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Celebrity Chef Thomas Keller Scolds ‘Haters’ Troubled by His Trump Ties

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The ratioed French Laundry chef released a reproachful tweetstorm Thursday

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Thomas Keller, a celebrity chef who owns The French Laundry and several other celebrated restaurants, referred to his critics as “haters and cynics” Thursday.
Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Despite his years in the cutthroat world of fine dining, Thomas Keller, the celebrated chef who owns acclaimed Yountville restaurant the French Laundry, Ad Hoc, and Bouchon (as well as numerous other restaurants across the U.S.) is not impervious to criticism, it seems. On Wednesday, Keller, along with Wolfgang Puck, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Daniel Boulud, were named to the White House’s Economic Council for Restaurants, a group tasked with saving an industry devastated by the coronavirus crisis. Keller’s tweet declaring the appointment an honor was roundly mocked, a ratio that he responded to with a series of angry tweets a day later.

In the nearly 800 responses to Keller’s initial tweet, one sees a variety of reasons people are dismayed: Obviously, there’s the tie (however tenuous it might be) to President Donald Trump, who — you might have heard — is a fairly divisive figure. Then there’s the makeup of the council itself, a group that’s part of the White House’s so-called “Great American Economic Revival Industry Group.” Other than the men listed above, the other members of the panel represent corporations like Chick-fil-A, Subway, and Pepsi — hardly the companies one thinks of when one considers the restaurateurs hardest hit by the crisis. Those council members, as well, are all male.

That concern isn’t one addressed by Keller in his series of scolding tweets Thursday, remarks that refer to critics of the council as “haters and cynics” and urge “shame” for those who might suggest that aligning oneself with the current commander-in-chief is worth reconsidering. Here’s his response to critics of the initial announcement, in full:

The French Laundry

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Ad Hoc

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