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  • Hello, I’m Ann Shumard, Senior Curator of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery,

  • and this is Portrait in a Minute. I’m standing here with a portrait of Chef Thomas Keller

  • by acclaimed photographer Annie Leibowitz. It has been written thatWhat Meryl Streep,

  • Steven Spielberg, Warren Buffett, and Michael Jordan are to their various professions, Thomas

  • Keller is to his.” One of the world’s preeminent chefs and restaurateurs, Thomas

  • was born on October 14, 1955, in California. His mother was the manager of the restaurant

  • where he got his first experience working with food.

  • When Keller opened his original restaurant, Rakel, in 1986, in New York City, it didn’t

  • survive the stock market crash of 1987. But in 1994 he bought The French Laundry, located

  • in California’s Napa Valley and it was an immediate success. It was a New York Times

  • review in 1997, however, that catapulted it to another level. The review called The French

  • Laundrythe most exciting place to eat in the United States.”

  • With a menu that changes every day, a feature Keller credits with having been a springboard

  • to his success, the French Laundry became an international sensation. It was voted the

  • best restaurant in the world by the magazine Restaurant in 2003 and 2004.

  • The French Laundry is not the only establishment Keller owns: his restaurant Per Se in New

  • York City, was ranked the sixth-best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine in 2012,

  • due to Keller’s uncompromising vision. As at The French Laundry, its menu is constantly

  • changing.

  • Keller owns other restaurants around the country and is scheduled to open still another one

  • in 2018 in the Hudson Yards development in New York City.

  • NamedChef of the Yearin 2007 by the Culinary Institute of America, he was awarded

  • the Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour, the highest award in France, for hislifelong

  • commitment to the traditions of French cuisineand his role inelevating cooking in America.”

  • His restaurants are consistently ranked among the world’s finest because, as Chef, author,

  • and farm-to-table food advocate Alice Waters has observed, “he has perfected the ingredients

  • that go into an exquisitely calibrated dining experience.” And this persistent perfectionism

  • is what makes Thomas Keller one of our foremost chefs.

  • This has been Portrait in a Minute.

Hello, I’m Ann Shumard, Senior Curator of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery,

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Thomas Keller, Portrait in a Minute

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    TEAN posted on 2017/04/06
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