When I asked Thomas Keller what inspired this classic summer meal, he laughed. “You asked me to come up with it!” he replied. “I don’t cook at home, so I have to imagine things.” What he and his chef de cuisine, Jonathan Benno, imagined is a meal built around classics given a highly personal twist: Shrimp served with a granité, bursting with the flavor of tomatoes, olives, and tarragon; tuna slow-cooked to retain its translucent succulence; ice cream lifted to a gourmand’s delight with almond sablé while still giving a kid-worthy thrill. “I have never created or invented anything,” he says with self-deprecating modesty. “I am only inspired by things.” Well, inspiration suffuses this elegant, satisfying summer repast, the easy-seeming work of an American master.
MENU FOR SIX
“Chips and Dip”: Fingerling Potato Chips and “Green Goddess” Dipping Sauce
“Shrimp Cocktail”: Poached Ruby-Red Shrimp with Heirloom-Tomato Granité and Niçoise-Olive “Syrup”