There’s a new chef at the French Laundry: David Breeden

The exterior of the famous French Laundry restaurant.
(Peter Merholz)

There’s been another change at the top of the normally placid Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. David Breeden, formerly the executive sous chef at Per Se in New York, will be moving west to replace Timothy Hollingsworth at the top of the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif.

Breeden will be the fourth chef de cuisine at the landmark restaurant in the last decade. He steps into the position once filled by Eric Ziebold (chef at CityZen in Washington, D.C.) and Corey Lee (chef at Benu in San Francisco), as well as Hollingsworth, who became the top chef in 2009 and has worked at the restaurant for more than 10 years.


In October, Keller replaced founding chef Rory Hermann at Bouchon Beverly Hills, moving David Hands into the position.

Breeden, originally from Tennessee, first went to work for TKRG in 2005, as the meat butcher at the French Laundry. Influenced by the traditional Southern cooking he learned from his grandmother, he had previously worked at top restaurants in Charleston, S.C.

“We welcome David back to the French Laundry. I’ve watched him evolve into the fine chef he is today,” Keller said in a press release. “Just as all our past chefs … have made their mark, I am eager to see what David’s contributions and legacy will be.”

Breeden will take over in early 2013. Hollingsworth will stay on as chef until then and will then begin working as a consultant.



3rd annual Napa Truffle Festival


Cook’s gift: Fog Linen kitchen towels

Sam Marshall to design Walter Manzke’s Republique