Watch our continuing cooking summer season with Michelin 3-Star Chef Dominque Crenn and her Sous Chef Jean-Christophe Bourguignon as they share some of her favorite French dishes.
This presentation will be hosted until Friday, October 9th.
Read below for a full transcript of the conversation.
Video: Five-Year-Old Dominique was playing in her mother's vegetable patch in Brittany. When the Fox appeared. Good morning, Dominique thought it only polite to reply good morning as well, but she could not find the Fox. Hey, I'm here under the tomato plant. Little Dominique found the Fox nibbling on one of her mother's tomatoes, (child inaudible). So here we are not eating. We are communing with nature. What is communing the child asks. The Fox explained that communion is having a deep conversation with someone or something. Well, so what do you taste when you bite into this red tomato? I taste a tomato the child responds. No, you taste the sunshine that shone down on the leaves of this plant, you taste the fresh hair in this flowery garden, you test the refreshing rain that fell onto the clean soil below your feet and you taste the seeds that were lovingly planted right hear by your family you taste nature, you taste a part of the earth that was well taken care of. But can they hear you taking? The child asks. When you say something kind to someone they smile, when you say something hurtful, they cry. When you are good to the earth, it gives you delicious tomatoes and fruits and vegetables. When you are bad to it, the conversation stops. The beautiful things in this garden, are here because we have had kind conversation, with this part of the planet. Little Dominique has never forgotten the lesson she learned that day. She is still communing with nature every day and urges you to do the same.
Gaye Erkan - Good afternoon and good evening. I am Gaye Erkan, President of First Republic. On behalf of First Republic, I'm delighted to welcome you today to our Taste of Summer cooking series. This is the final event in our series, and I must say we have saved the best for last. It is my pleasure to introduce our guest star today, Chef Dominique Crenn. You’re honored, that chef Dominique is a client and a friend of First Republic. We were delighted that she appeared in our 2017 annual report. Her digital image continues to grace our branches and our offices across the country. In 2011 chef Dominique opened Atelier Crenn in San Francisco where her unique artistry has earned her the distinction as the first, and still the only female chef in the United States to be awarded three Michelin stars. As you enjoyed in our lovely illustrated video Le Petit Chef, as we started this webinar from an early age, growing up outside of Paris and spending weekends and holidays in Brittany, Chef Dominique forged a close connection to the natural world. Communing with nature and understanding the words that earth was sharing with us through the food. It grows, she continues to integrate this love of nature into all her dishes, making a dining experience at Atelier Crenn is truly a work of art for all the senses. Chef Dominique is also a writer and a cookbook author. Her most recent book Rebel Chef was named one of the best books of the year by Amazon in 2020. It is a deeply personal memoir that shares her story of making a place for herself in the kitchen and in the world. During these recent times, she has made her place in the world, not only as one of the most celebrated chefs, of our generation, but as an activist, speaking out against injustice and discrimination. She's also playing a role in addressing the enormous impact of the pandemic on the restaurant industry and the major changes that will inevitably happen when it's over. Chef Dominique says, we knew our job was to bring food to others. This shows the humanity and caring, but it can't just happen during the pandemic. It needs to happen every day. We have an incredible opportunity. Food should never divide people. It should bring people together. And we are so fortunate that she has brought us together through her creativity and inspiration to enjoy a meal prepared by a true artist and a hero to so many, both inside and outside the restaurant industry. Again, thank you so much chef Dominique for sharing your talent and your vision with us today and thank you to all of our guests for joining us in this one of a kind culinary delight, Bon Appetit.
Chef Dominique Crenn - Hello, hello, everyone, bonjour! This is Jean-Christophe Bourguignon. It’s just such a pleasure to be here with you guys. First of all I have to say that I love First Republic and I've been a client or member for my business and on a personal level. This is and I'm not going to say that because you guys are watching, but this is probably the best bank and the best experience I ever had. I mean, you guys are just so nice and so thoughtful and have always listened to my needs. I just, I just love it. I don't see. I mean, I'm French and I think this is the best, it’s the best bank. Anyway. So today we're going to do a taste of the summer and we're going to do couple of things, but we're going to start with the (inaudible) of vegetable. So (inaudible) is a very popular dish and my mom used to make that once a week, but she used to use meat. Today we are going to use vegetables because we love vegetables. We have done it through the pandemic and we have served the dishes also to the medical workers and they love it. I think this is this is a beautiful dish to make at home it is delicious and the key to this dish it's about buying the best vegetable out there. So if you have a time, you know, just go to the farmer's market, and get everything you need. So it's very simple. There's not a lot of different produce. So we have a little bit of onion that we literally (inaudible). (Inaudible) means that you cut it very small, a cube. Little cubes from the garden that we have we have a beautiful farm up in Sonoma where we grow everything. Mostly it, everything is organic. Biodynamic is delicious. Tomato (inaudible). So the way that we did the (inaudible), you take your potato, you push them for about, you know, two seconds. You make a little incision first in the top of a tomato, and then you take them out, put them through water, and then you start to peel the outer layer, which is the skin. Then you cut them, you take the meat out of the tomato, and then you do a bit of (inaudible). Yeah, it’s an interesting word, but it's very simple. Then we get the florets of the broccoli, which we took little pieces from the broccoli and we blanched them very fast in salt water. And that's it. And then a potato also, you peel the potato you put them in water and I put always a little bit of salt to it and that's it. So the first things that we do, you get a pan hot, always make sure you get a pan hot and then, the most important things when you cook, make sure that you are organized and then you have your ingredient the way that you're going to cook them, make sure that you do clean where you are working, this is always clean and not messy so you can work perfectly. Alright, so we are to get the pan hot. Here we are going to use olive oil, it's been made at the farm. We have two olive trees so this is the second batch. You can use anything you want. You can use a greasy oil, if you want. I'm not a Canola oil kind of person because there are a lot of problem with the canola oil. I don't think this is the best, but whatever you think you, you like to use, you can use anything, but we use olive oil that can work very well. And the first things we're going to do, we going to cook the onions first and then the carrots. So the key on this, you don't want to burn the onions, you using the technique about sweating, sweating, union cooking very slowly. So, voila! First you want to, you want to cook the onions first because opening up the union cook them, and otherwise it’s too raw it’s not good. So what are you looking for? It needs to be a little bit of a, it needs to be translucent, you know, but you don't want any color. Just translucent white. Okay. So that's the thing. I think we are one to two minutes, and then you take your beautiful carrots. Okay. So when you cook in the pans, make sure you always use a spatula, but don't try to mix it with something that is like a stainless thing. It's not good for the pan. He's making some noise. So you really want to sweat it, sweat it, sweat it so everything is cooked. It’s delicious it is a little bit crunchy, but this is up to you right now. Maybe another minute or two then after you want to, you want to add the tomatoes and then the florets. Okay. So what you have here it's very easy. Also is delicious. You can do that with your kids. What you have here, will be the bottom of the (inaudible). So you have a beautiful broccoli, which is very good for you. You have onion that's going to give you a little bit of sweetness and aroma. The carrots are good for your skin. I love carrots. And then tomato with a lot of umami inside. So it's like the four ingredient and you don't need any meat. Those four ingredients can make it very delicious. So while you do that, (inaudible) cooked the potato, it's very simple. So take your potato, peel them, cut them and put them in hot water, take them out, shake them and then mix them in the mixture. And what do you want to do? You're going to, you're going to have next to it, a little bit of a butter that has been melted with a little bit of crème fresh, and then you mix it so it can fit the way you like. Hmm delicious.
Questioner – Chef? What kind of potatoes are you using today?
Chef Crenn - We used Russet potatoes. You also can use I would say you can use the Yukon Golds. They're going to give it a bit more I think less starchy, but I think the russet potato is the best to use, to do mashed potato. And you can find that anywhere. Any, I think any market, I think it's pretty popular here. In France we use a, a potato called a (inaudible) potato, which is a little bit small, it's just like it, it should just come together, it is starchier, it is delicious. And that's how we do mashed potatoes. So every potato is really different. Those little red potatoes are better to sauté. Russet are better to make purees and then also the Yukon gold is good for puree also for confit, confit potato in butter. So, so what we want to do is after you cook this, you put this in the bottom of your pan, see it’s all about vegetable, right? And this is something that, which is great. You can do it like a party of 10 the next day. And then you can do this the day before and already prep it the day before. Which is delicious, and, you know, you will have better time to do other things, so first, we're going to smoke the crème fresh. So this is a little trick that you can do at home. You take a deep pan, a deep pant that can sustain heat, a little bit of aluminum put some sheets, some smoking sheets, and it's kind of the old way. Bring that to the fire and yeah, you can put a pan on top with holes in. So what we do is we take the pan, and then we add the crème fresh and you let that sit like that for 20 minutes and cover it. And you're going to have smoky crème fresh that is delicious. So after this, you want to put the potato on top.
Questioner - Chef?
Chef Crenn – Oui?
Questioner – Were the carrots minced or where they cut and raw?
Chef Crenn - The carrots minced, means they are peeled and cut, very, very tiny. Tiny, tiny we say this is, you know, it's like square pieces, but very, very title. Once again, you know, it's very important when you, cook with vegetable that everything is (inaudible). You don't want a bigger carrot then a smaller carrot. You don't want a bigger piece of broccoli than a smaller piece next to it. Everything is the same size because when you eat, everything is almost the same and it's delicious in you in your mouth. So, so when you do this you, you take a layer of mashed potato and make sure that you put it on top and then (inaudible) is a dish that is like a mince and is going to go to give over. It’s going to be a little on top and the way you do the gratin, what we love to do is to use beautiful cheese. You can use a (inaudible), you can use an extra, and it’s a hard cheese. (Inaudible) cheese is amazing. Also make sure that the cheese is delicious and great quality. I would not recommend this with any American cheese not to be, you know, I'm not trying to be, I'm trying to be kind here, but the problem is the American cheese that you find you know, it's not really, it's, you know, you want to use, you want something that melts. (Inaudible) cheese, Suisse, a hard Beaumont, a Beaufort is a great cheese that I love to use from the Alpine region. Some people will add some, a crumble of toasted bread, but we don't do that because we want this to be gluten free. Then so we just put in nicely and then, and then we put it in the oven. You want to put that in the oven?
Questioner 2 – Chef? We have a question. The crème fresh, how much did you use and was that mixed with the potatoes?
Chef Crenn - No, no. See, this is, I'm sorry. This is for the tomato.
Jean-Christophe Bourguignon - It's just because of the time of the recipe, we have to smoke the crème fresh right now because the (inaudible) is going to cook. We're going to plate, and then cook the tomato dish. And that's why we have to do the crème fresh now.
Chef Crenn - Yes, I'm sorry. Sorry for the confusion. So the crème fresh was for the second dish. I'm so sorry. I'm like trying to like, organize, forget about it, but like, yeah. It's not hard to put it. Yeah.
Questioner 2 - And how much crème fresh did you use?
Chef Crenn - I mean, this is for, I mean, I don't know, maybe one ounce, two ounces of fresh for the it's for the tomato. The next course you have, you have butter and milk. That's all you have. So you, you get you better. You met you better, you put a little bit of milk, and you want that up. And then when you get to the mixer, you put the potato in, then you mix it slowly with the warm butter milk that you add it slowly and then need a bit of salt and pepper. If you want, which you could use a little crème fresh also, if you want, it's delicious also like, so I am sorry for the confusion here. We all make mistakes and I just say you want to show them how it looks like? I'm going to get the one that is done and this is, this is how you're gratin is. Like how beautiful is this? Okay. And so the beauty of, of this whiskey also, if you don't want to, use vegetables, you can add lobster if you want? Like I said earlier, you could add meat. You can add also different type of vegetable. If you don't like broccoli, you can add cauliflower, I don't know, if you don’t like cauliflower, but if you want like pretty flower, you can add, I don't know, collard greens, if you don't like collard greens. So it's the very best if you can make sure that your best is onion, tomato and, and shallot. And from that, you can add anything you want, make sure you use seasonal vegetable all the time. So this is what is in the gratin and then at the end what I like to do is I go to the garden and I just love to add a little bit of Time. It just gives you a little bit of a bitterness against the fattiness of the (inaudible) and then it's, it's really ready to eat. Everybody loves (inaudible) it's yummy, it’s warm, it’s delicious, it’s beautiful. It smells good. And then, you know, who doesn't want potato and cheese? So that's what it is.
Questioner - Can you make this dish vegan?
Chef Crenn - Yes. You can make the dish vegan. So the way that you will do it is Davies for the potato. There is a lot of vegan cheese out there. If you don't want and vegan cheese and vegan butter, if you don't want to use that you might want to do also the mashed potato with a little bit of Olive oil which is also delicious. But I would say to get the crispiness also and the melting, you know what I mean? There's a lot of vegan cheese out there that are delicious. One of my favorite is I think it's I'm trying to remember the name. I can find the name, but it's, there's a lot of great product out there that that is that we use. Matter of fact, we made that version vegan. When we shipped, we did a, a vegan menu or three courses, vegan menu that we ship all over the United States, especially Los Angeles and that was a part of the package and everything was vegan. So if you want us, we can also send you a recipe that is totally vegan that can help whoever wants, because everything is major and then I could help him. So, so yes, you can make this vegan.
Questioner 1 - Thanks. And then what temperature did you cook this and for how long?
Chef Crenn - You, you, so remember, you already cooked the potato is already cooked already. So in the oven, I would say three 375 to three 395 for, I would say about 10, 10 minutes, 10, 15 minutes, but make sure the oven is very hard when you put that in. And then if you make this the day before and then the day after you want to cook it in the oven you take it out of the fridge, you let it temp, and then you put it in the over, never cook something that comes directly from your fridge to the oven, you always have to temp or to bring the temperature to the regular temperature, then you can cook it. So tomato, tomato is it's my favorite vegetable, but also tomato is classified as being a fruit. So you can use tomato two way savory or sweet, which is a delicious. My mom used to do two types of tomato, the tomato salad she used to make amazing this is kind of aggression that we're going to have right now. She also, you know, take the tomato, take the top out, take the meat out and make like a fussy inside and cook in the oven. So that was very savory. And then she also did that in a very sweet way, where she confit the tomato with a lot of some sugar and then some herbs and then she made the syrup of a tomatoes and then it would be, it's also a delicious dessert. I think we can serve that with the vanilla ice cream or sorbet if you want, if you totally vegan. And it's a great idea to, to do also, vegan desert like that. So, so what do you want to do make sure you get the best tomato out there? Right now they are, they are in season. Buy locally again, go to the farmer market, talk to the farmer. And then it's just asked him, ask him, you know, which tomato is sweeter than the other one, you know it's really the plants on your test. So we put a little bit of olive oil. I like to put a little bit of salt, the salt for second only to help the water of the tomato to come out. And it's going to be a part of the dressing. It's very it's very (inaudible). This is one of my favorite products that I use in the kitchen. How do you call that?
Chef Bourguignon – (inaudible)
Chef Crenn - It's called (inaudible). That is made with (inaudible) the dry (inaudible) so, yes, it's not vegan, but it's delicious. And it's very, as like a salty is for me, it's better than fish sauce. So if you ever want to try something different than a fish sauce then go to a Japanese market online and buy something called (inaudible) it just changes the taste and bring a different layer to the dish every time you use it. So if you bring that to the equation, you know, there is (inaudible). It's just a disclaimer because I'm obsessed with it. So you see here, we marinade it first and then we let the juice come out. And then after they marinade, we moved the two middle parts to another plate so it's not messy. And when we are done with this, you have got your tomato, you have your baby tomato that has been confit in olive oil, and I can show you here. So you want to confit at a very low temperature. I will say 220, a little bit of Time, garlic, little bit of shallot, mix them together and put them in the oven very slowly. You can, that we take about, I would say 20 minutes, and 20 to 30 I love confit tomato is delicious. What you can do also with that is, you can do that and keep them in the olive oil. And so when they get cold, it gets fat. And it's something that you can keep for. I would say, a month, two months, three months, this is delicious. And then then we have other tomato here. So what we did, we poached them. And then we took the skin out and we did a mixture of a lemon, (inaudible) and olive oil, a touch of vinegar, because it's very important when you cook, you are to have the nuances of test and the way that I look at things, I look at things like the weather. I look at life, all the layers of life, sweetness, bitterness, happiness something good for the layer of the mouth. When you test the juice, it's just delicious. And then something that needs to kind of awake the back of your jaw is like, when you when you drink a good, a glass of wine, this is how you need to learn. When you like cook, you have got to taste 20, always, always, oh yeah, this is good. Or you might need more acidity, more salt. So, so this is, this is a very interesting, so this we can, I don't know, you can even marinade it for 12 hours, delicious. So it will be a part of the dish. So what we have here, we have three different, three different types of tomato, and so three different texture. We finish it with herbs because it's so very important when you cook, you always have to balance the dish, maybe with something that can clean your palate and you see the herbs helped you to do that. And then we have little flowers from the farm.
Questioner 2 - What are some of the herbs that you're adding to the dish?
Chef Bourguignon - So today, just because like the farmer, they vary, we have some, just the baby crest is the green one. This is the brewer flower. And I have some baser and we never used like, as the same, it just like, depends where it's come from the farm. And like, what do we have today? Because like, we don’t really want to be like, upset about with type of flour. We always test and feel like, what is, what is fine today? What we have in the garden, because like it has, the same plant and same herbs and things flower is it doesn't make sense because like, we need to turn around and have decision so we cannot just like use.
Chef Crenn - You know, what's important, what (inaudible) is trying to explain is that tomato that's enough to be the conventional, you know a match with, oh, I’ve got tomato so I have to use basil. No, Tomato is delicious on its own. And you got to find your herbs that are in season tomato goes well with any herbs, tarragon, time, parsley. I love to tomato and mint. If you want something a little bit more, maybe, kind of a grainy, you can also use some Sage with that. This is delicious. So it's very versatile. What did it teach you that you, you can, you can really create your own dish the way you want it, but make sure it's always seasonal. If it's not in season, do not cook with it. That is my thing. And then finally we have the beautiful crème fresh so the reason why we picked crème fresh with it, because we want to add an ingredient of fat. You have a lot of acidity to this to this dish the herbs going to help you to clean your palette. And the tomato is very acid and the rest so the fat always helps you to balance the dish, anything fat. So that's why we like to do this. So we use the plot like this. I mean, tomato and smoke, crème fresh is the bomb. I love it. And then once again, if you are vegan and you want, you can use fat. So what I've done before is make a crème of avocado, I smoke the avocado and then make a cream with it. Add a little bit of olive oil, lemon and all that. And I put that on top. It's delicious also. So that's, that's the beautiful tomato, and you see there is not too, too much dressing. It's not moving around a lot.
Questioner 1 – Chef, can you substitute Burrata cheese?
Chef Crenn - I didn't use Burrata cheese, but you can use that too. If you are Italian. I love it. It's delicious too with Beretta, you know, but this is crème fresh. Yeah, you can use that. So once again, you can use this with Italian cheese. Burrata is delicious. You can also, if you don't want to do a cream, you can also add a little a little bit of, Parmigiano which is also delicious. It could be very nice. If you don't like how milk you can use goat, goat cheese is delicious with tomato. Sheep milk also, I love sheep milk, or, you know, just very simple. You can also add some fruit to it, goes very well with tomato. Actually, right now we do a (inaudible) and tomato, which is delicious. Strawberry is an amazing ingredient that matches perfectly with the tomato and you know, you can go and be creative, how you want. So remember when you do a recipe, I think I, I tell people often to about the recipe being the best and then get inspired from that, and then just create your own. I think this is the best.
Questioner 2 - And Chef, are these tomatoes from your own garden or were they purchased from a local farmer?
Chef Crenn - Thank you for asking that, we have an amazing garden right now. And we have about, I would say six row of tomatoes and maybe more than that. I think it's seven or eight and yes, they're coming from my own yard and so very excited. The tomatoes right now are very sweet. We do the sweet one, the baby one. Then we have the zebra, which is a little bit bigger. We get the red tomatoes like this, it just arrived. That's just right today, this yellow tomato. So it's less sweet, but it's like, the texture is delicious. This is a, the tomato that is, you can find out that the farmer market, but I will you know, for tomatoes specifically, it's a seasonal thing. I will invite you to really go to the farmer market and talk to farmers because it just comes from the field to you. They can tell you the different variety. They can tell you the different tests. And then you can say, Hey, I want some tomato, I just want to do a tomato sauce. They will give you something different than, Hey, I want a tomato. I want to do a tomato salad so that will be different. So, you know, you can get informed and get a lot of you know, be curious about maybe what you want, you can do with this tomato. But I, you know, we live in a time where we need to reconnect with earth and nature and the best way to do it is really to connect with those incredible farmers that spent you know, they are there and I to work and learn and bring those beautiful produce to, to us. Okay. So that's, that's it for the tomato. I want to eat that, but I'm going to wait a little bit.
Chef Bourguignon – So the next one is the desert, it is an apple (inaudible). So that's why the shape of the apple is green on top with the chocolate, we have tied to recreate the real apple.
Chef Crenn - So if you, do you guys, just to give you a little bit background, you know, when you get profiterole, you know the profiterole, the French dessert? It’s made with obviously chocolate and all that, but there is a (inaudible). So this is exactly the same recipe. Can you guys see me? Okay, let get going here. So it's exactly the same recipe to the profiterole so you can use that to do a lot of things. And so what we did here, is we literally built an Apple. I'm going to show you, see, everything is cut out and then look at this baby. Delicious, and you can eat everything even the stamp. So we make that every day you can do it the day before if you want.
Chef Bourguignon - Yeah. So it's very easy, same concept as always, fresh produce, and seasonal produce. So just put some chocolate at the bottom so my (inaudible) is not going to move. So we have apple (inaudible) which is just from the farm too because we had a big batch last week from the tree and we make it so at the bottom, with a spoon, After that, we have some confit apple and raw apple, so that just into the syrup and that's very confit for a longer time. So you have the recipe already. I'm just going to drop five or six. It depends how much you like it, how much you want.
Chef Crenn - And I think when we also waste this, this here, but it's great. You can use those different ingredients for other things. So you can make your own Apple sauce, or make, I don't know, a couple of jars, that's delicious so you can use that for desert or on your own. The confit of Apple that can, you can put that in a bowl that lasts forever. The raw apple is a little bit different being that you needed to use it right away.
Chef Bourguignon - And after I have some (inaudible) which will just caramelize so that's for the texture also the layers that's why Dominique tries to make everywhere some layers of dish, greasy, salty and acidy and creamy. So that's why we always have like (inaudible).
Chef Crenn – It kind of reminds me, you know, it's a very classic dessert in France. I remember when I went to like the (inaudible) so those, (inaudible) you get like those apples deep inside of a chocolate, or caramel was like, nuts. And that kind of gives you the same feeling. So there's some memories, some childhood memories to it, which is delicious. So you put a little bit more chocolate on top. You can make it beautiful. Okay.
Chef Bourguignon - And after just like some, because we try to use not too many ingredients. So with the (inaudible), we make a small (inaudible), just very (inaudible). And I just drop in the middle, it’s going to make the (inaudible) with the liquid.
Chef Crenn – (inaudible) is made with (inaudible) in it. And then we used the (inaudible) to make that. So there was no waste with that, we literally use everything. And then you just decorate in a way. I think this is better than cupcake, but I will not, I'm French. I love that. I don't, I'm not a fan of cupcake, but if you want to impress really your family or your friends the profiterole is easy to do. You can make 200 and then it's up to you to decorate the way you want to decorate. And I'm telling you that's going to be a winner and then they can put the cupcake industry out of business when you start to discover that. Okay, this is the one, and this is the finished one. Voila! So this is a pretty good lunch or dinner, what do you think?
Chef Bourguignon - Yeah. It's a very, very, very good dinner. But just remember, like every dish we make it’s about layers, don't put too much of the extreme something because it never, never is good, but yeah, it's always about good combination of a little bit of everything,
Chef Crenn –Right, and so our philosophy is about less, is more. And we also (inaudible) that is striving for more (inaudible). So anything that we don't use, like, for example the (inaudible), what we did with the peal of the carrots, we ferment that, and we turn the carrot peal into a vinegar, so that helps us most to cook with it. The potato skin we don't throw them away. Literally we take them and then we can do a potato skin broth with it, which is very good also as a soup plus. So that's, that's also very interesting the onion obviously we use everything. Except the skin of the onion. I'm not using that. That's the only thing that, but that goes back to the compost, at the form to go back to the earth and then time, and, you know, everything between the same thing, we don't waste the tomato and everything is used we make vinegar out of the leftover of the tomato. And for the apple, we use everything and everything is right here.
Questioner 2 – And what variety of Apple, are we using today?
Chef Bourguignon - We used Granny Smith today.
Questioner 2 - Okay. And the chocolate, what type of chocolate was included?
Chef Bourguignon - The chocolate was 53% milk, this is from (inaudible).
Chef Crenn - Yeah. It's but you can also you can use chocolate. That is a, there's no dairy in it. You can use it a raw, black chocolate, this you might have to work it more when you do the cream. Make sure that you use chocolate that is sustainable. That is trade also taking care of taking care of the also the way that workers are placed. So we very, we partner with is (inaudible), and we are kind of the ambassador to bring awareness all over the world that yes, chocolate is delicious, but there is also chocolate and chocolate. So use something that is, done well and who also for humanity is treating with a lot of thought.
Questioner 2 - And on a personal note, what are some of the biggest changes you'd like to see in the US restaurant scene?
Chef Crenn – If we open! What I would love to see in this is everybody needs to know where the food comes from and how it is being produced and support the community. And, maybe something more seasonal. Less is more once again, don't see a menu that it has 40 items and then the food that you are using comes from places that we don't know. To rebuild America, we are going to need to rebuild our own community. So to rebuild our own community, we need to work with all the artists around us, fishmonger, rancher, farmers. And then from that, and create, you know, we are creative, so create personal dishes that are in the time and place. And what I always say, when you have $10 in your hand, it's an act of activism that money, you need to know the consequences of you spending that money. So if you pay, if you spend your money, right, then everybody's going to be happy and people will have a job and next we’ll have delicious food for us to eat and we will be less inclined for us to be (inaudible). I know it's a little bit of a few words, but this is very simple. My grandmother used to tell me that.
Questioner 1 - Thank you Chef, and to keep it also on that level. I know we are going through a tough time, and if you don't mind sharing with us, what are you doing to keep your team working and helping others during this difficult time?
Chef Crenn - Well, you know it is a difficult time and it's a long struggle out there. You know, when we when in March, when we got word of closing up of closing the restaurant, the first things that came to mind was to take care of the community and to cook food that is good for the human system. Unfortunately we couldn't keep everyone and I'm sure some people would, are not happy about it, but it was a business decision. And the team that we have here what we do is one of the restaurant is we people at the restaurant to serve about 400 plates a day for blind people in San Francisco. So we feeding the homeless population every day, five days a week, about a thousand meals a week. So that helped us to keep the space, but also to keep the small team out there we are doing food to go, we partner with a different company to also feed the medical workers. We are serving at Atelier Crenn a smaller menu outside right now. And then, you know we try to be creative and, to think about what tomorrow is going to bring us, but right now our focus is to keep the team healthy, to make sure that they have work, you know, and they can go home and put food on the table. And, you know, we have a small team now we’ve got over 10 people and it's been quite amazing so we have been very close, very close family, but, you know, I think if you have any celebrity chef, it doesn't matter, we are all in this together. And the bottom line for me is to educate, find a new way of making food so people are more inclined to be more healthy. And that's what we can do because, you know, if there is no food, there's no society.
Questioner 2 – Thank you Chef
Chef Crenn - And I want to say something, you know, when the pandemic came out, we come out of the pandemic, I invite all you people out there to really support your restaurants, and the community of restaurant out there before supporting something that is too big of a corporation, go and talk and engage and know what you're getting and I think that is going to go a long way towards our rebuild.
Questioner 3- Thank you, Chef Crenn for your wonderful cooking demonstration today. I'm sure our audience is excited to try everything. You made it home. And we really appreciate all of your words that you shared with us toward the end. And we wanted to let everybody know that we were delighted to have everyone join us. And we are recording this and the playback will be available on our website. And also everybody who attended today will receive a follow up email that will include all of the recipes with today's demonstration and you are automatically entered into our random drawing for six winners receiving a $500 gift certificate to Chef Dominique friend's restaurant. Yes! And in addition, 10, winners will receive a personalized copy of chef Crenn’s book and winners will be contacted by our team by email in the next couple of days, please visit our website First Republic.com for a schedule of our upcoming webinars. And as a special treat, we want to share with you a video that recently Chef Crenn published a book and Bill Whitaker from 60 minutes, had a chance to meet with her because to discuss her memoir. And just a couple of weeks ago, it was aired on CBS Sunday morning. So we are excited to share this interview with you. So please stand by to watch. And I have a feeling you're going to learn a lot about Chef Dominique Crenn. Thank you, Chef.
Chef Crenn – I just want to say, thank you Gaye, thank you Suzie, thank you Valerie, and thank you to all of the technical team. And thank you so much. You guys are amazing and we are so grateful and honored that you choose us as being the last month of well, merci, au revoir.
CBS Introducer: She's an award winning chef in one of our most beloved cities, Bill Whitaker of 60 minutes asks Dominique Crenn, just what's cooking.
Bill Whitaker: Smells delicious, delicious tastes delicious. Before COVID-19 spread through California. We visited French chef, Dominique Crenn and her six year old twins at her picturesque, organic farm in Sonoma County, North of San Francisco,
Chef Crenn - The calmness of this place is like okay, let's bring that back to the craziness of the kitchen and become
Bill - I can taste that.
Chef Crenn - Yes. I mean, I hope so.
Bill – The farm was spouting to life in the California sun. The early spring seemed to renew the land and Crenn.
Chef Crenn - You clear your mind here
Bill - Who at the time was busy overseeing her growing enterprise. Two restaurants, a bar, and a soon to open bakery.
Chef Crenn – It’s going to be a big, big patisserie, boulangerie.
Bill – Then the Corona virus hit.
Chef Crenn – The Industry is caput, it’s done.
Bill - You're talking about restaurants?
Chef Crenn - Yeah. It's not going to be the same. Every day I see five, six, seven restaurants that will never reopen.
Bill - One of the world's leading chefs. Crenn was pained by how the virus afflicted the restaurant industry. When Californians were ordered to shelter in place in March, Crenn had to lay off 50 staffers.
Chef Crenn – A restaurant, a small business lives day by day. If they're lucky they can make maybe up to 5% profit. That's not a lot.
Bill – Atelier Crenn, her three-star centerpiece known for its dazzling interpretations of French food, began providing meals for frontline workers and selling dinners through the front windows. Your fine dining restaurant is now is now a to go restaurant.
Chef Crenn - Yeah, a really cool one.
Bill -This was Atelier Crenn on a Friday night before the virus. Dinner service is a well-orchestrated symphony of food in motion in the kitchen, Chef Jean-Christophe Bourguignon works with Maestro Crenn to design each course. He tastes each before serving some nights, they serve 15 courses a sitting. Each plate, a piece of art with an eclectic mix of ingredients to delight the palette like this tar tar of spiny lobster, which I got to taste too. That is wonderful. Dominique Crenn never went to culinary school, but food is her passion.
Chef Crenn - It's all about butter.
Bill - After arriving in California from France in 1988, she worked her way through kitchens in San Francisco and Los Angeles. And in 2011, she opened Atelier Crenn. You don't talk like most chefs.
Chef Crenn - Well, I don't think I'm a chef.
Bill - You don't think you're a chef?
Chef Crenn - I'm just someone that I found a way of speaking. It was another pen. It was not a brush. It was food.
Bill - So are you an artist?
Chef Crenn – Ah, Yes.
Bill - Her artistry catapulted her to the forefront of America's chefs. The Netflix show chef's table and a James Beard award raised her profile. Earning three Michelin stars has given Crenn a platform to the way we relate to food. She recently cut meat from the menu, but that hasn't cut her customers or her accolades. You have one Michelin star, two Michelin stars, then you get a call that tells you had gotten a third Michelin star.
Chef Crenn - How amazing is that? We must have done something good.
Bill - First woman in the United States to get three stars. You were also the first woman to get two Michelin stars.
Chef Crenn - Yeah. It's interesting to be the first, when you say first female chef, it's weird, right?
Bill - Hmm. At one point you were called the world's best female chef. Why do you roll your eyes? Why do you bristle at that?
Chef Crenn - Because I was, I was a bit
Bill - Sort of, it's sort of diminished?
Chef Crenn - Yeah diminished, yeah considering I was being the best chef, but you consider us as well, let's take the woman just on their own. And let’s pick someone that will get the award.
Bill - Why not? The world's best chef?
Chef Crenn – Right.
Maria Bello - She knows what her authentic self-envision is and how to make that a reality in the world. And I admire that she doesn't listen to anyone else’s rules.
Bill - Chef Crenn listened to her heart and got engaged to actress Maria Bello of CBS’s N.C.I.S in December. Crenn’s new memoir is dedicated to Bellow. In her memoirs, dedication, Dominique calls you the love of her life. What does that mean to you?
Maria - It's nice to believe in fairytales, right? She and I, we just lit each other up from the first minute we met each other and it felt so familiar and comfortable.
Chef Crenn - Love of my life!
Maria - You know, the depths and layers of Dom's food. That's who she is in life to the way that she builds layers of flavors. I feel that you build layers of love.
Bill - Buoyed by the love of her life. And her love of food, Crenn was on top of the world. But last year, her world was shaken like a California earthquake. When she learned she had breast cancer.
Chef Crenn – I remember, I asked my doctor, am I in trouble? And he said no, but you have got to do the work. And I'm like, okay. And then you start to peel the layers of who you are and start to look at yourself in the mirror. And you like start to learn so much about who you are.
Bill - What did you learn?
Chef Crenn - A lot of humility
Bill- Your health today?
Chef Crenn - Amazing. I'm good. My hair is coming back. My eyelashes, a cancer-free, but I'm good. I'm stronger than ever.
Bill - With indoor dining in California on hold Crenn says she's eager to open her restaurant again with modifications, like partitions between the seating.
Chef Crenn - People are going to need to feel safe. Like Atelier Crenn, I'm going to re-design it as a new experience.
Bill - Dominique Crenn calls herself a warrior. She survived cancer and she has no doubt. Her restaurants will survive the Corona virus. That is amazing.
Chef Crenn – The thin with cancer is, okay. I have something in front of me that I've never dealt with before. It's going to be hard, but I'm going to do it and I'm going to fight it and I'm going to win.