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Sourcing Ingredients

Thomas Keller

Lesson time 12:36 min

What does it really mean when food is called local, organic, or sustainable? Chef Keller explains those terms and talks about how he chooses ingredients for meals.

Thomas Keller
Teaches Cooking Techniques
Learn techniques for cooking vegetables and eggs and making pastas from scratch from the award-winning chef and proprietor of The French Laundry.

Fundamental techniques. Fantastic food.

Thomas Keller has won more Michelin stars than any chef in America. In his first online cooking class, the founder of The French Laundry and Per Se teaches you the underlying techniques of making great food so you can go beyond the cookbook. Learn how to confit vegetables, poach perfect eggs, make hand-shaped pasta, and bring Michelin star-quality meals to your kitchen.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Chef Keller's instructor (teaching) skills are as amazing as his cooking skills. I think what I learned most is that for food to be delicious it does not have to be complicated. The course actually makes me want to eat healthier. I'm so excited to have the opportunity to learn from him. Thank you Master Class and Chef Keller for providing this class.

I learned how different types of food should be handled.

Just wonderful to have such an icon teach his techniques. He is an amazing teacher with knowledge that is incredible. Thank you

Fundamentals and basic techniques just as described in the introduction and summaries of the class. Thomas Keller's philosophies and insights was also of interest.


A fellow student

I'd really appreciate it if Chef Keller would use more inclusive language (e.g., pronouns) in future videos.

Stealth C.

I can't quite cosign to this particular lesson. The terms local and organic, to me, are not adjustable to meet Mr. Keller's usage. Local is local, not quality. If you prefer quality over distance, that's totally fine. But to try to fit the definition of local to define quality doesn't quite match. Also, If a farm does not want to do the work to qualify their food as organic, then you can't really say they are certified organic, and I hope that's not being used on a menu if it hasn't legitimately been qualified to be organic. I get the general sentiments. As a chef I'd expect Mr. Keller to make decisions based on taste and quality. I'm not sure why he had to wrap it up in unmatched definitions to quantify it.

Daniel P.

I like how Chef Keller talks about getting the best ingredients for your meals. Supporting those who grow or raise the products in turn supporting their communities. I am interested in getting to know some farmers, butchers and fishermen who bring the products to the markets. Very good tips in this lesson.

A fellow student

Loving this course! but I think Chef's privilege may be showing a bit here. He says "Local to me is really about quality"... and then explains that a farmer who doesn't care but is 25 miles away shouldn't be preferred over one 26 miles away, who took care of his plants and grew 'extraordinary tomatoes'. That's really not what local is about. Local is about sourcing high-quality ingredients from as close as possible. A better example would be if you are in Montana and you have a choice of a tomato grown within 20 miles, or one of a similar quality that is trucked in from California. You should choose the local option. Someone with the kind of pull the French Laundry has would have the power to impact change in their local farms if they are not seeing what they need locally. Also, a label like 'Farm-to-Table' may not mean a whole lot in the wine country, but anywhere else in America if you have a choice of a run-of-the-mill diner vs one advertising local produce or farm-to-table philosophies, you are going to get better ingredients at the latter. "Every chef I know is working with farmers, with fishermen, with gardeners around the country to bring you the best.." That's simply not true. There are a lot of restaurants that source no further than the catalog of the Sysco truck that shows up three times a week.

A fellow student

I appreciate that your concerned with supporting these communities, however as a sustainability professional what your saying about what sustainability is nonsense. Sustainability is about the ecology from which these "wonderful products" are harvested, If no consideration is given to the distance those products go, that leads to over-harvesting and ecological destruction. Sustainablity is not about giving you the best products its about giving you the best products that you can get without destroying the worlds abiulity to continue hosting the life that it does. So just be honest and say that you value supporting small communities to exploit natural resources more than ecological sutainability dont dance around it and sling BS.


great lesson!! FYI the end of chapter 9 is missing in the workbook... not sure if anyone has caught that yet


My biggest takeaway: Good food, makes good food! Will definitely be paying more attention to the quality of the ingredients, and tasting the difference that this makes in my food.


Very cool that Chef Keller points out the importance of getting to know your growers and finding out their philosophies & practices and amazing to point out "practicing organic" is not necessarily "certified organic" which, to get certified demands way too much time, money and headache. Very impressive point to make.

Ramona W.

This has become a very touchy subject for me...let me briefly explain. I really do believe in supporting local farmer's markets, and I used to travel up to 50 miles just to visit different farmer's markets. I am a Disabled Veteran and my therapy is to cook. With that being said, I can no longer make a long trip or be in the heat. I really tried to hang in there, but found that the past years the farmer's markets have become more of a crafter's market and the availability of quality produce has gone down. Many of my friends are Chefs and they really give it to me because I have found an alternative to traveling to the farmer's market. It's called Imperfect Produce and they deliver right to my door. So far I have not received any imperfect produce, but the most delicious produce ever and I am helping people too....their mission is to donate thousands of pounds of food each week to food banks and nonprofits working to increase access to healthy food. With me purchasing a box of produce, (they now have dairy products and pantry items) I am helping sustainability, by not letting imperfect produce go to waste. Yes I understand the argument of purchasing local, but since I can't always do this, I am still helping others and am able to enjoy quality products. Didn't mean to rant and rave, but I enjoy delicious produce and helping farmers and charity where I can. Great lesson!

Joelle M.

Am now into Lesson 5 and have NOT been able to download ANY of the Course workbooks thus far????? Help