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Thomas Keller On Iconic Restaurants and What's Next For French Laundry

Thomas Keller

Thomas Keller

Originally published on Huffingtonpost.com

It would seem Chef Thomas Keller would have reason to be satisfied.

His flagship restaurant, The French Laundry, has been called the best in the world (twice), he's created an empire but maintained his impermeable brand, and he's the only American chef to have been simultaneously awarded three Michelin Stars at two different restaurants.

But even the mighty are not without their critics.

In a recent feature in Vanity Fair, famed food journalist Corby Kummer assaulted Keller and chefs like him, calling his lengthy tasting menu and its required time commitment "tyrannical." The illustration featured Keller as a dictator, menacingly holding a whisk and wooden spoon.

But still, Keller marches on, dazzling diners from New York to Napa and recently launching a gluten-free flour, Cup 4 Cup, with Lena Kwak, the French Laundry's Research and Development Chef. (Yes, The French Laundry has an R&D Chef.)

Keller sat down with HuffPost SF on a recent afternoon to talk about the Vanity Fair critique, his endless pursuit of perfection and what's next for America's most famous restaurant.

Chef, you bought the French Laundry in 1994 when Yountville was a ghost town. How has it been to watch the area change over the years? I think that's pretty much common knowledge; you can find that on the website. Did you do any research on me whatsoever? I'd rather just talk about what you really want to know.

Click here for more questions with Chef Thomas Keller!

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