What is Thomas Keller's approach to seasonal cooking?
My grandmother and my grandmother’s generation were always about farm-to-table, there was always that connection with the market and where the food came from. It was that generation after World War II where convenience foods—fast foods—started to make inroads into the consumer’s diets and basically because both parents were out in the workforce, and they had to feed their children differently or feed their families in more convenient ways. Now we start to return back to that. There was a significant time in my career—and that was in 1979—when I was first introduced to a chef named Jean-Louis Palladin in Washington, D.C. who had a restaurant called Jean-Louis at the Watergate. He had just come over from France and he was amazed that there was not that connection—that there weren’t those relationships with chefs and farmers—and he went out to discover the farms again right around Washington, D.C. That was something that was inspiring to me and was also obvious and natural—chefs should have relationships with where their food comes from, with the individuals who are growing them (farmers, fishers, foragers). I think that’s kind of when we started to rethink what we did. And of course, the recognition of chefs and cuisine in America again started to really unfold at that time and we started to realize how important the chefs were in the food and the significance that chefs play on what’s available to the consumer. So, it’s not that far away from the generations that were raised with that farm-to-table kind of scenario.