Chef Thomas Keller shows his easy, user-friendly side

Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:50am EST
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Chef Thomas Keller, who is known for his innovative but complex dishes, shows off his simpler, cozier side in his newest cookbook.

"Ad Hoc at Home" is inspired by the familiar, comfort food served at Keller's casual restaurant, Ad Hoc. The book also contains tips about how to make a better fried chicken, a better pie crust, even better eggs.

Ad Hoc, which opened in 2006, is located just down the road from his Michelin three-star flagship restaurant, French Laundry, in Yountville, north of San Francisco.

A full dinner at Ad Hoc runs about $50 a person, compared to a recent $240 dinner tasting menu at French Laundry.

The 54-year-old Keller spoke to Reuters about his view on home cooking, fine dining and why he is an easy dinner guest.

Q: What do you want people to learn from the new book?

A: "It's about the experience of sharing food. It's about reducing the efforts you put into the preparation, which is very important, as well as the quality of the experience and the products."

Q: Your other cookbooks seem geared to the professional chefs and advanced cooks. Did you have to do change your recipes for the home cooks in this book?   Continued...

<p>Undated handout photo of chef Thomas Keller. REUTERS/Handout/Deborah Jones</p>