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Watch Thomas Keller and Corey Lee Discuss the State of American Cooking

Mimi Sheraton served as moderator.

Writer Mimi Sheraton recently sat down with chefs Thomas Keller (French Laundry, Per Se) and Corey Lee (Benu) to talk about the state of "American" cooking at the 92Y in New York City. Sheraton raises the point that often, no matter where you dine, the plates at most higher-end restaurants have a similar look. Benu points out that yes, "there is some homogeneity in how food looks at restaurants," but that "it has always been that way": "The world is a lot smaller now and chefs are interacting much more than before, it's only natural that they will influence each other."

The trio then discuss the impact of nouvelle cuisine — a style of cooking that emerged in France in the 1960s —on modern cooking. Keller notes that without it, Lee and himself would probably not have the recognition that they have today: "What nouvelle cuisine really did for us was that it released the chefs, and gave us the opportunity to get out of the kitchen, and gave us recognition." Go, watch.

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