After racking up enough violations to earn a C grade from the Department of Health, Per Se chef Thomas Keller is speaking out about the mistakes made at his three Michelin-starred, mega-expensive New York restaurant. Keller gave CNN the following statement on the pending C grade:
"We look forward to the opportunity to address the allegations with the Department of Health in the upcoming Oath Tribunal. At that time our final grade will be determined. As with all of our restaurants, we continue to maintain the highest standards at Per Se."
The chef adds over Twitter that the kitchen's door is always open to guests.
Our kitchen door is always open to our guests. We look forward to working with the DOH. http://t.co/66uqNmgXif— Thomas Keller (@Chef_Keller) March 6, 2014
With an appeal planned, Keller's team talks to CNN in the video below. Says the general manager: "Focus is something that we're really proud of, attention to detail. Among the 42 violation points the restaurant earned were citations for food stored above/below proper temperatures, lack of hand-washing facilities in the food-prep area, and tobacco use. CNN also gets a look into the Per Se kitchen, notably absent from which is Keller.
This isn't Keller's first time dealing with a major health inspection setback. Back in 2012, Keller's Vegas restaurant Bouchon racked up 40 demerits during an inspection, one point shy of a mandatory shutdown. Keller and his team resolved the issues within a matter of days and aced a return inspection. Below, the CNN video from Per Se:
UPDATE 3/7 This post was edited to reflect that Keller's team was not quoted in the video saying that the rating took them by surprise, as was previously written.