After four years of renovations, and several of them spent cooking out of a temporary shipping container kitchen, Thomas Keller and his team at The French Laundry are back in a permanent home. The restaurant’s $10 million, 2,120-square-foot kitchen re-do was officially christened during dinner service on Saturday.
Designed by Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta, fresh off their grand SFMOMA redesign, the kitchen project included new office space, 9,000 square-feet of landscape design and a (presumably very secure) 16,000-bottle wine cellar. On a practical level, Keller’s culinary olympians got a new kitchen designed for efficiency, the Chronicle reports. Everything from the height of the counters to the acoustics, was carefully considered and the ceiling is meant to evoke undulating white tablecloths. A row of windows between the dining room and the new kitchen offers a peek behind the scenes and, of course, Keller made sure to include those five, iconic brass stars looming over the pass.
And the restaurant still has more changes to come: A new entryway that will guide diners through a courtyard of almond blossoms isn’t set to debut until later this spring, and we still don’t have any updates on Keller’s plan to build a hotel on the property.