Widely regarded as one of America's finest chefs, Thomas Keller is chef and owner of The French Laundry, Bouchon, and Bouchon Bakery, in Yountville, CA; Bouchon in Las Vegas, NV; and Per Se and Bouchon Bakery at The Time Warner Center in New York City. Most recently, the French-based Michelin Guide bestowed “three stars” to The French Laundry and “one star” to Bouchon in Yountville. In 2005, Per Se also received a three-star rating, making Keller the first and only American born chef to have two three-star restaurants since the guide’s inception in 1900. He is the author of the award-winning The French Laundry Cookbook and Bouchon Cookbook, both published by Artisan.In 2003, Keller collaborated with Raynaud of Limoges, France and the design firm Level on a collection of graceful white porcelain dinnerware called Point, sold nationwide. He also entered a creative partnership with renowned silversmith Christofle in designing silver hollowware currently in use at The French Laundry and Per Se. In 2000, he launched Modicum, a Napa Valley Cabernet, with Laura Cunningham and Paul Roberts, The French Laundry’s Wine Director.
In 2001, Keller was named “ America's Best Chef” by Time Magazine and as “World Master of Culinary Arts” by a panel of international judges at the Wedgwood Awards. He and his restaurants have collected many accolades in the last decade, including eleven awards from the James Beard Foundation such as: “Outstanding Restaurant Award,” “Outstanding Chef: America,” “Outstanding Wine Service,” “Best Service,” and, in 2005, “Best New Restaurant” for Per Se. In 2004, Keller was named “Best Chef” by Reader’s Digest Magazine. The French Laundry has twice been voted #1 in the list of “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” by the London-based Restaurant Magazine. Moreover, the restaurant has received the Mobil Travel Guide’s Five Star Award since 1999. The French Laundry is a member of Relais & Chateaux: Relais Gourmands and Traditions & Qualité, two distinguished French associations recognized for their dedication in creating and maintaining the highest international standards for hospitality and culinary excellence.
In his teens, Thomas Keller learned to cook from his mother while working at the Palm Beach restaurant she managed. With no professional training, he moved to France and served "stagiaire" apprenticeships in ten Michelin-starred restaurants, including Taillevent, Guy Savoy and Le Pré Catalan. By the early 1980’s he was working in New York City where he gained national recognition at La Reserve and Restaurant Raphael. He then opened Rakel, where he developed a loyal following bolstered by rave reviews. In 1991 Keller moved to California to be the executive chef of Checkers Hotel in Los Angeles.
Thomas Keller purchased The French Laundry in 1994. His goal was to create a three-star country French restaurant in the heart of NapaValley. A man of exceptionally high personal standards, Keller values genuine collaboration. He has successfully assembled an expert staff that shares his philosophy and vision, thus enabling him to concentrate on his many varied interests.
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