Sean Brock, Husk (Charleston, SC)
A southern-food aficionado, Brock swears by the "tough as nails" pans from Lodge, a 118-year-old Tennessee foundry. They have a preseasoned coating that means proteins won't stick.
Try this: Bake corn bread in a preheated cast-iron pan greased with bacon fat. [$37; lodgemfg.com]