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Culinary Arts

How to Make a Classic Vinaigrette With Chef Thomas Keller

Written by MasterClass

Nov 23, 2018 • 1 min read

Michelin-starred Chef Thomas Keller, of Ad Hoc, Bouchon, and The French Laundry, says: “When we’re making our vinaigrettes and our different sauces we can use olive oil or we can use any other oil that we like...There’s all different kinds of vinegars and oils that you can use. So don’t take anything as a rule.”

Follow Chef Keller’s recipe for a standout homemade vinaigrette.

Written by MasterClass

Nov 23, 2018 • 1 min read

What Is a Vinaigrette?

In its simplest form, a vinaigrette is a mix of oil and vinegar—something to dip our bread in, or toss as dressing in our salads. Typically, a vinaigrette has a ratio of three-parts oil to one-part vinegar. But vinaigrettes are varied and versatile. They can be made with myriad ingredients, and put to nearly endless uses.

What Are the Different Types of Vinaigrettes?

Different culinary traditions have given rise to different vinaigrettes.

  • A traditional Italian vinaigrette is made with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • In France, the traditional combination is a neutral oil, such as grapeseed, with red wine vinegar.

What Does Vinaigrette Pair Well With?

Try marrying your vinaigrettes with different dishes. They’re delicious with:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Vegetables
  • Eggs

And yes, they’re also great as salad dressings, or for dipping bread.

Chef Thomas Keller’s Emulsified Vinaigrette Recipe

Ingredient Checklist

Mise en place


  • 1 egg yolk, raw*
  • 2.5 grams garlic
  • 10 grams shallots, minced
  • 1 gram fresh thyme
  • 375 grams olive oil
  • 100 grams balsamic vinegar
  • Dijon mustard (to taste)
  • *Ingredient note: If you’re uncomfortable eating raw egg, you can make the emulsified vinaigrette without the egg, as the mustard acts as the binding agent.


  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Whisk
  • Rasp grater

Chef Keller says not to be confined by rules. He encourages you to balance and season your vinaigrettes to your taste, and to experiment with different oils and vinegars, like apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, and fresh herbs.

If you’d rather use citrus as your acid instead—lemon juice or lime or grapefruit, to name just a few—go ahead.

Combine egg yolks, mustard, shallots, and thyme leaves in a mixing bowl. Begin drizzling in the oil while whisking constantly. Continue doing so until the ingredients begin to emulsify. A single egg yolk can absorb a large quantity of oil.

Drizzle in vinegar and continue whisking. Taste as you go, and adjust the flavors to your liking.

A vinaigrette can be stored in your refrigerator in a sealed container for a week.

Thomas Keller

Teaches Cooking Techniques I: Vegetables, Pasta, And Eggs: Fundamental techniques. Fantastic food.

Chef Thomas Keller is the only American chef to hold multiple Michelin three-star ratings. In his MasterClass, the chef behind The French Laundry teaches you the foundations of his kitchen, from cookware to essential ingredients. Learn techniques like blanching, glazing, confit, and more. Gain the skills—and confidence—that will help you execute vegetables, eggs, and pastas to perfection.

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