Thomas Keller: The Taylor Swift of the Cooking World

Ad Hoc At HomeBecause 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.
  • Ad Hoc At Home