Around 8:15pm on Friday night, chef Matt McCallister spotted Thomas Keller, the chef/god of The French Laundry (Napa) and Per Se (NYC), walking through the dining room of FT 33. “I was like hey guys, by the way, Thomas Keller just walked in,” McCallister told me last night while he whipped up a little pork liver terrine in his kitchen. “Nobody really did anything any different. We just treated him the same as everybody else. We didn’t send out anything special.”
Mike Hiller, of escapehatchdallas.com, happened to be in the restaurant. He posted his account of the sighting on his blog. Hiller notes Keller’s dinner included a “charcuterie plate, gulf crab, and lamb loin.” Keller told Hiller: “Everything was great.”
Earlier, McCallister was told the famous chef might show up at FT 33. Cindy Rachofsky, the noted Dallas philanthropist and frequent FT 33 diner, mentioned Keller was in town and might make the FT 33 scene. Keller showed up with Howard and Cindy Rachofsky and another woman McCallister guesses was Keller’s wife.
The four top was seated at table number 19. Keller sat with his back to the kitchen. “He came over after the entrees and thanked me,” McCallister said. “He was standing at the pass and I said my staff would be thrilled to have a picture with you.”
After the staff gathered and the photo was taken, the dining room erupted. “Yeah, it was like the paparazzi. Everybody went crazy,” McCallister said. “After that I went over to talk and all he said was he really enjoyed everything. He was pretty soft spoken. Shit, man, it was pretty cool. After he left, I realized I should have had him sign his cookbook in my restaurant.”