The French Laundry

Yountville, California

So one of my main mentors, Chris from Montrachet and The Tonic was Keller’s sous long before the Laundry (Like in the 80’s at Rakel, La Reserve and Rahael).  As a thanks for all my hours he sent me out for an extended stage at the Laundry and it all came full circle for me.  All that I learned about plating and sauce making from Chris was so influenced by his time with Keller.  This was pre-empire so Keller really was the CDC of the Laundry.  I mean he was there every day except Wednesday working the pass and plating food.  It was extraordinary to go out into the fields and pick favas, figs, peas, tiny asparagus, green almonds, come back to the kitchen, fabricate and served them to the guests.  One night Robert Mondavi came in to the PDR.  Everyone had different plates for each course…15 courses, 10 people….incredible repertoire and the most refined techniques.  It wasn’t cooking but rather surgery.