How Much Thomas Keller Is Really in ‘Ratatouille’’s Remy?
Pixar’s Ratatouille owned the nation’s box offices this past weekend, a tribute both to its makers and the country’s seemingly inexhaustible appetite for shows about cooks and cooking. Ratatouille’s pedigree on this score is as impeccable as Pixar money could make it: The studio hired Thomas Keller of the French Laundry and Per Se as a consultant. The title dish which the movie’s rat hero Remy and his human assistant Linguini make is actually one that was served in the French Laundry. And, according to somebody who should know, Remy as a chef was wholly Keller-esque.
Back of the House
Reservation: Impossible?If the advent of reservation scalpers like PrimeTime Tables and Weekend Epicure didn’t prove that good reservations are more in demand than ever, an article in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal pretty much makes an open-and-shut case. They used OpenTable, a free online reservation service, to try to get spots at the top 40 restaurants in the world, and often struck out; after 3,000 tries — calling every half-hour for six weeks straight — they still couldn’t score a 7 p.m. table at Del Posto. They do report some small triumphs: A San Francisco software engineer figured out how to get a reservation at the French Laundry by reloading an OpenTable page at exactly 11:59:55 a month in advance. And in fact, the free service is probably your best bet, despite the many strikeouts. Still, we prefer to simply call the same afternoon.
How to Get the Ungettable Table [WSJ]
Related: The Death of Paid Reservations?
Keller’s General Manager Quits, CommentsLaura 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