Economy, shmeconomy. As far as complete and utter blockbuster meals go, it doesn't get much bigger than the following: This fall, His Highness Thomas Keller and culinary whiz kid/Keller protégé Grant Achatz will team up for three 20-course dinners at Per Se in New York, Alinea in Chicago and the French Laundry in Yountville. Each chef will prepare 10 alternating courses that "will allow diners to experience a 15 years of culinary dedication, creativity, and history in a single meal."
Still breathing? If so, this might do it: Each dinner is limited to 65 people and will cost $1500 a pop. Bonus: as the Mothership points out, both chefs have new cookbooks due this fall (what timing!), and diners in attendance will be given signed copies of each as parting gifts. Do you think this is what they were cooking up over pizza at Mozza a couple weeks ago? The full press release, dates, and how to get those tickets, next.
The French Laundry, Per Se, and Alinea share a common lineage and a common dedication to excellence, but on the surface their cuisines could not appear more different. Chefs Thomas Keller and Grant Achatz will highlight and contrast their unique and celebrated styles by hosting three unforgettable dinners.
At Per Se, Alinea, and the French Laundry, each chef will prepare 10 alternating courses, creating a tasting menu that spans the very best of their creations while honoring a 12-year relationship that has defined 3 of the very best restaurants in the world. These will be dinners celebrating not only the relationship of a mentor and his protégé, but also of innovative chefs getting the chance to create together again.
In the New York Times in 1996 Ruth Reichl declared The French Laundry “the most exciting place to eat in the United States.” It’s chef and driving force, Thomas Keller, came to define excellence, perfection and dedication in the kitchen. He is universally acknowledged as one of the very finest chefs in the world. After opening Bouchon in 1998, he returned to New York to open Per Se in 2004. Both TFL and Per Se have achieved 3 Michelin stars, while Bouchon holds 1 star, making chef Keller the only American chef to hold 7 Michelin stars.
When Ms. Reichl dined at The French Laundry at that time, Grant Achatz was a chef de partie. He remembers vividly her dinners at the French Laundry: the energy it gave the staff; of constantly striving to perfect the dishes of his mentor; of seeking to surpass expectations. He remembers too the growing desire to forge his own style of cuisine while honoring his relationship with chef Keller.
In 2001 Grant left the French Laundry to strike out on his own as executive chef at Trio in Evanston, Illinois. And in 2005, he opened Alinea. Known for relentlessly pursuing a creative and hypermodern style of haute cuisine, Grant had his chance to host a dinner for Ms. Reichl, now the editor of Gourmet Magazine. In 2006 Gourmet named Alinea the Best Restaurant in the United States. In 2008, the James Beard Foundation named Grant Best Chef in the US.
Each dinner in the series will allow diners to experience a 15 years of culinary dedication, creativity, and history in a single meal. For three nights only:
November 11 – Per Se
December 2 – Alinea
December 9 – The French Laundry
Seating is limited to 65 people per dinner. Each patron will receive signed personalized copies of chef Keller’s book Under Pressure and chef Achatz’ book Alinea. $ 1,500 per person, including exceptional wine pairings. Special guests will be present at all 3 dinners.
And to make those primo resys:
· Call Isabelle Brochard for reservations for Per Se: 212.823.9450
· Call Julie Hyatt for reservations for Alinea: 312.867.0110.
· Call Amali Seneviratne for reservations at the French Laundry: 707.754.4175