Story in Time magazine about Thomas Keller's move to NYC

posted by Jason Kottke Feb 05, 2004

Story in Time magazine about Thomas Keller's move to NYC. Call me naive, but shouldn't there be a big disclaimer that his restaurant is opening in the Time Warner building?

Reader comments

JoeFeb 05, 2004 at 4:35PM

Well, there is a disclaimer, though not too big:

"Himmel's company had been given the job of attracting retail outlets and restaurants to the new corporate headquarters of Time Warner, the company that publishes this magazine..."

jkottkeFeb 05, 2004 at 4:52PM

Ah, so there is. I would have liked to have seen it alone at the beginning or the end of the story.

NateFeb 05, 2004 at 5:30PM

Like in the second sentence, where it says:

"Over the weekend the pipes froze and burst in the new high-rise Time Warner Center building where his restaurant, Per Se, is located, so there is no water."

ScottFeb 06, 2004 at 12:25PM

The "Cook's Tour" episode on the French Laundry really emphasized how important all the local organic farms are to his success. Wonder how he plans to get around that in NYC?

jkottkeFeb 06, 2004 at 2:26PM

I read an article a few months ago that said he doesn't rely on local stuff that much and that the real magic is FedEx. So the food that he buys is locally-grown in the sense that it's not from huge produce farms in the San Fernando Valley but isn't local in the sense of coming from Sonoma. So, not a problem in NYC.

RyanFeb 06, 2004 at 5:32PM

Jason, any idea where you read that article about Keller and FedEx? As someone who has spent time in kitchens in SF (Aqua, Dulcinea, and catering with Paula Le Duc), I can say there certainly is a volume of product that's shipped in rather than bought from local perveyors (e.g. the almost daily shipments of Hudson Valley Foie Gras we received at Aqua). But you can't rely on air for essential produce - the costs are prohibitive (even if you're Keller), and quality degrades the moment the product leaves the point of origin. I'll take it on faith that exceptional perishables like truffles HAVE to be flown in (just like everywhere else), but I'd love to know what NYC purveyors have been pulling their hair out to meet Keller's standards. Any man who makes his stages brunoise pinenuts for service must make even a D'Artagnan rep sweat.

jkottkeFeb 06, 2004 at 6:17PM

Ryan, here's the article. It says (in part):

"But a heartening piece of news for Mr. Keller's future Manhattan customers is that the French Laundry's success apparently owes less to its Fertile Crescent location then to FedEx."

I also found something I'd never run across before: this account of students from the Beringer Master Series visiting French Laundry (Google cache):

"Our class had the opportunity to have a garden chat with Thomas. He gave us some history on the building and restaurant, and explained how they source all of their amazing ingredients from people all over the world. (Their FedEx bill is many thousands of dollars every month!)"

But who knows where he gets his parsley.

RyanFeb 07, 2004 at 4:38PM

Thanks for the links, Jason. Both were illuminating.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.