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Following The New York Times‘ recent review of Per Se — the fine-dining restaurant that Thomas Keller first opened in New York in 2004 — the American chef has sent out an email in response to the poor restaurant review that compared the “lukewarm matsutake mushroom bouillon” to “bong water.” Additionally, it was demoted from four to two stars by restaurant critic Pete Wells.
“At all of our restaurants, in our kitchens and dining rooms, we make every effort to provide you with the best possible experience. We consider it our professional responsibility to ensure that every one of you feels special and cared for,” Keller wrote in his open letter. “To us, it is imperative that we improve and evolve every day. We constantly examine ourselves, our menu, our service and our standards.”
He continued: “Regretfully, there are times when we do not meet those standards. The fact that The New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells’ dining experiences at Per Se did not live up to his expectations and to ours is greatly disappointing to me and to my team. We pride ourselves on maintaining the highest standards, but we make mistakes along the way. We are sorry we let you down.”
Not only did Wells have an issue with the dishes, he also found fault with the overall dining experience. “Servers sometimes give you the feeling that you work for them, and your job is to feel lucky to receive whatever you get,” wrote the critic.
Despite the restaurant’s recent downfall, Keller believes they can do better.
“When we fall short, we work even harder,” he wrote. “We are confident that the next time you visit Per Se or any of our other restaurants, our team will deliver a most memorable experience.”
The letter can be read in full below.
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