By Andrea Bosco
Photography: Michael Fornataro

Chef Thomas Keller will visit Pittsburgh on June 12 for a dinner From Garden to Table, held in his honor, at the Duquesne Club, hosted by and in support of the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. The internationally renowned restaurateur — with a collection of restaurants like The French Laundry, Ad Hoc, Bouchon, and Per Se — will be presented with a multi-course meal by four Pittsburgh chefs — certainly four of whom have contributed to Bon Appétit magazine naming the city as one of the next big food towns for 2014! They are: Keith Coughenour, executive chef of the Duquesne Club; Justin Severino of Cure; Tim Fetter of the Eat’n Park Hospitality Group; and Derek Stevens of Eleven. At press time, the quad of culinary masters played with dishes during a tasting, which featured “foie blonde,” opposite a caramelized strawberry sorbet; foie gras with rhubarb chutney and brioche toast points; Duck Tasso with a buttermilk biscuit and rosemary-citrus preserves; and Elysian Fields Lamb with honey mushroom and pistachio risotto, olive caramel, rosemary, burnt ramp mustard, and sweet garlic. The Duquesne Club Head Pastry Chef Will Racin and April Simpson of Vanilla Pastry Studio will pair up to prepare chocolates, filled with pineapple butter, blueberry, and exotic fillings, and cappuccino semifreddo in coffee cups paired with cinnamon pastries — need I say more? Says Keller, “I’m very flattered and honored to be having so many wonderful chefs from the Pittsburgh community cook for me, and for all of the guests that are coming that night. In America today, we have great respect for not only our fishermen, farmers, foragers, but our chefs. It’s nice to see throughout our country. You have to really kind of pinch yourself with a great sense of pride. We have finally recognized and embraced chefs in smaller communities.” Keller has been an 18-year business partner of Keith Martin of Elysian Fields Farm in Waynesburg, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year!

For more on the divine dinner, visit

We asked:

“What meal resonates most with you?”

Thomas Keller:

“A simple salad, roasted chicken, a lemon tart, and a bottle of simple wine.”

Event planner Nancy Byrnes and Chef Keith Coughenour

Event planner Nancy Byrnes, Chef Keith Coughenour

Chef Thomas Keller, Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, From Garden to Table Gala

Chef Thomas Keller

Chef Thomas Keller, Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, From Garden to Table Gala

Chef Thomas Keller, Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, lobster rolls

Chef Stevens’ lobster rolls on warm, soft brioche.

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