Thomas Keller to be inducted into 2020 MenuMasters Hall of Fame

Monday, 27. January 2020 16:00

NEW YORK, Jan. 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Thomas Keller, who helped transform the American dining landscape both with his own restaurants and by mentoring a generation of chefs and restaurateurs, is being inducted into the MenuMasters Hall of Fame in May.

He will be honored at this year’s Nation’s Restaurant News MenuMasters gala, sponsored by Ventura Foods, at the Drake Hotel in Chicago on May 16.

The Hall of Fame honors chefs who have spent their careers promoting culinary excellence in American foodservice. Past winners have included Daniel Boulud, Jeremiah Tower, Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken, José Andrés and Wolfgang Puck.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am that we are finally inducting Thomas Keller into the MenuMasters Hall of Fame, an honor that is long-overdue,” said Nation’s Restaurant News Senior Food & Beverage Editor Bret Thorn. “Chef Keller has not only changed the way Americans think about fine dining, but he has mentored a pantheon of chefs — including Grant Achatz, Corey Lee, Eric Ziebold, Jonathan Benno and many more — who have shared Keller’s vision of culinary excellence and exemplary service standards.”

Keller is the only American-born chef to hold multiple three-star ratings from the Michelin Guide, for Per Se in New York and The French Laundry in Yountville, Calif. He was also the first American male chef to be named a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour, the highest decoration in France. In 2017, Keller led Team USA to win the gold medal in the Bocuse d’Or competition, the first time the United States has won that honor.

Mentoring young chefs continues to be a priority for Keller, and the Ment’or Foundation, which he co-founded with Daniel Boulud and Jérôme Bocuse, has awarded nearly $1.4 million in grants since 2014 to 121 young chefs at more than 75 restaurants in 14 countries.

Keller started his career in the restaurant business as a dishwasher at a restaurant managed by his mother in Palm Beach, Fla. In 1983 he moved to France to apprentice in multiple fine-dining restaurants before opening his first restaurant, Rakel, in New York City, in 1986. He later moved to California, and in 1994 he purchased The French Laundry from its original owners, Don and Sally Schmitt. It was there that he began to change the way Americans thought about dining.

Keller continues to expand his operations in the United States with the recent opening of The Surf Club Restaurant in Surfside, Fla., in 2018, and La Calenda in Yountville, Calif., and TAK Room in New York City in 2019.

He is also the author of five cookbooks, with more than 1.3 million copies in print.

About MenuMasters
MenuMasters is an invitation-only event for foodservice executives celebrating excellence in menu research & development. Now in its 23rd year, the MenuMasters Awards identify and recognize research and development executives and their respective foodservice companies for outstanding dedication and achievement to the area of research and development, and the product lines that are developed and marketed by their restaurant and foodservice companies. Follow #MenuMasters on social media to join the excitement, and get more information on the gala and how to attend on the MenuMasters website.

About Ventura Foods
Ventura Foods’ mission is to help our customers delight their customers. We continually do so by creating the flavors and custom food solutions that our foodservice, food manufacturing and retail customers value. Ventura Foods fuels your passion for great food. No one keeps ahead of flavor trends and develops delicious dressings, sauces, mayonnaises and other products like we do. Think of Ventura Foods as your secret ingredient for attracting and keeping customers.

About Nation’s Restaurant News
Nation's Restaurant News (NRN) is the No. 1 source of business information for the foodservice industry. For more than 50 years, NRN has served the information and engagement needs of foodservice professionals, offering award-winning content across all mediums with the goal of driving businesses forward. NRN was named Best Media Brand by the Jesse H. Neal Awards in 2019. NRN is part of The Restaurant & Food Group by Informa Connect.

About The Restaurant & Food Group by Informa Connect
The Restaurant & Food Group by Informa Connect is the largest and most integrated media brand portfolio in foodservice and supermarket retail. The group connects the entire food and foodservice ecosystem of operators, chefs, retailers, manufacturers, vendors and solutions providers through traditional, digital, social and custom media as well as in-person events and conferences.

About Informa
Informa PLC is a leading, international business to business information services Group, operating in over 30 countries. We create transaction-led exhibitions and content-based events, specialist data, intelligence and marketing services products, as well as scholarly research and specialist reference-led academic content. Our products and services help businesses and professionals connect, learn, do business and gain an edge over the competition. Informa is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 100.

Media Contact:
Jesse Yeung
Media Marketing Director, Restaurant & Food Group
Informa Connect

Event Contact:
Kathryn Frankson
Event Marketing Director, Restaurant & Food Group
Informa Connect

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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