For most people, cooking is therapeutic. It’s a way to relax and unwind after a long day. For others, cooking is a way to show their love for their family and friends. And for some, it’s a way to make a living. No matter what your reasons are for cooking, there’s one thing we can all agree on—we want to be good at it.
One of the best and easiest ways to learn how to cook is to follow instructional videos online. MasterClass offers a cooking course from Thomas Keller—one of the world’s most celebrated chefs.
In this Thomas Keller Masterclass review, we’ll take an in-depth look at what the course offers, who it’s for, and whether or not it’s worth your time and money. By the end of this article, you’ll know everything there is to know about Thomas Keller’s Masterclass and whether or not it’s right for you.
Who is Thomas Keller?
Born in 1955, Thomas Keller is an author, restaurateur, and one of the most celebrated American chefs. He is the first and only American-born chef to have three Michelin stars at two restaurants (The French Laundry and Per Se).
He began his culinary career when he was very young, at a restaurant in Palm Beach that his mother ran. He also spent some summers washing dishes and preparing meals in that restaurant.
When he met Roland Henin at The Dunes Club, Thomas Keller discovered French cooking. He then moved to France and spent time at Michelin-starred kitchens—Taillevent, Le Pre Catalan, and Guy Savoy—before returning to the United States.
Only after he acquired a tiny stone farmhouse in Yountville, California, and established The French Laundry, did Thomas Keller begin to get attention from the rest of the world. Throughout his career, he has won the hearts of people with his ability to offer classic yet sophisticated French cuisine.
Although he prepares simple cuisines, Thomas Keller emphasizes the importance of the quality of ingredients and fundamental cooking techniques. Even a commonplace dish like roast chicken becomes remarkable with Keller’s cooking.
As head of the USA Bocuse d’Or team, Keller continued to guide new generations of chefs to excellence in the world’s toughest cooking competition. In 2017, his team finally won gold for the first time. Some of the world’s most renowned chefs, including Grant Achatz (Alinea) and René Redzepi (Noma), got their start in Keller’s kitchens.
For the longest time, Keller has believed that a good meal is not just about the food, but also about the experience and atmosphere. While making perfect meals may never be possible, making people happy is ultimately his goal.
Keller’s culinary creations have touched millions of people, but his influence goes beyond the dining room. His dedication to quality has inspired future generations of chefs worldwide to establish outstanding restaurants and first-rate cuisine.
Keller has had a stellar career, opening several restaurants, including Rakel, The French Laundry, Bouchon, Per Se, and Ad Hoc. This success has won him many prestigious industry awards.
In 2001, Time Magazine named Thomas Keller “America’s Best Chef.” Two years later, Johnson and Wales University awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Culinary Arts. He is one of the few chefs to win consecutive Best Chefs Awards from the James Beard Foundation and is the first male chef in his country to earn the title of Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor. The Culinary Institute of America also named him Chef of the Year.
Aside from being a Chef, restaurant owner, and mentor, Thomas Keller has also written books related to culinary. Some of the books he’s written include Bouchon Bakery, Ad Hoc at Home, and Under Pressure.
And as an additional feather on his hat, Thomas Keller’s cooking course is in partnership with MasterClass.
Overview of the Class
The Thomas Keller MasterClass on cooking is one of the longest courses on the platform, with more than 6 hours of content and 36 lessons. Throughout the course, Chef Keller teaches a comprehensive range of lessons, from kitchen basics, such as ingredients, equipment, and cookware, to the ideal way to find them.
In the course, Chef Keller focuses on techniques because he believes they are much more important than any recipe. Keller starts with having “everything in its place” because, according to him, having order allows you to ease into the learning process and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
When it comes to cooking, you’ll have all of your ingredients and tools ready to go before you begin. Chef Keller explains that the process isn’t just about cooking but the preparation. He shares that you can focus on your cooking and avoid potential mistakes if you prepare well.
Another piece of advice from Keller is that high-quality ingredients are essential. He stresses that although you can’t choose how an ingredient is developed, you have some influence over which one you select. Here, he provides information on what you can influence and what you can’t.
What’s good about the Thomas Keller MasterClass is that it teaches students to master the basics of cooking. But aside from teaching how to perfect the basics, Thomas Keller also teaches the reason for doing so. In other words, he’ll explain the “why.”
When you take the Thomas Keller MasterClass, you will learn about cooking techniques like glazing, roasting, and braising. You will also pick up skills in making pasta dough for different kinds of pasta. Plus, he will teach you the basics you need to know about eggs.
On a personal note, Chef Thomas Keller also shares his discipline for success, which he learned while working as a dishwasher in a restaurant. With his guidelines for success, you’ll be able to master Keller’s straightforward equation for great cooking—quality ingredients and proper execution.
To give you a full view of the Thomas Keller Masterclass syllabus, here are the video contents:
- Kitchen Setup: Essential Tools
- Kitchen Setup: Essential Ingredients
- Kitchen Setup: Cookware
- Sourcing Ingredients
- Vegetables: An Introduction
- Big-pot Blanching: Asparagus
- Glazing: Carrots
- Peeling: Tomatoes
- Braising: Artichokes
- Purée: Potatoes
- Purée: Parsnips
- Confit: Eggplant & Garlic
- Roasting: Zucchini
- Baking: Beets
- Eggs: An Introduction
- Custard: Crème Anglaise
- Boiled Eggs
- Scrambled Eggs
- Poached Eggs
- Pasta: An Introduction
- Pasta Dough
- Agnolotti with Peas and Bacon
- Spaghetti alla Chitarra and Cavatelli
- Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
- Fettuccine and Linguine
- Gnocchi with Pomodoro
- Six Disciplines of Success
- Essential Philosophies
Aside from the video lessons, you can also access the 100-page class cookbook. This cookbook includes all of the methods and recipes and some additional tips from Thomas Keller. The cookbook contains a list of all the ingredients you’ll need, arranged in the order that you’ll need them. There’s also a list of what equipment you’ll need to prepare each meal.
If you enjoy the fundamentals from the Thomas Keller MasterClass, you can continue learning from him as he has now released the second and third parts of his cooking course. These are Cooking Techniques II: Lessons on how to cook different kinds of meats, stocks, and sauces (22 lessons, 5+ hours) and Part Three: Learn more about seafood, sous vide cooking, and desserts (17 lessons, 4+ hours).
Pros and Cons
- Learn from one of the world’s best chefs
- Keller’s calm, practical, and informative teaching style
- Focuses on the cooking fundamentals that are useful for different recipes
- The course covers a wide variety of recipes
- Helpful supplement material/workbook
- Vague explanations in some parts
- At some points, the sounds of the whisk or mixer have affected the quality of Thomas Keller’s lecture
- Some recipes need specific equipment that not all people have
- Some ingredients are expensive
Who is this Class For?
- People who want to learn the fundamentals of cooking
- Beginner Chefs who are looking to expand their cooking skills
- Anyone who wants to become a professional chef
- Restaurant owners
- Culinary class instructors
How Much does this Class Cost?
You must have a MasterClass subscription to take the Thomas Keller MasterClass. Having a subscription allows you full access to their entire course library.
MasterClass offers three pricing plans:
- Individual Plan: $180 per year ($15 monthly)
- Duo Plan: $240 per year ($20 monthly), up to two devices
- Family Plan: $276 per year ($23 monthly), up to six devices
The Thomas Keller MasterClass is highly regarded by many people who have taken his cooking course. People have enjoyed how he distinguished himself by providing creative methods to enhance or elevate the presentation of food.
Some people said that the content of Thomas Keller’s class is very informative but that they found the presentation not entertaining enough, unlike the cooking class from Gordon Ramsay. They noted that Keller’s course is for learning and not having fun, which isn’t necessarily bad. Most agreed that Thomas Keller probably did this intentionally, so students won’t be distracted from his lessons and techniques.
Thomas Keller’s MasterClass course is worth your time, especially if you want to learn the basics of cooking and master them. Throughout the whole course, Thomas Keller teaches everything from kitchen fundamentals, such as ingredients, equipment, and cookware, to the best approach to acquiring them.
Like most things, mastery of cooking requires practice. And with the Thomas Keller MasterClass, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice what you’ve learned. Aside from cooking, he also shares his discipline for success, which can serve as a guide for you when you’re early into your cooking journey.
The Thomas Keller MasterClass is not a quick fix if you want to learn how to cook overnight. The course is designed for those willing to learn and perfect their craft.