The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Honors S.Pellegrino Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Thomas Keller in New York City

Pictured above: Chefs Daniel Humm, Eric Ripert, Thomas Keller and David Kinch.

Chef Thomas Keller was honored today in New York City after being awarded the S.Pellegrino Lifetime Achievement award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in London last month. Invited guests, including celebrated chefs Jonathan Benno, Laurent Gras, Daniel Humm, David Kinch, Matthew Lightner, and Eric Ripert, were present to celebrate Keller’s achievement in the culinary industry.

Keller’s restaurants have made The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list since the inaugural list 10 years ago. His first restaurant, The French Laundry in Yountville, California, topped the list in both 2003 and 2004. The restaurant effectively revolutionized American cooking, combining classical French techniques with distinctive, locally sourced quality ingredients years before such an approach became de rigueur.

Per Se, which opened in New York City in 2004, has brought Keller’s distinctive hands-on approach from The French Laundry to New York City. Per Se reflects Keller’s intense focus on detail, which touches not only his cuisine, but extends to the presentation, mood and surroundings of the entire restaurant. Currently at number six on the 2012 list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Per Se is the highest ranked restaurant in the United States. With two three-star restaurants on opposite coasts, Keller’s philosophy on hiring, training and mentoring the right individuals and teams allows him the ability to operate restaurants and bakeries that maintain his food philosophy while continually evolving on a daily basis.

“The success of The French Laundry and Per Se is ultimately due to one man’s brilliance, his enduring philosophy of embracing change and his ability to nurture, train and inspire those around him,” said William Drew, Editor, Restaurant magazine. “Keller’s influence and inspiration has spread well beyond his restaurants and the United States, to chefs and diners around the world. The presence of so many prestigious chefs at this unique celebratory event today reflects the esteem in which Keller is held within the industry.”

“I am very proud to be part of the distinguished group of past recipients of the S.Pellegrino Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Keller. “The World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards cast a spotlight on our profession, helping to recognize the best and the brightest in the industry. Maintaining a keen eye on tomorrow and where the industry is going is very important, and we must continue to set an example for the next generation. If we succeed with this, then we will truly impact the culinary profession in a positive way and help maintain and leave a legacy to those who follow in our footsteps.”

Today’s celebratory luncheon at Per Se was hosted by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Per Se. Event sponsors included S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, Veuve Clicquot and Lavazza.

About The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards are organized by Restaurant magazine and sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna. Celebrating its tenth year in 2012, the awards are an annual snapshot of the opinions and experiences of The World’s Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 800 international leaders in the restaurant and food and drink industries. The Academy is split into 27 separate regions around the world, with each region having its own panel of 31 members. Academy members cast seven votes in order of preference, with at least three votes cast for restaurants outside of their region.

The 2012 list and awards were announced on April 30, 2012 at the historic Guildhall in London. Noma in Copenhagen was named The World’s Best Restaurant for the third consecutive year. For more information, visit

About S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna

S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water and Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water are the main sponsors of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. For centuries, these premium waters have complemented fine food, wine and dining experiences. The brands have a passion for quality, taste and style, and uphold international support of the culinary arts by both honoring the world’s best chefs through partnerships including The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and nurturing young chefs through mentorship programs such as The S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition, now in its 10th year in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit and

About Restaurant Magazine*

Restaurant magazine is the United Kingdom’s leading publication for restaurateurs and chefs, and has been organizing The World’s 50 Best Restaurants since 2002. Restaurant magazine is solely responsible for organizing the awards, collating the votes and producing the list.

About the S.Pellegrino Lifetime Achievement Award

The S.Pellegrino Lifetime Achievement Award winner is determined from votes cast by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. The 2012 award recipient, Thomas Keller, joins the S.Pellegrino Lifetime Achievement hall of fame alongside Juan Mari Arzak (Arzak), Eckart Witzigmann (Aubergine) and Joël Robuchon (L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon).

About Per Se

Per Se, the acclaimed restaurant from Chef Thomas Keller, opened in February 2004 and has brought Keller’s distinctive hands-on approach from Napa Valley’s The French Laundry to New York City. The restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine Eli Kaimeh and Pastry Chef Elwyn Boyles offer guests a daily nine-course Chef’s Tasting Menu and Tasting of Vegetables in the main dining room, and an à La Carte selection in the Salon. For more information, visit

* Restaurant magazine is not affiliated with