Thomas Keller paused at the end of an interview with Reuters about his newest book, Bouchon Bakery, and gazed upon the vastness of his culinary empire: a three-Michelin star restaurant on either side of the continent, a chain of successful bistros and bakeries dotting the vistas, multiple cookbooks published, the adulation of millions, and some worshipping him as a living god.
But lo, Thomas Keller did not weep, as Alexander The Great and Hans Gruber once did, when asked: “What more would you like to accomplish in the culinary world?”
“I have accomplished today everything I wanted to accomplish, more than I ever dreamed was possible,” he responded. “Right now, I’m just focused on the restaurants we have and the book I just wrote. Let me enjoy this moment before you ask me what I’ll be doing tomorrow.”
And thus, by rejecting the lure of face-branded soup cans and stints as a permanent judge on Top Chef, did Thomas Keller exemplify the republican ideal as he quietly returned to his farms in Yountville, patiently waiting for his next big idea and eating a pile of delicious baguettes (“Anyone who lived in Paris for any length of time would say eating a fresh baguette is pretty special”). Such is the pinnacle of happiness.
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