Vanity Fair: ‘Out to Lunch with André Soltner’

ICC Dean André Soltner schools Vanity Fair on the art of omelets.

International Culinary Center Dean of Classic Studies André Soltner, America’s first celebrity chef, gives Vanity Fair a lesson in making the perfect omelet.

“The shape of a cigar, you see?” he said. (He still has a marked Gallic accent despite his many years in the U.S.) “Beautiful! And no wrinkles. Smooth. Inside baveuse—soft, but not runny. You don’t have to taste it. Just by the look you know it’s good. If you like it a little brown, spread a little butter on top and put it under a hot broiler—but only for a second.”

Why is cooking an omelet his supreme test of a chef? “Because it takes only two minutes. You watch the technique—but technique without heart is no use. It’s fast and it’s very simple. If a chef can’t do it, forget him.”

He began the lesson, and two minutes later he had effortlessly made the perfect omelet. (You can see him doing it on YouTube.) “Now take off your jacket,” he said, “and you make one.”

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