Long before Ad Hoc at Home became a holiday pick and bestselling cookbook, Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc restaurant was a go-to Napa Valley spot for family-style comfort food. When the culinary deity first opened Ad Hoc in 2006, he intended for it to be a temporary café until he could nail down what his ultimate dining concept would be. But the restaurant, which served a set, four-course American meal every night, experienced such wild success that it became a permanent fixture. Although Ad Hoc is known for its dinners, I've recently discovered that its Sunday brunch is a better value and more consistent in execution. It's truly worth the 80-minute drive from San Francisco. To see two of my favorite brunches, keep reading.
In light of the culinary Olympics that are taking place tomorrow, I've been brushing up quite a bit on my Bocuse d'Or knowledge. Not only did I gather insights from returning contender Percy Whatley, but I just finished Knives at Dawn, journalist Andrew Friedman's in-depth account of America's quest to win the 2009 competition. Armed with tons of fun competition trivia, I thought I'd see how fast you can race to the finish with these facts. How high can you score on the Bocuse d'Or? Take my quiz to find out!Take the Quiz
- What did you think of the Food Network's new Mexican Made Easy show?
- What did you think of the Food Network's new Mexican Made Easy show? — Food Network Addict
- When is it not OK to take photographs of food in restaurants? — Endless Simmer
- Don't get suckered on Valentine's Day. — Chow
- Should we be cutting back our salt intake? — The Epi-Log
- Many of those hoping to attend Charlie Palmer's star-studded Pigs & Pinot event are going to be disappointed. — Grub Street SF
- Eight curious chocolate-covered creations. — Woman's Day
- Take your grilled cheese sandwich to the next level with quince paste. — Serious Eats
- Thomas Keller talks about washing dishes and family recipes. — Eater
From bar tools to gourmet snacks, we've presented you with tons of fabulous gift ideas. While we're all about creating delicious edible items, we understand that not everyone has the time or energy to make edible gifts. That's why we've selected our top four suggestions and rounded them up in today's episode of YumTV. Watch it now to learn what they are!
Yesterday, Bocuse d'Or USA chairman Daniel Boulud announced the 12 semifinalists who will compete to represent the United States in the next Bocuse d'Or. Following in the footsteps of Top Chef's Hung Huynh is Top Chef Las Vegas finalist Kevin Gillespie, who won an elimination challenge to compete at the Bocuse d'Or.
The 12 semifinalists will square off on Feb. 6, 2010, at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, for a highly coveted position on the US team. The winners will then compete at the Bocuse d'Or in Lyon, France, in 2011.
I find it puzzling that, although the competition drew only 17 applicants, the number of candidates seems to have nearly doubled since last year. Still, I'm excited to see how everything pans out. Although I wonder whether Kevin's straightforward, rustic cooking will be too simple for the culinary Olympics, I still hope he goes all the way.
To find out who the other 11 competitors are, read more.
Things took a serious turn on the most recent episode of Top Chef. The cheftestants had to cook serious food for some serious chefs. Thomas Keller appeared, the Voltaggio brothers struggled, and Kevin experimented with the culinary technique known as sous vide. How closely were you watching? Find out when you take the quiz!
Photo courtesy of BravoTake the Quiz
It was down to five cheftestants on last night's episode of Top Chef. The final Las Vegas challenge — the next two shows take place in Napa, California — highlighted the Bocuse d'Or, the world's most prestigious classical cooking competition. A plethora of big name chefs including Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud, guest judged. Ready to discuss? Keep reading.
Whether it's custard that won't set or brittle fleur de sel caramels, we've all had failed cooking attempts. But when disaster strikes while closely following a recipe, it poses the question: Whose recipes can be trusted? And whose cannot? Most religious recipe followers seem to have culinary experts they've come to trust. For example, I find it hard to pick on anything by famed perfectionist Thomas Keller. Same with any cookbook that's been tested over and over again, like those from the late Sheila Lukins. And I've never been able to find fault in a recipe from Tyler Florence or Ina Garten. Whose recipes have you counted on time and time again?
On this Wednesday, we don't just celebrate Hump Day for the week; we also honor French Laundry chef and restaurant legend Thomas Keller, who turns 54 today. The culinary pioneer — who's been called everything from the food industry's Yoda to Father Jesus Keller — shows no signs of slowing down. He's about to open a Bouchon restaurant in LA and a new inn in Napa Valley. Although chef Keller gets plenty of press, he still manages to keep a lot of his personal life under wraps. Here, 10 things you probably would never have guessed about him.