Yesterday Thomas Keller received the French Legion of Honor at his New York restaurant Per Se. Keller told the Feast he was nominated by Daniel Boulud, Alice Waters, Jacques Pepin, and Robert Parker, and that he found out about it via a letter from French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Paul Bocuse presented the award, and chef Eric Ripert, restaurateur Drew Neiporant, and Food & Wine editor Dana Cowin all attended the ceremony. Congratulations, chef! Or should we call you Chevalier now?
Thomas Keller – France Légion d'honneur Ceremony & Reception at Per Se
On Tuesday, March 29th, Chef Keller was recognized by the France Légion d'honneur and was named Chevalier for his work in promoting French cuisine in America. He, along with Julia Child and Alice Waters, are the only Americans in the food field to be granted this distinction.
Legendary French chef Paul Bocuse presented Chef Keller with the official medal during a ceremony and reception at Per Se. France Ambassador François Delattre opened the ceremony, which was complete with words from close friends/industry leaders Daniel Boulud and Alain Ducasse along with Joseph Keller (brother).
Event attendees included Chef Keller’s friends and family, along with industry notables such as Eric Ripert, Jacques Pepin, Drew Neiporant, Jerome Bocuse, Susan Ungaro and Dana Cowin as well as actress Dana Delany, actor Kyle McGlaghlin and Brad Lewis (Film Producer, Ratatouille (Pixar), Antz (DreamWorks), etc) to name a few.
The event opened with a champagne reception, complete with passed canapés by Per Se Chef de Cuisine Eli Kaimeh and closed with a selection of dessert canapés by Pastry Chef Elwyn Boyles.