17 Recipes to Make at Home for a Taste of Thomas Keller (2024)

Food & Wine began naming Best New Chefs in 1988, and Thomas Keller was among the first group to receive the honor. At that time, he was cooking at his first restaurant, Rakel in New York City; Andrew Zimmern was a line cook there, and Tom Colicchio was a sous chef. Keller left Rakel for California in 1990 when his business partner decided to take the restaurant in a different direction amid an economic downturn. It wasn't long before Keller learned about a certain restaurant space for sale in Napa Valley; in July of 1994, The French Laundry opened its doors.

The James Beard Foundation named Thomas Keller the Best California Chef in 1996; and the Best Chef in America in 1997. By 2003 and 2004, The French Laundry ranked number one among the World's 50 Best Restaurants. Keller went on to open several more restaurants, including Bouchon, Per Se, and Ad Hoc; both The French Laundry and Per Se hold three Michelin stars.

Thomas Keller is known for applying American flavors to French classics. The recipes he's contributed to Food & Wine span the styles found at his various outposts: We have comfort food recipes in the vein of Ad Hoc; inventive, elevated dishes like the ones found at The French Laundry; and even a Bouchon-inspired quiche. Cook your way through this collection of dishes for a taste of celebrated chef Thomas Keller at home.

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Lemon-Brined Fried Chicken

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To make this juicy and delectably crisp chicken, chef Thomas Keller soaks the poultry in a lemony brine, then coats and fries it.

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02of 17

Summer Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

17 Recipes to Make at Home for a Taste of Thomas Keller (2)

Thomas Keller is a huge fan of spontaneous salads and invariably tops them with this creamy vinaigrette. It's inspired by his time at the former La Rive Restaurant in Catskill, New York; he's been making some version of it for more than 40 years. The salad itself changes constantly, based on what's in The French Laundry garden or at the market; make it with the best fresh vegetables you can get.

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03of 17

Chanterelle Omelets with Fines Herbes Sauce

17 Recipes to Make at Home for a Taste of Thomas Keller (3)

Why does Thomas Keller make a one-egg omelet? Because the result is so much more delicate and alluring than the supersize omelets made with multiple eggs, especially with a creamy chanterelle filling.

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04of 17

Slow-Cooked Lamb with Cipolini, Dates, Kale, and Almonds

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Keller’s trick for yielding extra-flavorful meat is seasoning the roast a day in advance: The lamb takes on the aroma of garlic and thyme as well as a subtle heat from piment d’Espelette, a smoky, mildly spicy ground pepper.

05of 17

Panko-Coated Chicken Schnitzel

17 Recipes to Make at Home for a Taste of Thomas Keller (5)

Thomas Keller uses panko breadcrumbs to give chicken a crunchy crust. "Pounding chicken breasts to a uniform thickness cuts down on cooking time," he says.

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06of 17

Iceberg Wedges with Bacon and Buttermilk Dressing

17 Recipes to Make at Home for a Taste of Thomas Keller (6)

This salad from Thomas Keller's family-style restaurant, Ad Hoc, in Yountville, California, is a twist on the quintessential American combination of iceberg lettuce, tomato wedges, and packaged bacon bits with a mayonnaise dressing. Only the iceberg lettuce wedges stay the same: The tomatoes are oven-roasted, the bacon is cut extra thick, and the buttermilk dressing is spiked with chives, mint, and parsley.

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07of 17

Smoked Salmon Crisps

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Thomas Keller's salmon cornets (tuiles shaped into tiny cones and topped with crème fraîche and fresh salmon) are a famous kickoff to his luxe and whimsical meals at The French Laundry in Napa Valley. Here, we leave the tuiles flat, like crackers.

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08of 17

Whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes

17 Recipes to Make at Home for a Taste of Thomas Keller (8)

These potatoes from Ad Hoc have a wonderfully fluffy texture because they're passed through a ricer or food mill to make them especially airy. But they're also nicely rich, thanks to generous amounts of butter and heavy cream.

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09of 17

BLT Fried Egg and Cheese Sandwich

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Thomas Keller's scrumptious recipe combines three of the world's most popular sandwiches: bacon, lettuce, and tomato; fried egg; and grilled cheese.

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10of 17

Over-the-Top Mushroom Quiche

17 Recipes to Make at Home for a Taste of Thomas Keller (10)

"I love quiche, but it has to be several inches high and made right," says Thomas Keller. This high-rising version, which is adapted from a recipe in his Bouchon cookbook, just might be the perfect one, and it's well worth the time it takes to prepare.

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11of 17

Olive Oil-Poached Cod with Mussels, Orange, and Chorizo

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At The French Laundry, Thomas Keller serves this dish with an orange gelée flavored with Espelette peppers. In this simplified version, he pairs the olive oil–poached cod with an orange sauce vierge, a classic French sauce typically made from olive oil and lemon juice.

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Whole Grilled Chicken with Wilted Arugula

17 Recipes to Make at Home for a Taste of Thomas Keller (12)

"I don't care if you're sophisticated, with a boatload of money," says Thomas Keller. "Roasted chicken makes you feel wonderful." Cooking a whole chicken on the grill can be tricky, but Keller has perfected a method that uses indirect heat; he adds rosemary sprigs to the coals to infuse the smoke and flavor the chicken.

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13of 17

Quick Pickled Pearl Onions

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Thomas Keller created these sweet-tart pickled pearl onions to add contrast to rich roast meats; he especially likes themas an accompaniment to hisjuicy grilled chicken.

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14of 17

Salt-Baked Branzino

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Thomas Keller cooks whole fish in a salt crust to keep it moist, then serves it with a chunky zucchini-basilpistou — Provence’s version of pesto — and lemony cherry tomatoes.

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Braised Vegetable Hash

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This colorful, tasty vegetable hash is delicious by itself or with a fried egg on top.

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Sautéed Brussels Sprouts and Squash with Fried Sage

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This super-autumnal dish offers an unusual combination of brussels sprouts and butternut squash, which generally stand on their own as side dishes. The brussels sprout leaves are savory, the chunks of squash are tender and sweet, and the fried sage garnish is pungent and crunchy.

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Fennel Mustard

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A terrific condiment from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home; try it on roast pork.

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17 Recipes to Make at Home for a Taste of Thomas Keller (2024)


What is Thomas Keller's favorite food? ›

In the introduction to Bouchon (2004), Keller writes, “Bistro cooking is my favourite food to eat. Roast chicken and a salad of fresh lettuces with a simple vinaigrette. Frisée salad with crisp, chewy lardons and a poached egg. A dense steak with lemon-herb butter and frites.

What was Thomas Keller's first restaurant? ›

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.

How did Thomas Keller learn to cook? ›

Thomas Keller grew up in the restaurant business, in Palm Beach, Florida, working his way up from dishwasher to cook. As a teenager, he fell in love with the art of French cooking and learned his craft working in restaurants up and down the East Coast before moving to France to complete his training.

Who is the best chef in America? ›

Thomas Keller

Thomas Keller is an American chef who has been awarded titles like best chef in America and California multiple times. His restaurants hold seven Michelin stars. He worked his way from kitchen apprentice to very successful and famous chef over many years.

Is the menu based on Thomas Keller? ›

The Menu's Amuse Bouche Was Inspired By A Thomas Keller Dish. Fine dining meets satire meets horror in Mark Mylod's “The Menu,” which centers on a group of rich folks as they experience one of the best restaurants in the world.

Is Thomas Keller a Michelin star chef? ›

Culinary career

He is the only American chef to have been awarded simultaneous three-star Michelin ratings for two different restaurants. His restaurants currently hold seven Michelin stars in total: three at Per Se, three at The French Laundry, and one at The Surf Club Restaurant.

Is Thomas Keller self taught? ›

Thomas Keller taught himself the art of cooking at a young age. He moved to France from Florida and began working for many top-tier restaurants.

Is Thomas Keller a celebrity chef? ›

Thomas Keller's name is synonymous with quality and high standards. The chef and proprietor has established a collection of restaurants that sets a new paradigm within the hospitality profession.

How to make food in 5 minutes? ›

5-minute meals recipes
  1. Storecupboard pasta salad. A star rating of 4.4 out of 5. ...
  2. Pan-fried camembert sandwich. A star rating of 4.6 out of 5. ...
  3. Prawn & coconut soup. ...
  4. Classic French omelette. ...
  5. Chicken wrap with sticky sweet potato, salad leaves & tomatoes. ...
  6. Creamy tomato courgetti. ...
  7. Speedy tuna pasta salad. ...
  8. Easy pea & mint soup.

What are 3 famous foods? ›

Pizza, from Italy. Ramen, from Japan. Burger, from the United States. Paella, from Spain.

What are some interesting facts about Thomas Keller? ›

He has received countless accolades, including The Culinary Institute of America's “Chef of the Year” Award and the James Beard Foundation's “Outstanding Chef” and “Outstanding Restaurateur” Awards. He holds honorary doctorates in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University and The Culinary Institute of America.

Did Thomas Keller invent ratatouille? ›

Thomas Keller was the chef who created Remy's version of ratatouille, and he understood how food can deeply connect one another.

How many restaurants does Thomas Keller have? ›

With 10 properties and over 800 employees, the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group (TKRG) has grown from one restaurant to a large family of businesses. TKRG proudly represents The French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon Bistro, Bouchon Bakery, Ad Hoc, La Calenda and The Surf Club Restaurant.


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