Ask the critic: How do I love thee...

Last week's Ask the Critic question about the worst food trends of the past decade morphed over into a formal list of the twenty worst crimes committed against cuisine since 2000 (or so).

This week, we're going in the other direction. This week, I'm all about the love and looking for things that happened in the food world that made you smile, made you hungry, made you thrilled that you were living in this most fortunate of decades.

Artisan ice cream? That's a good one.

Molecular gastronomy (and all of its geeky off-shoots) was another favorite.

And what about the 2000s being the decade when American cuisine really came into its own on the world stage, offering people more than just high fructose corn syrup, ham with pineapple rings and Riblets?

Post your mash notes, happy reminiscences and favorites hits of the decade below. And while we're at it, I'm also curious to know who you think might qualify as the single-most influential American chef of the decade. Not the best, mind you. Just the one white-hat who had the most deep and lasting impact on the American food scene.

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