Julie Chen, Living the Dream

Julie Chen cooking at "The French Laundry" Restaurant. CBS

This week, the "Early Show" anchors are trading in their microphones to try out their skills in their dream jobs.

Julie Chen kicks off this segment by testing her skills in a fancy kitchen at the famous restaurant, The French Laundry.

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Nestled away in Yountville, Calif., in the heart of Napa's wine country, The French Laundry has been named "World's Best Restaurant" twice by Restaurant Magazine since it opened its doors 16 years ago.

Chen, who has a love of the culinary arts, was fortunate enough to try her skills in the kitchen alongside the restaurant's founder and master chef, Thomas Keller.

The restaurant only uses the best ingredients, which come from its own vegetable garden across the street.

"It's like finding a treasure," said Keller, as he picks the freshest potatoes.

Chen also met his staff of at least a dozen highly-skilled chefs and assistants who share the space in the kitchen, all of whom are sticklers for excellence.

But before she rolled up her sleeves, Keller insisted she experience the final product. Chen was fortunate enough to try Keller's famous Cornet, a complicated appetizer made from salmon tartar, sweet red onions, and creme fraiche in a crispy cone.

The appetizer was followed by a summer salad with vinegar sauce, then Atlantic striped bass and an Elysian Fields Farm lamb rib-eye. Dessert was a Keller special doughnut found only at The French Laundry.

As Chen began chopping and stirring after her gourmet meal, she asked Keller what it takes to get hired at his restaurant.

"That's a good question," said Keller. "The thing that I look for the most is a strong desire, and determination. I think if somebody has a strong desire and determination, they can do anything."

Though Chen had both of those qualifications, in the end, her Cornet was not up to par in French Laundry standards. Jokingly, Keller found Chen the only job she was fully qualified for at the world's best restaurant: the dish washer.

All week long, you'll see the anchors performing their dream jobs. But we want to hear from you! If there's a job you've always dreamed of having, tell us what it is and why via email, Facebook or Twitter…...and we just might make that dream come true.
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