Thomas Keller is renowned for his culinary skills and his exceptionally high personal standards. He has established a collection of restaurants that set the standard within the hospitality industry. He began his culinary career at a young age, working in the Palm Beach restaurant managed by his mother. He relocated to France in 1983, where he worked in several Michelin-starred houses including Guy Savoy and Taillevent. He opened his first restaurant, Rakel, in New York City in 1986, then moved westward to California to work as the Executive Chef at the Checkers Hotel in Los Angeles.
In 1994, Keller took ownership of The French Laundry in Yountville, quickly garnering nationwide acclaim. His French bistro Bouchon debuted down the street in 1998, with Bouchon Bakery following five years later. He now has eight restaurants and two bakeries in the United States, including his home-style restaurant Ad Hoc also located in Yountville, Per Se and Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Center in New York City, and outposts of Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery in Las Vegas. In November 2009, he opened Bouchon in Beverly Hills and introduced his newest concept Bar Bouchon in an adjacent space. In Spring 2011 Keller opened a Bouchon Bakery in New York City's iconic Rockefeller Center.
Keller values genuine collaboration. He has successfully assembled an expert staff that shares his philosophy and vision, thus enabling him to concentrate on his many varied interests. He is the author of the award-winning "The French Laundry" and "Bouchon" cookbooks, as well as "Under Pressure," on sous vide cooking. His most recent release is a book of family-style recipes titled "Ad Hoc at Home." The book has received awards from both the IACP and the James Beard Foundation and has appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers list for 6 weeks.
Keller has collaborated with Raynaud and the design firm Level on a collection of sophisticated white porcelain dinnerware called "Hommage." He has launched Modicum, a Napa Valley Cabernet and consulted on the films Spanglish and Ratatouille, the latter winning the 2007 "Best Animated Feature Film" category at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.
In 2001, Keller was named "America's Best Chef" by Time magazine. In 2003, Johnson & Wales University conferred upon him the honorary Degree of Doctor of Culinary Arts for his contributions to the industry. His accolades include consecutive "Best Chef" awards from the James Beard Foundation and "Chef of the Year" by the Culinary Institute of America(CIA). In 2010 he was elected to the CIA's Board of Trustees, contributing his unique perspective and leadership to furthering the school's educational mission. Keller is the only American-born chef to hold multiple three star ratings by the Michelin Guide, having received a total of seven stars in the 2011 editions.