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The French Laundry, Yountville, CA: December, 2007. Initial Thoughts.

December 26, 2007

My first trip to The French Laundry was back in 2002.  Valentine’s Day, actually.  I wasn’t there romantically, mind you, but as a kitchen stagiare for a few days.  I was working at the time for a chef who was an old friend of Thomas Keller’s, and I had been given the opportunity to hang around and see how they did things.  I was also fed somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20 courses in my time there, though this past Sunday was the first time I dined like a normal citizen…jacket required and everything.

There were many layers of deliciousness (Hello Oysters & Cauliflower), many experiences of Roman Excess (I’m looking at you, Toast Refresh Service), and many glasses of exceptional vino (Thank you Elyse Carneros Grenache!).  I believe I will be coming back to this topic at a later date, but since the birth of my son August I’ve had precious little time to devote to AGFB.  I thought I’d come back in with a bang.

Here’s a sampling of the tasty victuals…





The bill was, in a word, outrageous, but it was on my pal’s expense account, so what the heck.  The fact that our waiter was probably pulling in nearly six figures a year did little to salve the wounds brought on by the knowledge that my culinary brethren in the back were making maybe $12/hour.  Such is and has always been the great divide.

More on this and the oh so ethereal Vermont Butter at a later time.

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