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Thomas Keller in the Frozen Food Aisle?

The man behind the Best Restaurant in America is surprising everyone with a new frozen food line. The folks at Bloomberg are reporting that Thomas Keller — owner of The French Laundry and Per Se — has designed and placed his name on two frozen dishes for FiveLeaf, a unit of Cuisine Solutions Inc. The first one, Mac and Cheese Lobster with Orzo will be pitched to retail stores soon.

In addition to his new frozen food line and two fancy pants fine dining establishments, Keller has two bistros, an American family-style spot, two bakeries and a catering operation. If this sounds like too much for one man to control, I might mention that Keller is also planning to open a meat shop, an inn at the French Laundry and a hamburger and wine restaurant.

When asked why he's willing to spread out his empire, Keller explained that it was mostly due to his staff. By creating advanced placement possibilities for his current employees.

"To maintain the consistency and quality of the staff, you have to give them opportunities."

However, all of this Keller leaves some food critics skeptical. San Francisco Chronicle editor Michael Bauer made comparisons to Wolfgang Puck and wondered if the fine dining brand could work with frozen food.

"Once you get into frozen food and pizzas, your fine dining brand gets a little fuzzed out."

Either way, I know I can't wait to try Keller's fancy mac and cheese, how about you?


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Join The Conversation
Dominique-Rooney Dominique-Rooney 8 years
Once you've reached ultimate perfection...what else is there to do? Let's be honest here. Frozen food IS what it IS....Of course it's not going to be like The French Laundry...IT'S FROZEN!!!!! Maybe Mr. Keller is bored with all of his money and needs something new to do. I love Lobster fresh, frozen I dunno. Don't think I have EVER had a frozen piece of lobster and don't think I would want to. Why? When there's FRESH? isn't there plenty of other things to eat? Could tend to be rubber like. Maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised! I am willing to give it a taste.
Kaceyh415 Kaceyh415 8 years
Frozen food is frozen food no matter the branding it's never that great. I like the idea of furthering his staffs career but his name may loose some respect in the process.
lemonfizz lemonfizz 8 years
The "macaroni and cheese" is probably the recipe from The French Laundry Cookbook, in which case it's lobster poached in butter with orzo and mascarpone cheese. I'm also surprised by this venture. I mean, this is the man who has the word quick in quotation marks in the index of his cookbook! Also, how much are these frozen meals going to cost? Those Bertolli ones they did on "Top Chef" are $10 at my grocery store, so I can only imagine Keller's would cost $20-$30 a pop. I think Keller is crazy in a good way. I've had The French Laundry Cookbook for about 3 weeks and I've liked trying his recipes. I've done what he says to do, right down to making glazes and oils and putting them in squeeze bottles.
beingtazim beingtazim 8 years
frozen veggies? eww. this is all wrong
lms lms 8 years
This sounds pretty interesting to me. I would like to taste it. I have had Lobster Mac & Cheese at both Capital Grille and Chops Lobster Bar. They were excellent.
lexichloe lexichloe 8 years
I don't like this at all. Why and how would a master chef attach his name to frozen food? That defeats everything I respect in cooking. If people want to buy it, falling for a marketing scheme, then let them do it.
scarrie scarrie 8 years
Wow, this just seems wrong coming from the King of fresh ingredients. Plus - mac and cheese with lobster?? Doesn't sound all that appetizing/exotic to me.
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