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Today we’ll do complete Thomas Keller Masterclass Review. Masterclass is a program where world-renowned professionals in a field reveal their secret sauce in an elaborate class and these can be in areas such as sports, academia, and lifestyle.
An introduction to your new cooking coach – Thomas Keller Masterclass Review
Thomas Keller is an American chef, restaurateur, and cookbook writer. He founded The French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, California, which won multiple awards from the James Beard Foundation.
The restaurant consistently wins the list of the Top 50 Restaurants of the World. He has won three stars from the Michellin Guide for his restaurant Per Se, three for The French Laundry, and one for Bouchon.
WELCOME TO THOMAS KELLER’S COOKING MASTERCLASS
Keller teaches ways to sauté, pan, oven roast, braise, fry, grill, and select the best cut of meat which are used in his restaurant. He also reveals the right way to make the stocks and sauces which are essentials in his restaurant kitchens. These nonveg dishes are necessary for chefs in most parts of the world but is also a fantastic skill to have for family dinners and cooking for guests at home.
Thomas Keller Masterclass Review– LESSON PLANS
Keller’s online coaching has 22 classes which detail the various culinary techniques and process which are used in his kitchen. Time and temperature are really crucial to cooking but techniques and process used to make a meal can make a huge difference. Keller teaches every technique used in his restaurant to create delicious salivating meals.
Keller’s coaching program has fourteen classes on sauteing, braising, and grilling meat. He specifies sauteing and braising techniques for chicken, pork, and duck. Here are the classes:
Sauteing Meat – The Keller Way!
Sauteing is a method of cooking that uses a small amount of oil in a pan and heats the pan at a high temperature which is commonly used for cooking meat. The sauteing of meat is done by deglazing the pan’s residue to make a sauce.
Meat is the core ingredient in a nonveg dish. It is different from vegetarian ingredients because it requires marinating with the right flavors for the right time to make it delicious. Keller teaches the right way to saute, pan, roast, braise, and grill meat.
Meat should be cooked well with enough flavors for sauces to have a useful effect as it cannot make up for poorly cooked food. It has to be cooked in such a way so it becomes easily digestible but satisfies the taste buds.
Braising is a combination cooking method that uses sauteing at high temperatures and cooking at low temperatures. It involves the mixing of food and liquid.
Class 1: Introduction
Keller is back for another Masterclass program with new techniques straight from his restaurant kitchens on how to cook meat, adorn it with sauces and stocks to make an amazing meal. His philosophy lies in understanding and enjoying the techniques and processes used to cook food, as does the time and temperature employed for properly cooked food stated in cooking manuals.
Class 2: Getting Started: Meat Cuts and Quality
Meat cuts have grades that can vary for beef, pork, and poultry. Keller teaches students the difference between choice and prime, marbling, the purpose of air-drying meat, wet aging, and dry aging.
Prime and choice are orders of grades of meat, from highest to not as high but still quality meat. Marbling shows the fat found in a cut of meat between muscle fibers. A high-quality steak has lots of marbling and a lean cut has less marbling.
Meat is dried in warm air which is the oldest form of meat preservation. Dry aging consists of hanging pieces of meat in the open air at just above freezing temperature for the enzymes to break down tissues to make it tender.
Wet aging consists of vacuum-sealed meat where aging takes place over the course of meat transit from supply to market. Keller goes in-depth into these topics as they form the basis to check for the quality of meat and quality is everything.
Class 3: Sauté: Chicken Paillard
Keller teaches students his paillard technique for sauteing chicken through a light dish finished with a saute. The technique is for making thin cuts of chicken for the saute to make it more effectively reach the inside of the chicken by pounding the protein.
Class 4: Sauté: Wiener Schnitzel
Keller uses veal top round to teach his students techniques for achieving an airy, crispy layer of breading. It can be used to make tasty cutlets with a fine layer of breading on top to provide a crisp flavor. He also tells them what way to achieve the right seasoning and provides a delicious flavor to the meat.
Class 5: Fried Chicken
Keller teaches students how to make fried chicken served at his restaurant. He focuses on the right chicken cut and brines the chicken to fry the chicken piece.
Brining chicken makes it soft and flavourful. It is required to have the right brine for the chicken. Frying properly requires an understanding of temperature and time it would take cooking the chicken.
Class 6: Technique: Oven Roasting Overview
Keller provides an overview of the meats which students roast in the next three classes, which are three cuts of beef, two cuts of lamb, and a chicken. He teaches how to calibrate the oven and the requirement to bring proteins to the right temperature to properly roast.
Class 7: Pan Roasting: Duck Breast
Keller teaches students his pan-roasting technique for Pekin duck breast, such as how to render the fat for crispy skin and achieve the perfect medium-rare finish. He also teaches how to make a honey-orange gastrique sauce for a sweet and sour finish.
Class 8: Pan Roasting: Côte de Bœuf
Keller considers côte de bœuf, or rib steak, as a celebratory dish, built for sharing. It is beef ripped from the ribs of cattle. It can have rib bones attached and removed. Keller teaches students how to air-dry, truss, and roast a rib steak, and how to make a maître d’hôtel butter for the flourish.
Class 9: Oven Roasting: Chicken
Keller describes oven-roasted chicken as his first choice for his “last meal.” Keller teaches students how to roast chicken in an oven. Keller explains the benefits of bringing and air-drying and teaches ways on how to truss and roast a chicken in a single pot with vegetables. Air drying is used for meat preservation.
Class 10: Oven Roasting: Blowtorch Prime Rib Roast
The main ingredient is a rib roast achieved by a propane blowtorch. Keller’s technique for a prime rib roast which is the best rib roast cooked to an even medium rare in every slice makes for a very delicious heavy meal.
Class 11: Technique: Braising and Braising à la Matignon
Keller teaches students the principles of braising and the role of mirepoix, marinating, and Matignon in making cuts of meat flavourful and salivating.
Mirepoix is a flavor base for the meat made from diced vegetables. Matignon is a mirepoix where vegetables are mixed rather than diced. Keller delves deep into the principles behind the preparation of flavor bases for the braising process.
Class 12: Braising: Pork Shoulder à la Matignon
Processes on how to truss, sear, and oven-braise a pork shoulder à la Matignon with celery root, apples, and onions in a traditional cast-iron cocotte are described here.
Class 13: Braising: Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
Keller teaches students how to braise short ribs through a slow-cooked recipe which requires some patience but its well worth the time it takes to cook. The process which describes how to make a red wine marinade, clarify it to become the base of the sauce, and reduce to a finishing glaze is used for short ribs.
Class 14: Grilling on a Hibachi: Steak, Lamb Chops, and Chicken
Keller teaches students his techniques for grilling a variety of proteins on a stovetop hibachi. Choosing the right fuel and maintaining safety while grilling indoors is a priority for cooks.
Stocks and Sauces
Stock is a liquid flavoring base for sauces. Meat stocks are prepared by simmering meat in water. Mirepoix and Matignon are added for flavor. Keller teaches how to make the best meat stocks. Keller’s coaching has three classes on stocks. Here are the classes:
Class 15: Stocks, Broths, and Jus: An Overview
Stocks are a key feature in Keller’s restaurants. Keller teaches students stock-making fundamentals, ingredients, and techniques employed to make stocks and broader applications of stocks in various dishes.
Class 16: Roasted Veal Stock
Keller teaches how to make a restaurant-quality veal stock with a pressure cooker which becomes the base of sauces and recipes, including Brown Chicken Quick Sauce which he teaches on how to prepare in another class.
Class 17: Light Chicken Stock
Keller teaches steps to prepare light chicken stock through simmering, clarifying, straining, and storing the light chicken stock. It’s used to cook pasta and as a base for soups and sauces in his restaurant.
Sauces are liquid and semisolid additives to provide flavor to food but aren’t part of the cooked meal itself but added inside of it and on top of it. They are vital for providing distinct flavors to the meat and enhancing the taste of meat.
Keller’s coaching has four classes on sauces and a closing class with some parting wisdom. Here are the classes:
Class 18: Sauces: An Overview
Keller reads through the definition of a sauce and provides an overview of some of the most common French sauces used in his kitchens with their pair of protein.
Class 19: Vinaigrette, Emulsified Vinaigrette, Sauce Vierge, and Pickled Chow Chow Vinaigrette
Keller teaches how to make a variety of sauces such as basic oil-and-vinegar vinaigrette; a creamy vinaigrette, emulsified with a raw egg yolk and mustard; a sauce Vierge; and a chow-chow vinaigrette, from vegetables. Vegetables used are chopped and pickled before making the sauce.
Class 20: Chicken Velouté and Sauces Suprême, Allemande, and Albufera
Using the light chicken stock Keller teaches preparation techniques to make velouté. He uses veloute to make three more versatile sauces.
Class 21: Brown Chicken Quick Sauce and Sauce Chasseur
Keller developed this sauce when he developed The French Laundry. Keller teaches how to build flavor by browning chicken parts, caramelizing vegetables, repeatedly glazing and reglazing, reducing, and clarifying.
Class 22: Closing
Keller concludes his coaching classes and reminds students to be patient and practice the techniques he teaches and come up with their own ways from what they have learned with the course.
THOMAS KELLER’S MASTERCLASS – AT A GLANCE
This is one of the longest courses available on masterclass.com, at 6 + hours, so you get a lot for your cash. But the completion of all the videos is well worth it. Thomas Keller’s approach is to teach people methods rather than knowing how to prepare particular recipes. He empowers his students so that whatever they want they can cook.
When you apply what he teaches, regardless of what recipe you are following you can get outstanding results. That was definitely the case for me. Keller has taken my knowledge of eggs and how to use them to a whole new level, for instance, and I am now sure that I can make and use my own pasta.
An easy to navigate cooking course!
With such a wide course, it is really important to be able to easily navigate the videos. I wanted to go back several times and revisit some of the advice and techniques. You’ll want to do the same, in all probability.
Fortunately, the video player at masterclass.com is intuitive and easy to use. It bookmarks each video. This makes it much simpler when you want to remind yourself of something to find and re-watch the related section.
This is actually quite interesting for this course. Unfortunately, the workbook is not perfect. They contain all of the ingredients and are easy to follow. But, unlike some of the other chefs at masterclass.com, inside the workbook, Thomas does not have any additional direction.
The videos contain most of his valuable tips and advice, so it’s crucial that they’re easy to follow.
Things you get to learn here!
I have briefly listed the subjects he covers below. For some subjects, he provides 2 or 3 videos, while for others it is just one.
- Kitchen set up – the tools you need and how to choose the right ones along with a shortlist of essential ingredients
- Sourcing ingredients – Keller explains how he sources high-quality ingredients
- Big-Pot Blanching – this cooking technique is demonstrated using beautiful fresh asparagus
- Glazing – for this section, Thomas shows you how to glaze carrots
- Braising – Thomas demonstrates this cooking technique by cooking artichokes
- Pureeing – the creamiest puree potatoes you have ever seen and tasty pureed parsnips
- Pickling – if you want to capture the seasonal flavors of vegetables, learning how to pickle is essential
- Confit – how to adapt this traditional way of preserving meat to vegetables
- Roasting vegetables – learn how to pan roast zucchini
- Baking vegetables – surprisingly not potatoes, this class is all about baking beets
- Eggs – these videos cover egg-based sauces, meringue, how to make perfect scrambled, poached, boiled eggs, omelets, and much more besides.
- Pasta – how to make the perfect dough create 5 beautiful pasta and gnocchi dishes
- The six disciplines of success – the six things you need to do to be able to create beautiful food every time.
Kitchen equipment you would need
This was, overall, a very beneficial part of the course. Thomas goes into considerable detail. He teaches you, for instance, how to pick the right knives and describes 3 different methods of sharpening them. For home cooks and chefs alike, a knife is a necessary necessity!
So, why not get the one that’s right? You can find the perfect knife to cut just about everything with this Cangshan 6-piece kit!
The cookware segment of the videos of the kitchen setup was initially, however, a little confusing. He seemed to be suggesting a big range of pans for you to purchase. But I realized, once I stopped and listened, that he did not advise amateur chefs to purchase every single thing.
He only wanted to ensure that his students had a complete understanding of what was available and how each pot and pan could be used. I’ll be able to make a much more educated decision next time I go shopping for new cookware.
Sourcing ingredients by Thomas Keller
I was pretty disappointed with his video of sourcing ingredients, to be honest. In fact, all he did was clarify the distinction between local, organic, and sustainable produce. It was more about his theory of food than helping you purchase items of good quality.
Glazing carrots and braising artichokes
Glazed vegetables look and taste great, but it isn’t easy to master this technique. To deliver the result you are seeking, you have to get the proportions of the water and sugar just right. Thomas Keller demonstrates exactly how to do it, in a simple and easy to follow format.
Glazed carrots’ complex sweet taste is a perfect way to convert someone to a person who loves eating vegetables.
I love mashed potatoes, and I thought I knew how to make them. That’s until I saw them being prepared by Thomas. It’s a masterclass, actually.
How much butter and cream he manages to add would amaze you. But, unfortunately, for me, the resulting beautiful dish is too high in calories, so I was very pleased that he showed how to make mashed potatoes as well.
Roasting and baking vegetables the Thomas Keller way
I did not learn much from this portion of the course as someone who has been cooking for 40 plus years. But, it is apparent from the comments posted by other users that many students have done so.
Interestingly, I picked up a good roasting tip here, but it was one that was posted in the comments by another student.
That is one of the best things about taking courses on Masterclass.com. You will have access to an engaging group of other students, regardless of the course you take. To make it very easy to get any questions you have answered, the website, feedback, and office hours facility merge.
A masterclass in cooking eggs
You cannot beat eggs. They are one of the most healthy foods around for your calories. I love them, and it is evident that Thomas Keller is also a major fan of them. Actually, I’d go as far as to suggest he’s passionate about them. He knows how to get the best out of them, really.
Keller shows you how to make all of the classic egg dishes over the course of 9 videos. This includes mayonnaise, creme Anglaise (custard), meringue, hollandaise sauce, and beautiful omelets. Oddly, when he creates an omelet, he uses an oven as well as a pan.
I tried it and loved the texture that it made, so it’s worth trying out on your own. Keep an eye out for his fantastic tip for making clarified butter when you do this segment.
Making great fresh pasta dishes
This is the part of the course that I enjoyed the most, as a huge fan of pasta and gnocchi. Clearly, it’s also something Keller loves. He takes you through the creation of the perfect dough, then uses it to make 6 typical pasta dishes. Everything is very fast and simple to make with fresh ingredients.
Since learning how to make Agnolotti, I haven’t looked back. This is the best pasta to use if you want dishes that are saucy. It catches and keeps the sauce close somehow, which means each mouthful is as tasty as the last one.
Masterclass dessert recipes: lemon tart with a pine-nut crust
Ever since the 1980s, Chef Keller has been making lemon tarts for his clients. It’s, predictably, still a favorite. A nice twist on this classic recipe is the pine nut crust, one that I will definitely try, particularly since the dough can be frozen so easily.
Also fascinating is his pastry-making process for this crust. It’s a technique I’ve never seen before, very straightforward, but very effective. It’s also a good thing that you don’t have to roll it out, and the way he uses the glass to get the seal right is also wise.
Pan Roasting: Monkfish Tail With Beurre Rouge
I adore monkfish. It is one of those fish that is strong and very meaty in flesh and lends itself to roasting extremely well. One of my favorites is monkfish. I haven’t been offered a chance to try this dish yet. But, next time I have friends around for dinner, I’ll certainly try to cook it.
It was an especially good tip from Thomas to buy a tail that is consistent in size. As was his suggestion, when removing it after cooking, to truss it gently, so as not to hurt the meat.
Chef Keller begins by showing you the best way to make a sauce with butter. This is a beautifully versatile sauce that can be used to make dishes of all kinds feel that little bit unique. I liked the way he demonstrated how to use various herbs and spices to fit your main ingredient perfectly with the flavors.
Baking: Salt-Baked Branzino with Fennel and Red Pepper Vinaigrette
If a whole fish encased in salt has never been roasted, then you just have to. It is the best way to taste any fish’s true flavor. I liked the way he describes how to tell whether you’ve got enough egg whites in your salt to give your fish an airtight cover.
His poetic description makes remembering this excellent cooking tip super simple. This is just one example of why such a good teacher is Thomas Keller.
Looks like the red pepper vinaigrette will be something special, too. However, I would love to see how he managed to reduce the red pepper juice. I doubt very much that I would be able to purchase it at any of the stores near me.
Butter-Poached Lobster with Macaroni and Cheese
This special dish is a classic from Thomas Keller. At his award-winning Michelin star restaurant, The French Laundry, it is one of the most famous.
But I have to admit that the first time I saw it, I balked a little. The thought of marrying such an expensive luxury ingredient with macaroni cheese like a lobster just seemed to be bonkers. So, just how attractive the finished dish looks, I was shocked.
The fact that he cooks the lobsters while they are still alive was the one thing I struggled with while watching this video. This is, of course, exactly what happens when you order lobster at a restaurant, so I don’t know why it upset me so much. But, yes, it was enough to make me feel like you had to be made conscious, too.
Oven roasting seafood: shrimp scampi
This amazing, but very easy-to-cook shellfish recipe is one Thomas learned from Joseph, his older brother. It would make a beautiful starter, really.
It is a dish that you can cook in advance and then refrigerate quickly. You will then only need to slip it into the oven when your guests have arrived while you enjoy a pre-dinner drink with them.
Thomas Keller’s apple pie with a lard crust
My favorite of Thomas Keller’s dessert masterclass recipes was this one, by far. My Nan made a terrific apple pie on a plate, the old-fashioned way.
The entire family enjoyed it and, to no avail, most of us spent several hours trying to replicate it. But, when I made a lard crust for Chef Keller, I got the closest I’ve ever managed. It tasted very similar to my pie crust at Nan’s.
But the filling, unfortunately, was not to my taste. So, I will be using my usual recipe next time I make it. I will probably add vanilla, though, as Thomas did. The creative way he makes the attractive lattice pie cover, you will love it. His rolling technique for pastry is fantastic too. The conventional solution is nowhere near as messy.
Here are the cooking techniques that you can pick up when you watch this video of the Thomas Keller recipe:
- A clever way to roll out any pastry
- How to get your pastry into the dish without stretching or stressing it
- How to use a bake-stone for your blind bake
- An easy way to get your baking beans out of the pastry case
- A clever way to give the apple pie filling an interesting texture
- How to make sure your pie holds its shape when cut
- Using egg whites to give your pie an even sweet finish
Thomas Keller’s Masterclass workbook
The list of recipes is impressive. But, there’s no stopping Thomas Keller. There are at least a dozen more recipes in his excellent workbook. Mostly side dishes, which are perfect because you can use these to add interest to the food for your friends and family that you typically prepare.
In short, enough recipes to encourage you to cook unique dishes for several weeks for your family. Stuff such as:
- Braised greens
- Maitre d’hotel butter
- Horseradish Cream
- Mashed potato
- German potato salad
- Pickled red onions
- Arugula Salad
The other nice thing about the workbook of Thomas Keller is that it is structured very well. The ingredients, for example, are all listed in the order in which you would use them.
Plus, to cook each meal, there is a list of the equipment you would need to pull together. I really enjoy the timelines, which are a nice way to keep on track and coordinated.
How much does Keller’s Masterclass cost?
Keller’s coaching program is available as a one-time purchase for ₹7,775 with just his classes included in the Single Pass.
They can also be bought for ₹15,550 per annum in a subscription service which includes access to other masterclasses, which consists of the previous Keller programs. Subscription service provides more benefits while Single Pass is a more affordable option for those just wanting Keller’s classes.
Why do I love Thomas Keller’s Masterclass?
That’s a pretty long course. Not as long as it was his first, but it’s still pretty detailed. This is because he goes into a great deal of detail when Thomas Keller lectures, which is a very good thing for this subject.
I’ve never cooked anything like braised short ribs before, for instance, so I needed every tip for that recipe he packed into the 40-minute video.
He covers what you need to know when he teaches you a recipe or cooking process. Thomas takes the time to illustrate how, before cooking, to store, trim or dress the meat, as well as how to serve it.
A VALUE FOR MONEY Cooking Course
This is a really good cooking course overall. It would be possible for even very experienced chefs to learn a lot from Thomas Keller. This 6-hour plus 35 video course offers you a lot of data for $90. I have undoubtedly gained immensely from taking a step back and studying or re-learning some of Thomas Keller’s fundamentals.
Speed up the learning process
If you’re a little put off by the course’s duration, don’t be. You can skip the intro and watch most of them at 1.5 or double velocity quickly. Plus, it is very simple to dip in and out of them as masterclass.com courses are laid out. You can learn a lot in a very small period of time by using them.
It’s a format I like very much, which is why I purchased the masterclass.com all-access pass as I said earlier. This made it possible for me to take all the culinary classes, as well as the improv, acting, sports, and life skills that I was often involved in.
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