinely appreciate,” says Auleley. The chef likes his chips cozied up to a sandwich or with a tangy dip or creamy cheese.

Buy: Kettle Brand Sea Salt Kettle Chips, $3 for 7.5 ounces at Amazon

This article originally published on The Kitchn. See it there: We Asked 3 Chefs to Name the Best Potato Chips, and They All Said the Same Thing