Thomas Keller plans French Laundry hotel

Famed chef Thomas Keller plans to add a hotel next to The French Laundry in Yountville, once $10 million in renovations to his three-Michelin-starred restaurant are completed.

The company said Keller purchased the neighboring property a couple of years ago.

“The desire to build an Inn in Yountville has been a goal of Thomas Keller for over fifteen years,” a company spokesperson said.

Keller recently told the Wall Street Journal Magazine that long before the construction site had begun to resemble the new French Laundry, he already had ideas about its next phase.

“He looked to the edge of his property, out beyond where the Japanese maples would go, where he’d recently purchased an adjacent inn. Keller said he’d soon be building a small hotel there. ‘It’s just a natural extension for the restaurant to have rooms available, too,’ he says. ‘My goal is to be able to retire from my other stuff and reimmerse myself in the French Laundry-even more than in the past,’” the magazine reported.

Keller is working with the architecture firm Snøhetta on the kitchen expansion and landscape design. The project will be completed this year, and will expand the kitchen by 25 percent. Plans also include the ground-up construction of a new annex that will house the test kitchen, butchery, produce, and management offices, according to Snøhetta. It will also house The French Laundry’s wine collection, with the storage capacity to hold up to 14,000 bottles. The garden will double in size with the new design.

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