The French Laundry

This is an expert from The French Laundry Orientation Manual I found very intresting and wanted to share with all.

Kitchen Philosophy

The purpose of the following is to define what some of the essential functions are in the operation of a great kitchen.

• The Dance
What I call The Dance is simply the way each of us interacts with the other. I am sure you have experienced a kitchen that flows smoothly while others have seemed to stumble along. This usually takes a little while to accomplish and happens without a set plan, but you should be aware that it is crucial I the flow of a great kitchen. After you have learned to Dance with one another you will understand the importance. You also must be able to cut-in and have someone cut-in (Dining Room Staff) without losing the rhythm.

• Work Habits
Habits must be formed early so that they can be assimilated into our daily routine and become part of our normal actions. Your habits must be consistent throughout the work schedule in order to execute and maintain the level of quality that we strive for. Example: you cannot expect to have a clean, well-presented plate if you are working in an unorganized environment.

• Seasoning
The single most important function a chef performs and probably the most difficult to do correctly. Without proper seasoning everything that follows reflects this mistake. The purpose of seasoning is to enhance the flavors of the food.
1) Kosher salt.
2) Freshly ground white or black pepper.
3) Acid in the form of vinegar or lemon juice.
• Take the initiative
It is very important for us to have the self confidence to be able to know when and how the job should be accomplished. Common sense and initiative go hand in hand.

• Never be to proud to ask for help.
We all need help from time to time and as long as you are sensitive to our guest’s satisfaction and your coworker’s situation, you should not be uncomfortable to ask for help.

• CLEAN, CLEAN AND CLEAN.A restaurant and especially the kitchen, must be kept as sanitary as possible for both our safety and our guests.

Mission Statement
The mission of The French Laundry Restaurant is to represent the most definitive dining experience by means of incomparable cuisine, service, wine, ambiance and memories.

In view of this mission statement, there are five priorities that mirror the fundamental values shared by Thomas Keller and his management team.


 Be creative and innovative
 Be communicative
 Aim for excellent food product and service every day
 Reinforce the image of The French Laundry with passionate and thoughtful determination
 Make a difference: Use initiative to do the best you can do every day given various working conditions
Be Creative and Innovative

The foundation of our success comes from the creativity within our kitchen and the innovation with our customer service skills. Developing new ways to communicate to our guests what cuisine and service can be at the most elevated levels is our objective. To be able to nurture and grow our creative resources is the goal. It’s a twofold value.

Aim for Excellence Food Product and Service

Attention to detail and a critical eye is what make us stand out from our competition. Being able to give and receive constructive criticism is essential in order to achieve the results and superior product and table service we are striving for. We should never compromise as we deliver The French Laundry Experience to our guests. This means we never compromise quality.

Reinforce the image of The French Laundry with passionate and thoughtful determination

The French Laundry has acquired an excellent reputation to this day since opening in 1994. Creating the image of The French Laundry was a combination of the goals and principals set forth by Thomas Keller and the attention to detail and a sustained, intuitive approach tour guests by our employees. We introduced a new kind of expression in the dining room in reference to fine dining that delivered superior food and wine to our customers with grace, elegance, thoughtfulness and a modest, yet educated staff to the forefront. A gracious, humble, pragmatic and credible attitude is expected from all staff.

The power of this image and Thomas Keller is inherent in the subtleties and strict control of all the mediums in which we communicate to the public with (graphic, advertising, donations, messaging, dress-codes, grooming, off site activities and participation). The respect and understanding of this image is paramount in order to achieve the continued

success of The French Laundry. Our objective is silencing trends and capturing a current French Laundry style. The awe-inspiring aura that resonates throughout the restaurant is quietly translated to our diners on a daily basis in unique surroundings. There is no room for compromise as we represent a restaurant the has become a flagship for cuisine and fine dining in America.

Make a Difference

Our goal is to be the best. Each of us must do our part to achieve our own personal goals as well as the restaurant’s elevated standards. We must always continue to educate one another and strive to achieve excellence every service for every guest. We encourage new ideas and open and honest communication, we expect solutions and we commend
great attitudes that help us reach our goals and success.

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