Thomas Keller is renowned for his culinary skills

Thomas Keller is renowned for his culinary skills

Thomas Keller is renowned for his culinary skills and his exceptionally high standards. He has established a collection of restaurants that set a new paradigm within the hospitality profession. He is the first and only American-born chef to hold multiple three-star ratings from the prestigious Michelin Guide, as well as the first American male chef to be designated a Chevalier of The French Legion of Honor, the highest decoration in France. He has received countless accolades, including The Culinary Institute of America’s “Chef of the Year” Award and the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Chef” and “Outstanding Restaurateur” Awards.

Thomas Keller in garden; Thomas Keller in conversation

Keller began his culinary career at a young age, working in the Palm Beach restaurant managed by his mother. He relocated to France in 1983, where he worked in several Michelin-starred houses including Guy Savoy and Taillevent. He opened his first restaurant, Rakel, in New York City in 1986, then moved westward to California to work as the Executive Chef at the Checkers Hotel in Los Angeles.

In 1994, Keller took ownership of The French Laundry in Yountville, quickly garnering nationwide acclaim. The restaurant recently celebrated its 20th anniversary in July 2014, which is an accomplishment few American restaurants have achieved. To give the restaurant a backdrop worthy of its artistry and history, the first major design overhaul of the kitchen and surrounding grounds began in January 2015 and is currently underway. The restaurant is open during this renovation and operating out of a temporary kitchen constructed from four shipping containers. To keep his team employed during the transition from old kitchen to temporary kitchen, Keller hosted a pop-up restaurant, Ad Lib, at Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa Valley. The temporary restaurant was so successful, that it was open for nine months instead of 100 days as originally intended.

His French bistro Bouchon debuted in 1998, with Bouchon Bakery following five years later, both in walking distance from The French Laundry. The other restaurants in the group include his family-style restaurant Ad Hoc also located in Yountville, Per Se and Bouchon Bakery & Cafe in the Time Warner Center in New York City, and outposts of Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. In November 2009, he opened Bouchon in Beverly Hills and introduced his newest concept Bar Bouchon in an adjacent space. In May 2011 Keller opened Bouchon Bakery in New York City’s iconic Rockefeller Center, followed by another unveiling of Bouchon Bakery in Beverly Hills later that August. In December 2012, he simultaneously opened two additional locations of Bouchon Bakery at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

Keller is the author of five cookbooks, of which more than one million copies are in print. His award-winning
“The French Laundry” cookbook debuted in 1999, followed by “Bouchon” and “Under Pressure,” a cookbook dedicated to sous vide preparations. He also authored “Ad Hoc at Home,” a book of family-style recipes that received awards from IACP and the James Beard Foundation, in addition to appearing on The New York Times Best Sellers list for six weeks in 2009 and 2010. His most recent project, The New York Times best selling cookbook “Bouchon Bakery,” was on The New York Times Best Sellers list for nearly two months after its release in October 2012.

Valuing genuine collaboration, Keller has successfully assembled an expert staff that shares his philosophy and vision, enabling him to concentrate on his many varied interests, including his Napa Valley wine label Modicum and bi-annual lifestyle magazine Finesse. His relationship with All-Clad Metalcrafters is more than a decade-old, and includes collaborations such as the All-Clad Copper Core and the All-Clad Bocuse D’Or Cookware. Together with restaurant designer Adam D. Tihany, he developed K + T, a collection of silver halloware and cocktailware for Christofle Silversmiths. His collaboration with Raynaud and design firm Level has led to a sophisticated collection of white porcelain dinnerware called “Hommage.” He also consulted on the films Spanglish and Ratatouille, the latter winning the 2007 “Best Animated Feature Film” category at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.

In August 2011, in collaboration with Lena Kwak, then the research and development chef of The French Laundry, Keller launched Cup4Cup, or “cup for cup,” a gluten-free flour blend that substitutes for all-purpose flour in home recipes. Distributed nationally at retailers like Whole Foods, Wegmans, William Sonoma and including Bouchon Bakery locations, Cup4Cup provides an alternative new ingredient to home cooks nationwide and continues Keller’s legacy of setting industry standards. In addition to the multi-purpose flour, new products include a pancake & waffle mix, brownie mix, pizza mix. The brand’s emphasis on innovation continues to bring new products. In January 2015 Keller and Kwak Introduced a nutrient dense, dairy and gluten free Wholesome Vanilla Cake to the Cup4Cup line of baking mixes.

In addition to the international and national acclaim Keller’s fine dining and casual dining restaurants consistently receive, including seven stars in the 2013 Michelin Guide, Keller’s personal influence on the culinary world has laced him among the most decorated chefs in the world. In 2001, Keller was named “America’s Best Chef” by Time magazine. In 2003, Johnson & Wales University conferred upon him the honorary Degree of Doctor of Culinary Arts for his contributions to the profession. He is consistently recognized by respected media outlets, the James Beard Foundation and The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), which recently honored him in 2013 with “TK Day at the CIA”—a day dedicated to culinary curricula of America. In 2010 he was elected to the CIA’s Board of Trustees, contributing his unique perspective and leadership to furthering the school’s educational mission.

In 2008, at the behest of Chef Paul Bocuse, he, along with Chefs Daniel Boulud and Jerome Bocuse, established the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation where he currently serves as president. The Foundation is devoted to inspiring culinary excellence in young professionals and preserving the traditions and quality of classic cuisine in America. Chef Paul Bocuse’s dream was realized in January 2015 when Keller led Team USA to win silver, which was the first time the United States has ever placed on the podium.

On behalf of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Chef Paul Bocuse presented Keller as a Chevalier of The French Legion of Honor in 2011 in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the traditions of French cuisine and his role in elevating cooking in America.

During the summer of 2013, Keller opened his first retail store in Yountville offering an array of hand-selected kitchen tools, apparel, gifts and accessories. As with Keller’s menus, the product selection changes seasonally but staying true to Chef ’s Essentials, Garden Essentials, Pastry Essentials and restaurant keepsakes.


FDA announces first approval of targeted therapy based on Basket study

FDA announces first approval of targeted therapy based on Basket study

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it has approved the drug vemurafenib for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600-mutant Erdheim-Chester disease (ECD). This is the first approval of a targeted therapy based on a basket study and the first-ever drug approved for ECD, a rare blood disorder.

This landmark approval came as a direct result of research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). MSK researchers, led by Physician-in-Chief José Baselga, MD, PhD, pioneered the concept of a basket study, which harnesses the power of precision medicine by assigning treatments to patients based on the genetic alterations driving their cancers rather than where their tumors originated in the body. This approval is based off of the data of 22 ECD patients enrolled in the phase II VE-BASKET study.

Author Comments

“This approval marks a new era in targeted cancer treatment as we expect this to be the first of many approvals based on precision medicine clinical trials,” said Dr. Baselga. “At MSK, we have long seen the promise of genome-driven oncology and histology-independent basket studies and this approval validates this important work. The FDA’s ruling provides hope not just to patients with ECD, but also to others who may benefit from targeted therapies.”

“This unique clinical trial design allows us to broaden eligibility and treat patients with diseases that have historically been underrepresented or even entirely absent in clinical trials, such as ECD,” explained David Hyman, MD, Chief of the Early Drug Development Service at MSK. “While this approval is an important step, we believe this is just the beginning, as we have already seen precision medicine benefit many of the patients treated on these basket studies.”


ECD is one of an extremely rare form of blood cancers known collectively as histiocytoses that can lead to life-threatening complications, including damage to the heart, lungs, and kidneys. It’s estimated that there are fewer than 300 cases of ECD in the United States. More than 50 percent of people with ECD have BRAF V600-mutant disease, indicating that they would benefit from this drug. Previous treatments for ECD have included off-label use of chemotherapy, radiation, steroids, and the immunotherapy drug interferon, but all of these have limited efficacy based on anecdotal reports and potentially severe side effects.

Based on the work of MSK medical oncologist Paul Chapman, MD, vemurafenib was previously approved for the treatment of advanced melanoma that carries the BRAF V600E mutation. Dr. Chapman led the phase III trial for vemurafenib that led to the drug’s approval for that disease in 2011. In August 2017, vemurafenib was granted FDA Priority Review and Breakthrough Therapy Designation for the treatment of BRAF V600-mutant ECD.

About the Study

This approval is based on data from the phase II VE-BASKET study, a nonrandomized, histology-independent evaluation of the efficacy of vemurafenib, an inhibitor of BRAF V600 kinase, in non-melanoma cancers, including ECD. This first-in-kind study enrolled participants across multiple diseases, based predominantly on genetic profile rather than where the cancer originated. Initial study results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in August 2015.

Final results for the 22 people with ECD showed a best overall response rate of 54.4 percent by RECIST v1.1. Importantly, responses and disease control were extremely durable. The median duration of response was not estimable at a median follow-up time of 26.6 months. At two years, 83 percent of patients remained progression free. The safety of vemurafenib in ECD patients was similar to that previously reported in patients with melanoma. The most common adverse events were joint pain, rash, hair loss, fatigue, change in heart rhythm, and skin tags.

Precision Medicine at MSK

Experts at MSK have taken the lead in developing clinical trials for a number of promising treatments that are based on tumors’ mutational profiles. Since August 2015, when MSK experts published initial results of the first basket study, histology-agnostic clinical trials have emerged as one important means of systematically testing a targeted therapy across a variety of tumor types. This innovative clinical trial design helps collect data faster and may accelerate the development of medicines for diseases with high unmet need. Basket studies can include many more people than disease-specific trials, allowing researchers to evaluate multiple diseases simultaneously. This is particularly important for diseases such as ECD that are extremely rare, making it difficult to fully enroll a disease or tumor-specific trial.

MSK leadership saw the promise of precision oncology early on and committed to realizing its ability to create better treatment options for all people with cancer. In 2014, the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Molecular Oncology (CMO) was established to improve cancer care and research through genomic analysis and MSK-IMPACT™ (Integrated Mutation Profiling of Actionable Cancer Targets) was launched. This powerful diagnostic test provides detailed genetic information about a patient’s cancer that can guide treatment and identify clinical trial opportunities. To date, more than 20,000 MSK patients with advanced cancer have had their tumors sequenced through MSK-IMPACT. Most recently, Dr. Baselga and colleagues published a roadmap to precision oncology in the form of a seminal review paper in Cell

EatLove announces collaboration with AmazonFresh

EatLove announces collaboration with AmazonFresh

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — EatLove, the personalized nutrition platform and meal planning service, announced they are teaming up with AmazonFresh as one of their first recipe integration providers. Customers will now be able to combine healthy meal planning and grocery shopping in one simple click.

EatLove’s comprehensive personalization takes into account every variable and dietary consideration, including nutrition, health and lifestyle goals, food allergies as well as personal tastes and preferences. The service starts with a simple evaluation then its powerful technology creates a customized meal plan for the week complete with an optimized grocery list, daily reminders and easy to follow recipes. Customers check off the ingredients they already have at home, and the remaining grocery items can be purchased and delivered conveniently through AmazonFresh.

The platform offers a variety of over 3,000 individually tested, delicious recipes from chefs, recipe developers, dietitians and popular food bloggers with more than 900 meal plans hand crafted by registered dietitians.

According to EatLove CEO Monique Nadeau, “The collaboration with AmazonFresh is the natural next step for EatLove further simplifying weekly meal planning with online shopping and ordering, all under ten minutes.”

“EatLove has cracked the code on the comprehensive personalization required for today’s complex individual and family diets coping with any and all combinations of health and medicinal food requirements,” Nadeau said. “Our advanced algorithms can instantly analyze more than 3 million dietary factors to create the perfect meal plan and grocery list, optimized across the week’s recipes ensuring “meal kit” efficiencies at less than half the cost.”

The innovative integration of EatLove’s personalized meal planning and AmazonFresh grocery shopping will change how customers plan and shop for their weekly meals. The seamless experience further simplifies the connection between personal dietary needs and grocery shopping.  Learn more at