Chef Hubert Keller of Fleur de Lys - Biography

San Francisco, CA

September 2010

Hubert Keller has a classic French-American success story. A native Frenchman and graduate of the seminal École Hôtelière in Strasbourg, Keller trained with some of the country’s culinary champions, including Paul Bocuse, Paul Haeberlin, and Grand Master of Haute Cuisine, Roger Verge. It was under Verge that the young Frenchman traveled the world, making his first stop at Moulin de Mougins at the French Riviera, then heading to Cuisine du Soleil in Brazil, and finally making his way stateside, to San Francisco’s Sutter 500. Keller fell in love with the food scene in San Francisco, with its fresh markets and emphasis on local product, and he made it the culinary home for his soon to be iconic restaurant, Fleur de Lys.

Faithful to the example set by his mentor Verge, Keller offers traditional French cooking with a delicate and sophisticated Mediterranean accent at Fleur de Lys. Since 1986, Keller has acted as executive chef and co-owner (with Maurice Rouas) of the restaurant, which has garnered praise from every sector of the industry in its near 25 years in business. John Mariani of Esquire picked it for his “Restaurant of the Year” and The New York Times’ Bryan Miller called Fleur de Lys “arguably the top French dining room in the city.” The chef himself has received many awards, including ranking among the "10 Best Chefs in America" by Food & Wine Magazine and Best Chef, California, from the James Beard Foundation.

After successfully opening a second Fleur de Lys at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Chef Keller decided it was time to explore something slightly more casual. Burger Bar was born in 2004, to bring upscale burgers to a delighted dining public years ahead of the curve. No doubt Keller’s success with artisan burgers is the cause of many imitations among the ranks of his now burger-crafting chef peers. With two more Burger Bars in St. Louis and San Francisco, not to mention generations of chefs training in his kitchens and a host of cookbooks exhibiting the chef’s maneuverability within fine dining and beyond, Keller remains a prolific force in the American culinary landscape.