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