Diner entre amis à la maison, avec Thomas Keller- Dinner at Home with Friends and Thomas Keller

No, Thomas Keller was not a guest or the chef cooking at our house if this is what you are thinking.

But it will be no surprise if I tell you that I love to host dinners, cook and try new recipes all the time. In case you had not yet noticed! What about I show you what it is like (you are curious, aren’t you?) when I prepare a special diner with friends.

A week ago, P. gave me a new beautiful cookbook by Thomas Keller: its French Laundry cookbook. I have never had a meal at French Laundry but when you read so much food-related material, it is impossible not to know or feel as if you had already eaten there. Now if there is one cookbook that impresses me, it has to be that one. I had only started to read a few pages and I could already feel the obvious love for food expressed by the chef, Thomas Keller. This book is simply a true celebration of beautiful food, featuring dishes that are not rushed, those that require time and ask for a strong respect for processes and quality ingredients. A pure beauty. A week prior to receiving my birthday gift, I had arranged a diner with friends. Thought occurring in my headthinking thinking!” I decided I would select dishes for my menu from my new cookbook. No matter what.

Lucky that we were, amongst our lovely friends was R. who belongs to the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin. And do you know what this means when it happens? The wine is going to be excellent, and from Bourgogne. It did not fail. We drank a Rully “La Perche”, Bourgogne 2004 from the Domaine de Belleville, which was a truly lovely white wine.

The challenge in dinner events like this one is for me to remember to take my camera out and pay attention to the pictures I take. Since I was cooking (and drinking wine), I had zillions of things to think about and only took a few shots when I remembered.

Hence, you will notice that the pictures are not the best shots you can hope for, and that they will not win a prize (as P. would put it!) But they are real of what the evening was like. I hope you enjoy the ride! Thank you Mr Keller for the delicious food you designed. I surely did not equal your talent while making your recipes, but I loved the whole process and learned a ton! And they tasted fabulous.

So here is what our menu was like:


Cucumber Jelly with Dill, topped with Crab in Mustard Chantilly and Mixed greens with Daikon in Olive Oil, recipe from French Laundry cookbook.

Gelée de concombre et d’aneth, crabe à la chantilly aromatisée à la moutarde en grains et salade variée avec daïkon arrosé d’huile d’olive, recette tirée du livre from French Laundry.

Main course:

Red Snapper in Vanilla Green Olive Sauce with Marinated Fennel Salad and Steamed Fingerling Potatoes, recipe adapted from Starterscookbook (I will talk more about that other loved cookbook in another post).

Vivaneau et sauce à la vanille et aux olives vertes sur lit de salade de fenouil mariné, avec pommes de terre à la vapeur, recette adaptée du livre Starters.


Shortbread with Fresh Strawberries and Raspberry Sorbet with Cream Vanilla Sauce, recipe from French Laundry cookbook.

Sablé et fraises marinées, sorbet à la framboise et sauce crème fraîche vanillée, recette tirée du livre French Laundry.

How comes it can take so long to prepare a meal and it disappears in no time?

Posted in Fish, General


  1. Bea,
    Bravo on a gorgeous and successful dinner! Can I tell you I am drooling over the food and coveting all your dinnerware at the same time?
    P.S In a very funny coincidence, guess where I am going for dinner tomorrow…:)

  2. Bea, What a lovely blog…I have become a regular visitor daily. You photos are beautiful. Would you please share where you get your great dinnerware.

  3. rien n’est laissé au hasard, tu as une imagination incroyable, le sens de la mise en scène de tes plats (la table est magnifique), je suis en totale admiration.

  4. le temps que tu dois y passer, la créativité, le souci du détail, la beauté de tes plats, et sans compter la saveur, je n’en doute pas… tu as vraiment du talent, on sent que tu travailles dûr. J’espère qu’un jour tu auras une reconnaissance autre que la nôtre, tu le mériterais.

  5. C’est magnifique! qu’il doit faire bon être de tes amis, c’est digne d’un grand restaurant (c’est le compliment qui tue, dans ma famille :-)) Bravo !

  6. Hi Bea,
    i have to wish you a happy belated birthday then!
    Je suis née le 2 mai.

    Sinon pour cet article: les photos sont sublimes (je suis vraiment admirative).
    Et maintenant j’ai vraiment envie de m’acheter The French Laundry Cookbook.

  7. Wow!

    I think Mr. Keller would hire you right away if he saw this. What a lovely dinner and how I wish I could have been there to enjoy!


  8. Stunning!…is all I can say. What a beautiful table, but more importantly, what beautiful food!!!

  9. Thanks Natalie and Audrey! Sweet note of yours

    Framboise, mais que oui, avec plaisir! 🙂 Alors, je passe commande chez toi aussi!

    Anita, merci! I cannot wait to hear what you think of the restaurant!!!!

    David, thanks a lot. Sure, my plates come from Ligne Roset, which, if you do not know them is a French design company, mostly furniture, but also house accessories. A few places in the US carry their products. You can check their website according to where you live.

    Merci, thanks Audrey, Krysten et Choupette!

    Anne, merci beaucoup de ton gentil mot!

    David, it is a great book indeed. There are so many things I want to try even if some dishes are a bit intimidating. But it is like skiing, if you do not fall, you are no longer learning anything, so….

    Thanks Kat and fabienne!

    Lilo, tu es trop gentille. Je suis touchee! La reconnaissance que j’ai de mes amis, ma famille et de personnes comme toi par exemple, c’est deja beaucoup pour moi! Mais comme qui dirait, tout est possible, il faut continuer a garder des reves!! Et j’en vis un beau pour le moment!

    Althya, ahahh, merci!

    Fanny, funny indeed, you and I are close in the Bday dates. I have two other friends on May 2nd! ahah, let me know if you get the book, I think you will enjoy it a lot!

    Mercotte, merci bien a toi!

    The Queer Chef, thanks a lot. Sweet.

    Ivonne, well, you are too nice, I think I have still TONS to learn, especially from chefs like Keller, but it surely is nice to try more elaborate dishes like his. Some are really time-consuming, but rewarding.

    Thanks fjl. Not fat at all, no worries 😉 Pretty light actually!

    Thanks Rowena. You are very nice!

  10. you set a beautiful table, bea. your guests are very priviledged to have eaten in your home! what fun!
    and once again, i am inspired. (i think more ikea purchases are now in my future!) 🙂

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  12. You definitely have to go to the French Laundry, if only for the experience.
    We went last year for my 40th b’day and, because most of the trip was company-paid, it was the only real expense.
    I learned, to my surprise, that you really have to read his directions before you get the ingredients.
    But, the food, like your dinner, look amazing.

  13. I dream of eating at your table Bea!
    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!
    And Happy Birthday sweet!