Thomas Keller Gets ‘Nervous All the Time’ Around Legendary Chefs

"I know what it's like."
"I know what it's like." Photo: Andrew Barris

On the more exciting side of Chef’s Night Out, Grub Street spoke to Thomas Keller, who had just recorded his tribute to Julia Child and was in prep mode for the James Beard Awards tonight. “I get nervous all the time,” he tells us about public speaking, reminding us that he is a human being with actual human flaws, like struggling with intimidation. “Julia Child, Jean Louis Palladin, Jacques Pépin — the legends. I am never totally at ease talking to chefs of that caliber even though they are all incredibly gracious and nice,” he admits. “I know what it’s like to be on the other end and I always try to return the favor the greats did for me to the new, younger crop.”

Earlier: What Went Down at Chef’s Night Out