05/18/2012 10:51 am ET | Updated Jul 18, 2012

Thomas Keller on Role Models and Respecting the Product

Our weekly series At the Chef's Table examines how the giants of food got to where they are today.

This week we share Part 2 of our interview with Thomas Keller, the chef and owner of The French Laundry and Per Se. Keller discusses his first role model, Roland Henin, who taught him the basics of French cooking and planted the seeds of the importance of mentorship. He also details the effect of first butchering an animal, and how it was integral in his appreciation and respect for the products he uses.