The big news today comes from Yountville, where French Laundry chef de cuisine Corey Lee is leaving the Keller restaurant to start one of his own in San Francisco.
After four years at the head of the French Laundry kitchen, Lee started thinking about stepping out on his own. He said he considered setting up shop in New York, where opening would actually be cheaper, but he decided on San Francisco because of the availability of higher-quality ingredients. Apparently he and Thomas Keller worked together to choreograph the move so that it would be a smooth transition.
Eight-year veteran Timothy Hollingsworth, who represented the U.S. in last year’s Bocuse d’Or, and helped open Per Se, will take Lee’s place.
Hollingsworth and Lee both carry on Keller’s obsession with fresh, local produce. As Keller told Michael Bauer today, "Our menu is market driven, and over the last five years it’s become garden driven."
[Photo: Via French Laundry]