After a 44-year career that has made him the most acclaimed chef and restaurateur in the United States, Thomas Keller finds himself in a more precarious position than usual. The French Laundry, in Yountville, California, is open for only outdoor dining—a difficult proposition with evening temperatures now in the 40s. The TAK Room, his newest New York operation, has closed for good. But Keller, an eternal optimist, sees much of these trying times as an opportunity for growth. He recently released The French Laundry, Per Se, his first book in more than a decade, which chronicles and explores the synergy and occasional dissonance between his two flagship restaurants. Herewith, his key components to the good life. —Ashley Baker
Alibi: “Zoom calls.”
App: Hand and Foot Canasta.
Bag: Hermès messenger.
Bedtime: 11:30 p.m.
Bike: My Townie.
Breakfast, weekday: Hard-boiled eggs with olive oil, a protein shake, and an espresso.
Breakfast, weekend: Soft scrambled eggs on toast with avocado and evoo olive oil.
Car: A BMW X7.
Cocktail: Margarita with Casa Dragones tequila.
Cocktail appetizer: Regiis Ova caviar.
Dinner, weekday: Atlantic salmon and spinach.
Dinner, weekend: Steak frites and vanilla ice cream.
Disguise: A black baseball cap and a mask.
Dress: Levi’s jeans and jacket.
Drive: Heading south on Highway 1, in a convertible.
Enemy: Bad food.
Escape: Pebble Beach.
Excuse: No excuses.
First Lady: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Fitness regimen: Peloton.
Weirdly shaped veggies, especially carrots and beets.
Friend: One who is forgiving and humorous.
Hideaway: The South of France.
Hotel: Le Bristol, in Paris, but I’m still looking …
Insult (in the kitchen): “Where did you go to school … ?”
Jacket: Isaia cashmere sport coat.
Last Meal: Roast chicken and lemon tart.
Lunch, weekday: Bouchon’s tuna salad.
Lunch, weekend: An al pastor quesadilla at La Calenda in Yountville.
Movie: Gone with the Wind.
Neighbor: Simon Fuller.
Nonfiction book: 24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid, by Willie Mays.
Piece of advice: Patience and persistence.
Restaurant: The French Laundry.
Ride: The 1, 2, and 3 line of the New York City subway.
Saying: “It’s all about finesse.”
SHOES: Common Projects slip-on leather sneakers.
Singers: Willie Nelson and Eric Clapton.
Television series: Ted Lasso.
Theme song to your life: “Start Me Up,” by the Rolling Stones.
Time of day: Between five and six p.m. in the summertime.
Toast: Whole-grain bread from Bouchon Bakery with stone-fruit jam.
Vacation: Longing for a month or two.
Wake-up time: 6:45 a.m.
Weekend bag: Paravel.
WRITING IMPLEMENT: A pen by Zig Memory Systems.