American chef Keller to be admitted into French Legion of Honor
Thursday 10 March 2011
When chef Thomas Keller is made a chevalier of the French Legion of Honor later this month, he will join a small, exclusive club of Americans who have been deemed worthy of the title.
Keller - who is the only American to own two Michelin three-star restaurants - joins a small pantheon of culinary French ambassadors to the US: Julia Child and Chez Panisse chef Alice Waters.
The French Legion of Honor was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and is the highest decoration in France.
He also owns renowned restaurant French Laundry in Napa Valley, which has a minimum two-month waiting list.
The California restaurant creates two nine-course menus everyday and no single ingredient is repeated throughout the meal. A dinner at French Laundry is $270 (€195).
One of their signature dishes is "Oysters and Pears," a sabayon of pearl tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar.
His New York restaurant is described as an "urban interpretation of French Laundry."
Keller was nominated by fellow chef friend Daniel Boulud, with written support by wine writer Robert Parker and chefs Jacques Pépin, André Soltner and Bocuse.
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