When a Meal is More

 “Glam” custom kitchen design by Barbara Schmidt, Interior Designer, studiobstyle. Featuring Mid Continent Cabinetry, Sub-Zero Wolf, Rabbit Creek MN, Caesarstone, Amerock, Veronique Wantz Gallery, Karndean Design Flooring.

“Glam” custom kitchen design by Barbara Schmidt, Interior Designer, studiobstyle. Featuring Mid Continent Cabinetry, Sub-Zero Wolf, Rabbit Creek MN, Caesarstone, Amerock, Veronique Wantz Gallery, Karndean Design Flooring.

There is no one more revered in our kitchen than Chef Thomas Keller.  His published The French Laundry Cookbook and Bouchon are the most used and abused tomes in our collection. I know that something special is about to happen in our kitchen when I hear the crack of a spine as the one of the oversized books is laid flat on our countertop.

 Banana Leaf wrapped Fresh Fish created by Barbara Schmidt, Creative Director studiobstyle, maggie the food stylist, and photographer Eric Piasecki.

Banana Leaf wrapped Fresh Fish created by Barbara Schmidt, Creative Director studiobstyle, maggie the food stylist, and photographer Eric Piasecki.

My husband, Michael, is one of the greatest chefs I know. He can create anything out of Keller’s cookbooks, and if you know Thomas Keller, that is a feat in and of itself.  Keller is famous for his layering techniques that seem tedious to the casual observer, but on the outcome I justified by complex flavors.

 Lamb lollipops created by Barbara Schmidt, Creative Director studiobstyle, maggie the food stylist, and photographer Eric Piasecki.

Lamb lollipops created by Barbara Schmidt, Creative Director studiobstyle, maggie the food stylist, and photographer Eric Piasecki.

I have never created anything more that the emulsified vinaigrette on Bouchon’s page 315. It was simple and short enough that I could tackle it one night after work. It was worth it. For an entire week I had delicious homemade dressing for our farm vegetables.

 Profiteroles photographed by Barbara Schmidt at Bouchon, Yountville, California

Profiteroles photographed by Barbara Schmidt at Bouchon, Yountville, California


I have dined at Thomas Keller’s New York Per Se, the Yountville and Las Vegas  locations of Bouchon, and the now closed Bouchon Bakery in Beverly Hills. These meals are forever etched in my mind as celebratory events, most of which were enjoyed with my husband. I remember where we sat, what we ate, and even more importantly the feeling of emotion around the experience.

 Photographed by Barbara Schmidt, Creative Director studiobstyle, featuring Wolf Gourmet, Le Creuset, Thomas Keller Onion Soup, from  Bouchon  cookbook.

Photographed by Barbara Schmidt, Creative Director studiobstyle, featuring Wolf Gourmet, Le Creuset, Thomas Keller Onion Soup, from Bouchon cookbook.

The favorite meal that Michael has created for our family is Keller’s onion soup recipe in Bouchon on pages 49 and 50. I borrow a lot of cookbooks from Michael for my photo shoots as props, but I understand that the French Laundry or Bouchon must never leave the house.


















Barbara Schmidt