Chef Thomas Keller’s On-Campus Demo
Chef Thomas Keller ’03 Hon., famed restaurateur and author, visited the new culinary arts demonstration kitchen in Jared S. Polis Auditorium in March, bringing star quality to a hall packed for the occasion. Before a gathering of 500 students and Colorado chefs, Keller demonstrated the sous vide method of cooking and storing food, then answered questions from the audience.
“One needs to be persistent, self-motivated, determined, and have desire — not passion,” Keller said, describing his own recipe for success. “Desire trumps passion every time. Constant desire is always pushing me forward.” The owner of eight eateries, including the French Laundry in California’s Napa Valley and Per Se in New York, Keller worked alongside Providence alumnus Charles Bililies ’02, manager of Keller’s Yountville restaurant, Bouchon. Acclaimed pastry chef, Keegan Gerhard of D Bar Desserts and the Food Network, was also on hand to hear what Keller had to say to students.
“He stayed true to the art of cooking,” said Karl Guggenmos ’93, ’02 M.B.A., university dean of culinary arts, praising Keller’s dedication to his craft. This was Keller’s second visit to the campus to demonstrate his award-winning methods for students. Since he received an honorary degree from JWU, Keller says he considers himself an alumnus of the university.