Though Thomas Keller's The French Laundry is almost 20 years old, it still continues to increase prestige and is renowned for its food and its many talented chefs. The three Michelin-starred establishment was once held in such high esteem that it was named the World's Best Restaurant in 2003 and 2004. Located in Yountville, California, The French Laundry and its associated persons are continuing to make big news every day.
French Laundry Chef Branches Out
French Laundry chef and dietary entrepreneur Lena Kwak recently made gluten-free bread more than just a dream. Kwak began working at The French Laundry in 2008 as a research development chef, keeping with the increasing number of dietary restrictions that guests had. She began reproducing gluten-free items available for bread service and for daily dishes. Kwak worked feverishly at developing a gluten-free flour that could be used for specific diners. From that seemingly simple goal, Kwak launched a company called Cup4Cup in 2011 that produces a wheat-flour substitute. After a roughly five-year journey, her work, with the help of Thomas Keller, is just weeks away from being available in stores.
Awards for 2013 Already Rolling In
In addition to chef pursuits outside the restaurant, The French Laundry has already racked up plenty of awards early in 2013.
The Daily Meal, covering all things food and drink, compiled a list of the best 101 Restaurants in the United States. Sitting atop the list was The French Laundry, reclaiming its spot at top. After winning the same award in 2011, The French Laundry was supplanted in 2012 by Le Bernardin. The French Laundry was also honored by the reservation website OpenTable with a best service award. The restaurant was second on the list of the country's top 100 restaurants for service.
While Thomas Keller is arguably the American culinary master, a number of talented chefs have worked at The French Laundry before advancing to restaurants of their own. Grant Achatz spent four years working at The French Laundry in the mid-1990s. The modernist chef honed his skills under Keller before opening the now three-starred Michelin restaurant Alinea in Chicago, home to one of the most unusual and luxurious menus in the country. Richard Blais, winner of Bravo's culinary competition "Top Chef," worked at The French Laundry from 1996-1997. While he didn't immediately go on to become a superstar, his whimsy and adventurousness is something certainly learned partially from Keller. Blais recently opened The Spence in Atlanta.
The French Laundry is known for its world-class cuisine in a quaint wine country town. Keller is one of the most respected chefs in American history. Combined, restaurant and chef still have much they can accomplish.
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- Thomas Keller
- The French Laundry