World Chefs: Trailblazing chef takes a look back in latest book

Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:05am EST
 
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chef, restaurateur and television personality Hubert Keller is known for his modern approach to French cuisine, but in his third book he casts a backward glance over his peripatetic culinary history.

The 120 recipes in "Souvenirs: Memories, Stories, and Recipes from My Life," trace Keller's journey from his Alsatian childhood, through his haute cuisine training in France, to his innovative restaurants in San Francisco, Las Vegas, and St. Louis.

"Almost every recipe has a story," said Keller, 58, who is a James Beard award-winner and a familiar television presence on cooking shows.

Q: Why did you write this book?

A: "To retrace my career, starting with the foundation. It's about myself, where I grew up, how I became a chef and the different stages I went through."

Q: Did you always want to be a chef?

A: "I started at 16. In France you usually start at 14, so I had a late start. My parents had a pastry shop and we grew up living above it. The whole house was filled with the smell of the croissants baking downstairs so I wanted to be a pastry chef, that's natural. When you live in the neighborhood of a baker you smell the bread."

Q: Why is your cuisine considered modern French?   Continued...

 
Chef Hubert Keller, author of "Souvenirs: Memories, Stories, and Recipes from My Life", is shown in a 2011 file handout photo taken in Las Vegas, Nevada. Chef, restaurateur and television personality Keller is known for his modern approach to French cuisine, but in his third book he casts a backward glance over his peripatetic culinary history. REUTERS/Eric Wolfinger/Handout