Today’s podcast is about “awareness” in the kitchen, the importance of which was taught to me by Thomas Keller, below. A lot of people today talk about “mindfulness,” which was so odd to me I usually asked the speaker to define it specifically. I think a better word for it is awareness, which is what mindfulness, I think, means. Awareness: all senses open. And as we cook with all our senses, awareness is perhaps the most important thing to talk about when we talk about cooking.
In the below photo Keller is The Elder at the side of the pass in The French Laundry Kitchen. Notice the hearth at the back, and the amazing ventilated ceiling (no exhaust hoods, amazing).
And “the elder” is a term of great respect, Chef.
The non-chef expert is a knitter, Kay Gardiner, former United States attorney, now co-conspirator in the daily online magazine Mason Dixon Knitting (and I suspect pretty good cook). I’d asked her to be on the show because I knew from my knitter wife, Ann Hood, that calm and awareness were a part of knitting, but I didn’t know how many connections she’d make between knitting and cooking.
One of my goals has been to connect cooking to other parts of our world, to show how cooking connects us. Kay shows how.
And we listen in on Corey Chow, top, expediting service during the meat courses of a meal at per se.
Oh, and here’s a link to those famous Robuchon potatoes Kay spoke of. Good photo montage of the late great chef.