Yet this year on opening day, rather than being one of the first through the doors, I sat home on my couch, feeling anything but inspired. Then my phone chimed the sound of a text coming through, a friend who always flies in for StarChefs.
Recently at Bouchon Beverly Hills, I had the pleasure to talk with Thomas Keller about his dessert book, Bouchon Bakery. Sébastien Rouxel, the book's co-author and the executive pastry chef of The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, joined the conversation.
"God is not interested in morality or family values or issues. ... God is interested in reckless, transforming, surprising, undeserved, eternal, unconditional, socially unacceptable love for all sons and daughters."
Last week was the International Association of Culinary Professionals conference in San Francisco. IACP is a culinary networking group started over 30 years ago by some of the world's greatest and most famous cooking teachers.
This past year training and representing my country as the Bocuse d'Or candidate has been one of the most exciting of my life. It fostered an enormous sense of pride and community at The Greenbrier, allowed me to grow as a person and a chef.
Chefs have an enormous power to make a difference, and they can do so without sacrificing flavor. If chefs ignore climate change, those oysters Thomas Keller and I both love will disappear from our warming oceans.
Eggs! Eight or nine eggs each day. It's the two-sided coin of owning 11 chickens. On one side, I'm thrilled to have fresh eggs always available. On the other, the stream of eggs is so steady at this time of the year, you can be swimming in them.
It's not Thomas Keller's responsibility to help save the planet (though many chefs have taken on this calling with great ambition). But focusing solely on the aesthetics and disclaiming any other responsibility altogether is a cop-out.