"Did you do any research on me whatsoever? I'd rather just talk about what you really want to know" French Laundry chef Thomas Keller delightfully quips in a recent interview with Huffington Post SF. And what they -- nay, we -- really want to know is what he thinks about that January 2012 Vanity Fair article. You know? The one that claimed dining at the award-winning Yountville restaurant was akin to "a form of torture."
In part, Keller says:
The tasting menu exists to make things easier for the guest. Coming to a restaurant like the French Laundry and having too many choices truly creates anxiety. Here you are coming into a famous restaurant and the last thing you want to do is make a mistake.
At the end of the day, I disagree with [food journalist Corby Kummer's] critique. From my point of view, if you come into my restaurant and you want a bowl of Corn Flakes, my job is to give you a bowl of Corn Flakes. I have no ego attached to what we do.
Also, he's not keen on the idea of celebrity chefs, claiming that "the media" created the now ubiquitous dickhead celebrity chef (flanked by PR satellites, of course) that seem to pockmark otherwise fanciful food events. He says, "I encourage the media to redefine what the modern chef is and reduce this idea of celebrities. I didn't begin cooking because I thought it might lead to fame or fortune." (Luckily, the age of the celebrity chef is now dead.)
Keller also goes on to note that he's a gigantic baseball fan, saying, "If there were something else I could have done I would have been a professional baseball player. Unfortunately I didn't have the talent for that."
Read the entire piece at HuffPoSF.