Thomas Keller: The Taylor Swift of the Cooking World
Because Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa shopping for my mother can never start too early, I headed all the way down to the South Coast Plaza Williams-Sonoma on Thursday to get Chef Thomas Keller to sign a copy of his newest cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home.
I’ll admit to some butterflies in my stomach anticipating what I would say to the man behind French Laundry and the Beverly Hills Bouchon opening this Wednesday, November 18.
After a three hour wait (no joke) I finally got Chef Keller to scribble his name illegibly, so “Nancy” will be all impressed and shit. I said some stupid things that I don’t remember. He smiled.
Here are some observations from my afternoon in this Orange County mall…
The snacks were a nice compliment to the afternoon. Williams-Sonoma employees walked around handing out samples from the cookbook. Although the flatbread cracker with fig balsamic jam was good, I’d say the cream cauliflower soup was a personal favorite. And that’s saying a lot because it has … cauliflower in it. The line was about twice as long as I expected. Orange County, a region that wouldn’t know culinary excellence if it hit them in the implant [Ouch!—Ed.] showed up strong for the Keller appearance. However, I was informed the line for Giada a few months back was twice as long. That’s embarrassing. Both of the girls behind me in line skipped work to attend the book signing. The foodie in me was really, really attracted to this. Besides books I was informed Chef Keller would sign “wooden spoons,” amongst other items. Really? A wooden spoon? Keller would sign as many books as you purchased (as well as spoons, etc.) and posed for any requested picture. Certainly a better autograph session experience than the last one I attended: Darryl Strawberry in the mid-nineties.