Stellar Visitors Educate Future Chefs

Thomas Keller 230x160A star-studded lineup visited campus recently, starting with heavy hitter, Chef Thomas Keller ’03 Hon., restaurateur and author. Students were in awe of the culinary rock star who spoke as Distinguished Visiting Guest Lecturer. Executive chef and owner of The French Laundry, Keller demonstrated sous vide, a professional cooking technique using immersion circulators and vacuum machines, and discussed his latest book. Keller’s advice to students: “It’s about a team. It’s not one person who makes a success. You need a tripod of support… Try to be a little better than the day before.”

Next up was Distinguished Visiting Chef (DVC) Amy Scherber, who launched Amy’s Bread in New York City, with only five employees. She now oversees a staff of 150, two production kitchens and three retail cafés. While cutting dough, Scherber told students, “Quality, day to day… consistency is everything. With so many different employees, something can change.”

Addressing students most recently was the man with the bow tie — and not Charlotte President Arthur Gallagher — Farmer Lee Jones. The co-owner of The Chef’s Garden in Ohio, he teamed up with Aaron Deal ’06 to discuss sustainability and using local ingredients. Jones has been featured in Bon Appetit, Cooking Light and on “The Martha Stewart Show.” In 2003, Jones opened The Culinary Vegetable Institute, a culinary retreat and learning facility.