Some eat to live, but it's a fair assumption that most chefs live to eat, so it's hardly surprising that most have given some thought to what their last meal on Earth would be. Or, at the very least, they can come up with an answer on the fly. We caught up with the likes of Giada De Laurentiis, Thomas Keller, Michael Chiarello, and Masaharu Morimoto to find out their answers to this crucial question — watch the video to hear their (often surprising) answers!
Chef Thomas Keller is a man of detail. At this very moment, he's braising a lamb shank, and his focus is on making sure everything — from the marble counter to the Miele stove top to the All-Clad Essential Pan — is spotless, wiping down any sauce splatters meticulously with a blue striped Turkish towel.
No, he's not working dinner service at Per Se or The French Laundry, his two three-Michelin-starred restaurants, although he just as well could be. Instead, he (along with Devin Knell, chef de cuisine of Keller's restaurant group) is hosting Williams-Sonoma's first-ever webcast, broadcasting live from the retail company's brand-new, state-of-the-art test kitchen. The two are making braised lamb à la matignon, with shanks sourced from Keith Martin's Pure Bred Lamb in Waynesburg, PA.
No doubt ingredients and sourcing are a crucial part of the equation, something the chef emphasizes to his viewers at home. But just as important is execution, an essential to good cooking that involves several elements. "One of them is skill," he tells the webcast. "But execution also has to do with our tools: a great cutting board, a wonderful set of sharp knives, things that we need to be able to cook. Then our equipment: making sure our ovens are calibrated successfully."
The Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival drew the likes of Thomas Keller, Masaharu Morimoto, Curtis Stone, Giada De Laurentiis, Michael Chiarello, Scott Conant, and numerous other culinary masterminds. We tracked down these talented chefs on the red carpet to find out what new, exciting projects they're working on.
Grant Achatz and Tom Colicchio both used to work for the great Thomas Keller, so when the three chefs reconvened at the new Chefs Club over this past weekend's Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, it was just a gathering of great chefs, but also a reunion of sorts.
The three chefs — Achatz of Chicago hot spot Alinea, Colicchio of Top Chef and Craft fame, and Keller of French Laundry — were at the event for a panel discussion hosted by Food & Wine editor in chief Dana Cowin, where the four discussed everything from the state of the restaurant industry to the future of fine dining to what's next for each of them.
- On his ticketed dining concept, Next: "I wanted to turn the idea of a restaurant inside out."
- On the state of the restaurant industry: "All these [new restaurant concepts] are coming in, but fine dining is not going out."
- On creativity: "Could you imagine what we could do if we didn't have to serve people?"
To see more thoughts from three great chefs, keep reading.
- Michael Symon reveals details about his role on The Chew.
- Michael Symon reveals details about his role on The Chew. — Food Republic
- Backstage with the James Beard Awards winners. — The Feast NY
- Why junk food is okay for kids to eat. — Huffington Post Food
- A brief history of food blogs. — Saveur
- Must make: strawberry campari tart. — Serious Eats
- The James Beard Foundation has announced a special scholarship program for immigrants. — Eater
- How one husband quietly took over the kitchen. — CNN Living
- A candid Q&A with über chef Thomas Keller. — Grub Street NY
But when it comes to American classics, sometimes the simplest renditions of food favorites can be the best. Take this grilled cheese: it's a favorite creation of renowned chef Thomas Keller. Yes, that's right — the food industry's yoda prefers his GC with old-fashioned cheddar and swiss and a couple Lay's for texture. “The potato chips add crunch and a little bit of salt,” Keller told Men's Health. Fussy and froufrou? We think not. For chef Keller's ultimate version, read more.
Despite high hopes that the New York chefs would do better than the previous American team, who finished sixth in 2009, Kent and Allan failed to place once again and came in with a disappointing 10th overall.
The gold medal went to Denmark with Nordic countries Sweden and Norway coming in second and third. Considering that Denmark's Noma was named best restaurant in the world, it's no surprise that the chefs from Northern Europe blew the competition out of the water.
- Packaged chicken is more likely to give you salmonella than fresh chicken.
- Packaged chicken is more likely to give you salmonella than fresh chicken. — The Telegraph
- An inside look at America's team at the Bocuse d'Or. — Eater
- The newest Iron Chef, Marc Forgione, has lost his first battle in kitchen stadium. — The Feast NY
- New coffee words you should learn in 2011. — Esquire
- Natives of Vermont will get real maple syrup in their McDonald's oatmeal. — The Consumerist
- Speaking of McDonald's, as its profit increases, so will its prices. — The New York Times
- DiGiorno has released new packaging that combines pizza with cookies and wings. — Huffington Post Food
- Thomas Keller is planning a pop-up restaurant to open at London's Harrods. — Big Hospitality
- Grant Achatz's memoir is now on sale for preorder. — Grant Achatz Memoir
- Good news: alcohol doesn't actually kill brain cells! — The Atlantic
- Find out how long Sherry lasts.
- Find out how long Sherry lasts. — Alcademics
- Details from Le Fooding, a culinary battle between chefs from New York City and San Francisco. — Grub Street SF
- Learn how to make gyoza. — Serious Eats
- A sugar crawl through San Francisco with Top Chef: Just Desserts's Tim Nugent. — Endless Simmer
- Thomas Keller on the importance of the Bocuse d'Or. — Feast
- 17 recipes that will help you celebrate Oktoberfest. — Chow
- Q and A with Grant Achatz. — The Epi-Log
- Meet the Vegetable Express, a new way to sell produce. — The Atlantic
- An inside look at René Redzepi's cookbook, NOMA. — Eater
While Keller demonstrated the versatility of sweet onion tapenade, cured lemons, and mushroom conserva, he revealed his sense of humor when he spoke about being in the first group of Best New Chefs 22 years ago, preparing a lobster dish that was served in a resident's home. "After 600 lobsters, I'm sure that home was never the same again," he joked. The chef also offered plenty of useful advice. To check it out, keep reading.