MICHE­LIN STAR Leg­endary chef Thomas Keller of the French Laun­dry and Per Se talks trends, taste, and the joys of In-n-Out Burger.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Life -

Do you have any kitchen keep­sakes? I’m a lit­tle bit su­per­sti­tious. My pal­ette knife is re­ally im­por­tant to me, so are my pep­per mills. I bought two in Ger­many about 15 years ago and have never been able to find any­thing like them. What’s a re­cent food trend you’re in­ter­ested in? I’m more in­ter­ested in move­ments – things that be­gin with in­tegrity and that are go­ing to be with us for a long time. Over the past 35 years we’ve seen a move to­ward chefs owning and con­trol­ling restau­rants. It has changed Amer­ica’s culi­nary rep­u­ta­tion. You’re known for spot­ting tal­ent. What do you look for in a cook? Peo­ple talk about pas­sion, but to me it’s not about that – pas­sion ebbs and flows. What I look for is the de­sire to come to work ev­ery day and do a bet­ter job than yes­ter­day. What’s one meal that changed the way you thought about food? A meal I had at Michel Guérard’s in 1981. It was my first ex­pe­ri­ence in a three-star restau­rant. I thought, is that re­ally all it is? It didn’t blow my mind. And then I re­alised that I’d had one of the most per­fect meals of my life. What re­ally ru­ined it was my ex­pec­ta­tions. What was the last thing that ex­cited you about food? I get in­spired by our ingredients. Yes­ter­day I walked into the French Laun­dry and saw this abun­dance of Rainier and Bing cher­ries. It was like some­one had taken them off the tree and hand-pol­ished them; they were so shiny. Watch, Vacheron Con­stantin

Thomas Keller

“Per­fect bal­ance of acid and sweet.” Cho­co­late, Mast Broth­ers “Good for gluten-free di­ets.” Flour, Cup 4 Cup “My guilty plea­sure.” Burger, In-n- Out

A culi­nary mas­ter­piece

Bait

“El­e­gance and style.”

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