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Before that French Laundry, there was Sally Schmitt’s French Laundry


blue_dolphin
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Nice article in today's LA Times about the woman who started and ran the French Laundry restaurant for 16 years with her husband before selling to Thomas Keller in 1994.

Before that French Laundry, there was Sally Schmitt’s French Laundry

Can't wait to see her cookbook when it comes out!

 

Edited to add this short video:

 

Edited by blue_dolphin
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16 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Nice article in today's LA Times about the woman who started and ran the French Laundry restaurant for 16 years with her husband before selling to Thomas Keller in 1994.

Before that French Laundry, there was Sally Schmitt’s French Laundry

Can't wait to see her cookbook when it comes out!

Thank you. I have tears in my eyes. It was a photograph of Sally’s hands peeling an apple with a knjife. It could’ve been my grandmother’s hands. And I am guessing the hands of hundreds and thousands of other grandmothers.
 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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10 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Thank you. I have tears in my eyes. It was a photograph of Sally’s hands peeling an apple with a knjife. It could’ve been my grandmother’s hands. And I am guessing the hands of hundreds and thousands of other grandmothers.
 

 

Indeed.  The whole picture reminded me of my grandmother in the kitchen, wearing an apron,  sitting in a chair pulled up to the kitchen table and cutting apples or peeling potatoes with a little paring knife. 💕

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53 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

This web page says that Sally's cookbook, Six California Kitchens: Sally Schmitt’s Stories & Recipes From Over a Half-Century of California Cooking will be published by Chronicle Books in 2021.

 

From the “Press” section is this article by Marion Cunningham which contains a recipe for a pear and raspberry shortcake that sounds quite delicious. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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  • 7 months later...

I spent the last little while leafing through "The French Laundry Cookbook" by Thomas Keller.   At the end of it there was a page on the Schmitt's and how The French Laundry came to be.  I thought I would see if eGullet had a thread dedicated to this book and found this one.  The book contains a recipe called Sally Schmitt's Cranberry and Apple Kuchen with Hot Cream Sauce.  The recipes are not anything I'm likely to tackle as a lot of the ingredients are not something I have laying around plus the instructions are more complicated than anything I'd care to make.    This recipe, though, I'd like to try.  That and the Peanut Butter Truffles.

 

My mother too always always wore an apron and when peeling apples or potatoes or whatever needed to be peeled used a paring knife.  Carrots were scraped with a paring knife.  She had a chef's knife that was used on bigger items such as cabbage but otherwise, it was the parling knife.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  I used a paring knife too for years until I discovered the vegetable peeler.  A revelation.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 month later...

not funny postscript . . .

we had a long planned CA vacation.

tried for a reservation at The French Laundry - website inoperative, will be fixed soon.  3 months later, same.

emailed - no reply

telephoned - no answer.  when it did finally answer it was a recording with no options:  "Go away, click."

 

from what I see, apparently people snatch up reservations and re-sell them as a business.

 

we wound up at ... which I understand has since closed . . . which is unfortunate - it was a good place

DSC_3232.thumb.JPG.2152ab73236e3a1fe532d5869ec30674.JPG

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/28/2022 at 6:55 PM, blue_dolphin said:

I put my first thoughts on Sally Schmitt's Six California Kitchens over in the 2022 cookbooks topic.  I think it's just lovely!

 

Just wanted to say thanks. I am so enjoying this book. Sad that I have finished the last of my asparagus because I would love to try her Asparagus with Sesame Mayonnaise!  (I am sure there will be more.) It’s such fun to  contemplate Thomas Keller‘s complicated approach to her simple approach and still know they are both cooking at The French Laundry. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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11 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Just wanted to say thanks. I am so enjoying this book. Sad that I have finished the last of my asparagus because I would love to try her Asparagus with Sesame Mayonnaise!  (I am sure there will be more.) It’s such fun to  contemplate Thomas Keller‘s complicated approach to her simple approach and still know they are both cooking at The French Laundry. 

 

I'm so glad you are enjoying it.  That asparagus recipe caught my eye as well and I plan to give it a try when I get the book back - it's out on loan to my cousin.  I love all the little "margin notes" that offer suggestions here and there.  On one hand, they make it very personal and homey and on the other, they're clearly from someone who's run a good restaurant.  Motherly pro-chef tips, I guess 🙃

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