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Thomas Keller confirms 1 October opening date of French Laundry pop-up restaurant at Harrods

01 August 2011 by
Thomas Keller confirms 1 October opening date of French Laundry pop-up restaurant at Harrods

Iconic US chef Thomas Keller has confirmed the 1 October opening of his French Laundry pop-up restaurant at London department store Harrods.

The chef-patron of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Napa Valley, California, will run the pop-up for 10 days in an enclosed space in Harrods' fourth floor Georgian Restaurant. It will be his first venture outside the USA.

The 70-seat dining room will offer a nine-course tasting menu at lunch and dinner, priced at £250 per person. The menu will include French Laundry classics such as oysters and pearls as well as some new dishes created especially for London.

The kitchen will be headed up by Keller, who will be accompanied by 14 members of staff from the original French Laundry. Booking lines will open on 1 September.

Keller said he was "extremely excited" about the collaboration with Harrods. "It is for us a first in many ways. We have never ventured to open a restaurant outside the USA, but we realised early on that our philosophies mirrored each other's and we could not think of a better partner for this endeavour," he said.

"It is my hope that each and every one of our guests will leave with a wonderful memory of having experienced the French Laundry while staying close to home."

Paul Goodale, director of restaurants at Harrods, added: "The opportunity to enjoy the French Laundry at Harrods promises to be a truly unique and compelling experience for our diners.

"Like Harrods, Thomas Keller enjoys a globally renowned reputation and our collaboration is set to be the pinnacle in a year that will witness a number of exciting new restaurant launches and rejuvenations here at Harrods."

Located in the sleepy little town of Yountville, 60 miles north of San Francisco, the 60-cover French Laundry is housed in a century-old stone building, which was originally a saloon and brothel, and then a French steam laundry, before becoming a restaurant in the 1970s.

Already an acclaimed chef who had spent time in New York and Los Angeles, Keller opened the French Laundry in 1994 and it quickly developed into a fine-dining destination recognised beyond the borders of California and indeed the USA. In 2006, it debuted as the only restaurant holding the top accolade of three stars in Michelin's inaugural guide to San Francisco and the Bay Area. While Keller's empire of restaurants and three Bouchon bakeries now stretches across the USA (including the acclaimed three-Michelin-starred Per Se in New York) the French Laundry very much remains the place the chef calls home. His own house is located right next door and Keller also owns two other restaurants in Yountville (the Michelin-starred Bouchon and Ad Hoc) as well as the flagship Bouchon bakery.

Interview with Thomas Keller >>

2009 Roux Scholar Hrishikesh Desai at California's French Laundry >>

The French Laundry's head pastry chef Claire Clark on life in California >>

By Kerstin KÁ¼hn

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