Thomas Keller

Author Profile

Thomas Keller, one of the most recognized American chefs working today, is as renowned for his well-honed culinary skills as he is for his ability to establish a restaurant that’s both relaxed yet exciting. Good food coupled with a memorable social and sensual experience has always been Thomas’ focus. “Our food is serious,” he says, “but we also want people to have a good time with it.” If the reputations of his restaurants are any indication, he has succeeded.

A native of California, Thomas began his culinary career at a young age, working in the Palm Beach restaurant managed by his mother. After serving apprenticeships in Rhode Island, Florida, and the Catskills, he relocated to France in 1983, where he worked in several Michelin-starred houses including Guy Savoy and Taillevent. He followed with successful runs at La Reserve and Restaurant Raphael in New York. In 1986, Thomas opened his first restaurant, Rakel, also in New York, which resulted in extensive critical acclaim and a loyal clientele. Five years later, Thomas moved westward to California to work as executive chef at Checkers Hotel in Los Angeles.

In 1994, Thomas opened The French Laundry in Yountville, which quickly became a destination restaurant. His French bistro Bouchon debuted down the street in 1998, with Bouchon Bakery following five years later. He now has eight restaurants and two bakeries in the United States, including his home-style restaurant Ad Hoc also located in Yountville, Per Se and Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Center in New York City, and outposts of Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery in Las Vegas. In November 2009, he opened Bouchon in Beverly Hills, as well as introduced his newest concept Bar Bouchon next door.

A man of exceptionally high personal standards, Thomas 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. He is the author of the award-winning “The French Laundry” and “Bouchon” cookbooks, as well as “Under Pressure,” on sous vide cooking. His latest book on family-style recipes, “Ad Hoc at Home”, was released in November 2009.

Thomas has collaborated with Raynaud and the design firm Level on a collection of simple, sophisticated white porcelain dinnerware called “Hommage” (in honor of the great French chef and restaurateur, Fernand Point); and has launched Modicum, a Napa Valley Cabernet, blended to best accompany the cuisine at The French Laundry and Per Se. He has also worked closely with the computer animation studio Pixar, consulting on the film Ratatouille, which won the 2007 “Best Animated Feature Film” category at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.

In 2001, Thomas was named “America’s Best Chef” by Time magazine. In 2003, Johnson & Wales University conferred upon him the honorary Degree of Doctor of Culinary Arts for his contributions to the industry. Thomas has collected many accolades within the last decade, including consecutive “Best Chef” awards from the James Beard Foundation, the first chef ever to achieve this honor. In 2007 he added their “Outstanding Restaurateur” award to the roster, along with a “Chef of the Year” recognition from The Culinary Institute of America. He is the only US-born chef to hold multiple three star ratings by the Michelin Guide. (http://www.tkrg.org/)

 

Website: http://www.tkrg.org/

Cookbooks by Thomas Keller

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