Our Per Se waiter offered us a tour of the kitchen. We walked into the eerily silent, pristine kitchen, and who was there to greet us? Jonathan Benne, the chef there, who laughed when we started discussing the merits of the hot dog he had served us. Thomas Kelller was also there, and after finishing up a phone call, joined our merry party of four. "Are you having fun?," he asked jauntily.
In fact, we had been having a blast at Per Se, and that's not something I could have predicted. I hadn't really had a good time at the French Laundry when I had eaten there with my wife and son, mostly because it didn't seem like anyone in that restaurant (diners or servers) was having fun that night. That evening, four years ago, was when I thought I was eating at the Church of Thomas Keller. In fact, I was thinking about that line as Keller and I stood in his kitchen laughing and smiling. Maybe I was wrong, I thought to myself.
If the mighty Thomas Keller, whom many people consider the greatest chef in this country, had the ability to laugh at his own expense, maybe he didn't take himself as seriously as I thought. Keller then delivered the coup de grace. "See Ed,' he said with a wry smile in his voice, "It's really not about 'eating at the church of Thomas Keller' when you come to Per Se."
Keller had obviously read the blog entry that I had posted an hour before I got to the restaurant. How could this be?, I thought to myself. Then I realized either someone in his organization (or maybe his PR firm) had put a Google Alert! on Thomas Keller and/or Per Se, so that any time anyone typed in one of those names on the web Google would send him an e-mail.
We then discussed his sticky buns. He said that after reading my blog and discovering that Cinnabon charged a dollar more for its pecan caramel sticky bun he was thinking of raising his prices. I think he was kidding.
So fellow bloggers, know that when you post about something, the whole world truly is listening and reading.
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