Laura Cunningham, the longtime general manager of Thomas Keller’s fabled French Laundry restaurant in Northern California, who also oversaw the operations of Per Se in New York, is leaving her post, as first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. Her announcement was made yesterday via an e-mail to employees.
"They came to the decision that she wants to pursue other endeavors," said Keller’s New York spokesperson. What other endeavors? "She doesn’t know at this time,” said the spokesperson.
Cunningham and Keller, known as a fine-dining power couple, opened the Laundry together ten years ago.
"It’s been an amazing job, but personally I just need a change and some time off," said Cunningham, whom the Chronicle once called "one of the most influential women in the restaurant business." "I am reevaluating. I have no job, but there are definitely things I’ve missed on a personal level that I just want to concentrate on."
— Beth Landman