COMPANY: Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
WHAT MAKES HIM HAUTE: The James Beard Foundation named Thomas Keller Best California Chef in 1996 and Best Chef in America in 1997. In 2005, his New York restaurant Per Se received three Michelin stars. In 2006, The French Laundry in Napa Valley became the first restaurant in the Bay Area to receive three Michelin stars. That made Keller the only American chef (and one of two in the world) to hold two Michelin three-star ratings simultaneously. And don’t forget about Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery, and Ad Hoc.