B2 High-Intermediate UK 192 Folder Collection
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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 that “What 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
Laundry “the 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
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.
Named “Chef of the Year” in 2007 by the Culinary Institute of America, he was awarded
the Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour, the highest award in France, for his “lifelong
commitment to the traditions of French cuisine” and his role in “elevating 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.
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Thomas Keller, Portrait in a Minute

192 Folder Collection
TEAN published on April 6, 2017
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