On Tuesday, December 4, the 2018 California Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place at the California Museum in Sacramento. Governor Jerry Brown was present to award the Spirit of California medal to eight Californians inducted into the 12th class.
Among the esteemed recipients was Chef Thomas Keller of Bouchon Bakery. Keller is one of the most decorated chefs in America, having won multiple awards from the James Beard Foundation through his landmark Napa Valley restaurant, The French Laundry.
In July 2003, Keller opened the doors to his first Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, California, next door to Bouchon Bistro and just down the road from The French Laundry. Bouchon Bakery was first conceived as a way to provide both of these restaurants with one-of-a-kind breads, but it quickly blossomed into a retail establishment among Napa Valley’s most popular destinations. Modeled after classic French boulangeries, Keller’s bakeries feature a wide selection of artisanal breads and traditional French desserts drawn from his memories of life in France.
Now with locations across the United States in Napa Valley, Las Vegas, and New York City, Bouchon Bakery is known for offering sandwiches, quiche, soups, and salads made daily, as well as a wide range of desserts including handmade viennoiserie, confections, pastries, tarts, cookies, and more.
“I’m honored as a native Californian to be recognized and truly blessed to be part of this class of amazing individuals helping shape California,” Keller said in regards to his induction.
Thomas Keller joins musician Joan Baez, mountaineer and scientist Arlene Blum, journalist Belva Davis, former San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, public servant Nancy McFadden, Hollywood icon and environmentalist Robert Redford, and former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela in this year’s class.