Sunday, December 6, 2020

Willie Brown On 'The French Laundry' Restaurant


The French Laundry is the northern California restaurant where meals start at $350 per person and where California politicians dine after instituting bans on restaurant eating for the masses.

Former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown weighed in on the joint in his weekly San Francisco Chronicle column:

Take me to the cleaners: Is there a business anywhere in the world that’s more famous than the French Laundry right now? Gov. Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed have seen to it with their ill-advised attendance at birthday dinners there that the Napa Valley restaurant is known to millions of people who have never been near the place.

The only winner in the deal is my friend Thomas Keller, who owns the joint.

You can only dream of this kind of publicity. Even a cousin of mine in Mineola, Texas, asked me for details about the French Laundry.

I enjoyed telling him of my visit a few years back when Keller invited me into the kitchen to watch the food preparation and service. All that art and hustle was quite a sight.

But what caught my eye was the TV screen in the kitchen that showed workers doing much the same in another kitchen.

Keller explained that he also owns a restaurant in New York called Per Se, and there’s a closed-circuit TV set up so he can watch what’s going on in the kitchen there while he’s working in Yountville.

I hosted a meal once at the French Laundry. I stopped eating after the ninth course. It went on for five more.

And I’m still making payments on the bill.


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