Iron Chef champ, Blue Ginger star-chef and East-West guru Ming Tsai broke it down. “If you can take anything from this demo," he said, "It should be, ‘Taste, taste, taste.’” Later, Charlie Trotter added his own echo: “To be a great chef, maybe you can filet a fish, prep a goat, read cookbooks, but if you don’t taste, you’re nothing."
Here's a video look at a handful of the other lessons, direct from Pebble Beach Food & Wine's dynamite chef demos:
Trotter actually shared three—on basil, tasting and wine pairing at home—as he fielded a trio of questions from the crowd to decide who would get to taste the deliciousness he was crafting in the swanky Jenn Air-equipped stage.
A day earlier, Tsai talked about the importance of good cutlery in the kitchen...
...and how to look stylish opening a screw cap (where it's tough to match the theater of a cork, especially if it's a spendy bottle).
Elsewhere Jacques Pepin, on stage with his daughter Claudine doing a caviar cooking demo, was awarded a huge bottle of double-triple-secret reserve Cristal by Gregory Roederer (with an assist from local product and event co-founder David Bernahl) as part of the first lifetime achievement honor Pebble Beach Food & Wine has bestowed.
And the worthy one himself, Thomas Keller, snuck in one of his favorite reminders: salt and pepper are not equals. One does magical things, the other, not so much, just to be clear.