Kitchen Diaries : Chef Eli at Per Se

Last month, I was lucky enough to spend an entire evening in the private party kitchen at Per Se. Chef Eli was cooking a 12 course dinner for a small party hosted by Thomas Keller. Their prep started at 10:30a and the kitchen didn't start cleaning up until around 10p. It was just like I imagine the experience the chefs have on Top Chef - only way more...quiet. It was fascinating to see such focus and precision - every dish was perfect in presentation, and inspected closely after eaten before heading to the wash room. Even though there were hints that working at a kitchen such as this was a high stress environment, the atmosphere was calm and focused.