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Camila's Online Learning Reflection: Thomas Keller

by Camila Arias

In Chef Keller’s online series, he speaks about all the tools and cookware that he will be using and describes, in depth, what each tool does. I very much enjoyed the part where he explains why each tool is built and the specific purpose they serve in the kitchen. It helped me gain deep perspective into why we can’t just use a universal pan for every single dish. He talks about how a pan has different metals bonded to it to help with conductivity or how hot a pan will get and how quickly. He explained why some pans have rolled edges or why some have different shapes to help with heat conductivity.

Chef spoke about the importance of local ingredients and how no one actually has defined what “local” is in terms of distance. He defined it by saying local means quality food, which to him means ingredients grown or raised by people who care no matter the distance. Local, he says, is about ethical growth and sustainability. He emphasized the importance of knowing where your food comes from.

Chef Keller explained many techniques through his series- from peeling to poaching and everything in between. He shared different tips and tricks for peeling ingredients like asparagus or artichokes. I am always particularly interested in seeing different approaches on how to poach an egg. During my time at ICC, I was shown how to use a strainer to remove the loose whites. Chef Keller used an innovative technique involving water and it was so fun to watch. Chef Keller was an informative teacher and offered wise and thoughtful tips throughout the entire series. One thing in particular that he said stuck with me. Chef had just made a mistake in the kitchen and said that we shouldn’t let one mistake set us back from creating something beautiful.

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