When you're traveling, you can't really buy much. You can't bring fresh fruit home from Japan, or put lobsters from Barcelona in your carry-on. But still, I go to markets because I get a real sense of a city's culture and community; I bond with the vendors, talking about food, our shared interests in sustainability—and I get ideas. When I was starting out as a cook, I spent a couple of months working in France. One day I visited Rungis, an enormous wholesale market just outside Paris. Browsing its hundreds of stalls, I came upon a vendor selling fresh chamomile. I'd never thought about using chamomile in my cooking before, but just seeing it there inspired me to buy it. I took it back to the kitchen and sprinkled the slightly bitter sprigs over slices of baked halibut, then added some lemon zest and marinated mushrooms. It was amazing. From that point on, I decided to focus less on proteins, letting meat become more of a backdrop for fresh, seasonal produce.