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."