CHEF HUBERT KELLERHubert Keller is known best for his world-renowned restaurants, Fleur de Lys (San Francisco) Fleur by Hubert Keller (Las Vegas), and Burger Bar (San Francisco, Las Vegas, and St. Louis). Having delighted the palates of his peers, food writers, and restaurant critics alike with his imaginative, modern French cuisine, he has received numerous awards and is regarded as one of America’s most talented chefs. His influence extends beyond his restaurant kitchens to the millions of people he reaches through his cookbooks The Cuisine of Hubert Keller (Ten Speed Press), Burger Bar, Build Your Own Ultimate Burger (Wiley), and the forthcoming Souvenirs: Memories, Stories, and Recipes from My Life (Andrews McMeel, Fall 2012), and media appearances including his own Secrets of a Chef cooking show (PBS), and Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, Top Chef All Stars, and Top Chef Just Desserts (Bravo).
Growing up in Ribeauvillé, Alsace, France, Chef Keller’s passion for the culinary arts ignited early. The family lived over his father’s Pâtisserie Keller where the children frequently helped their father with the baking. By 16, Chef Keller knew he wanted to become a professional. Some of the greatest French chefs—Paul Haeberlin, Gaston Lenôtre, Paul Bocuse, Roger Vergé—recognized his exceptional talent, trained him in their kitchens, and promoted his career. For nearly ten years, Keller far exceeded his mentors’ expectations while working throughout France and South America. In 1982, Vergé sent him to San Francisco to open Sutter 500. He and his wife Chantal were immediately enchanted by San Francisco and the city was equally captivated with them.
In 1986, Chef Keller partnered with his wife and Maurice Rouas to become the chef/owner of Fleur de Lys. Soon thereafter, accolades rolled in and the restaurant, already recognized as one of the most romantic restaurants in the city, became known as one of the best restaurants in the country. Dining beneath the colorful canopy of custom fabric designed by Chantal Keller is a dramatic and delicious experience and serves to heighten the experience of Keller’s dazzling food and genuine, personal charm.
In 2004 Chef Keller was invited by Mandalay Bay Hotel and Resort to Las Vegas to recreate his San Francisco Fleur de Lys. The partnership of the resort and Keller also resulted in the first Burger Bar in 2004. He was the first great chef to give burgers the haute cuisine treatment, from freshly ground, hand-shaped burgers to a menu of innovative toppings in a hip, casual setting. A second Burger Bar opened in 2007 in Lumiere Place in St. Louis. A third Burger Bar with a spectacular view over Union Square opened on the sixth floor of Macy’s Union Square in San Francisco in 2009. More Burger Bars are on the drawing board. Keller, sensitive to the changing tastes of the Las Vegas dining public, reimagined his original restaurant and, in 2010, created Fleur by Hubert Keller, a small-plates restaurant featuring tastes from around the world.
Chef Keller has won numerous awards including the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: California and has been elected to the Foundation’s prestigious Who’s Who in Food and Beverage. Food and Wine magazine tapped him as one of the Ten Best Chefs in America, and Restaurants & Institutions gave him its Ivy Award. Chef Keller has cooked for several United States presidents and was the first guest chef invited to the White House to personally prepare his sophisticated, healthy menus for President Clinton, his family, and the White House kitchen staff. Chef Keller is also known for his performance as a judge on Top Chef as well as for his grace-under-pressure performance as a contestant in the first season of Top Chef Masters on Bravo. His relationship with the Top Chef franchise continued in 2011, particularly as a judge on Top Chef Just Desserts. He appears frequently in the media including appearances on “Regis & Kelly” on NBC, “Rachel Ray”, “Extra Extra”, “Good Morning America” on ABC, “Today Show” on NBC, the Real Housewives of Orange County” (Bravo), and a new reality show, "The Big Time”, on ABC, premiering 21 January 2012, plus the Travel Channel, the Food Channel Network, and Fox TV. The third season of Chef Keller‘s Secrets of a Chef, produced by Marjorie Poore Productions and sponsored by Cuisinart, began airing in the fall of 2011.
A truly original cuisine featuring contemporary French cooking with Mediterranean accents has emerged from Keller’s rich and varied career. He observes classic French principles and maintains a California-style commitment to health while incorporating the culinary traditions of Alsace, Brazil, and San Francisco. Accordingly, he pioneered a six-course vegetarian menu for Fleur de Lys making it the first fine-dining American restaurant to offer this option. Keller’s cooking maximizes the intrinsic goodness of pure flavors and high quality ingredients while using minimal butter and cream. His healthful cuisine led Dr. Dean Ornish, the noted cardiologist, to ask Keller to contribute recipes to Dr. Ornish’s best selling cookbook, Eat More, Weigh Less.
Keller is internationally known for his innovation and creativity and has long been considered a “chef’s chef.” His restaurants are frequent gathering spots for local chefs and for chefs from around the globe. Keller is also known for his generosity and support for a wide range of educational, charitable, and community events around the country including PBS, Make a Wish Foundation, Taste of the Nation, and Share Our Strength.