YOUNTVILLE (AP) — A restaurant that has twice been named the best in the world is now using shipping containers as a kitchen.
The French Laundry’s head chef and owner Thomas Keller wanted to find a way to keep the place open while his futuristic new kitchen was being built, and his architectural team suggested the shipping containers, the Los Angeles Times reports Friday.
The temporary setup with a sprawling window to watch chefs at work opened last week.
The containers are in sharp contrast to the restaurant that was built as a saloon in 1900 from river rock and timbers. The building was later a home, and during the 1920s it operated as a French steam laundry.
Keller, who took over the restaurant in the mid-90s, told the newspaper his unfinished new kitchen was inspired by the renovation at Paris’ Louvre museum, which blended old and new architecture.
Using shipping containers for shops and eateries isn’t entirely new, but it’s gaining popularity.
Last month, the Yard at Mission Rock near the San Francisco Giants ballpark opened with more than a dozen containers, where beer and goods are sold.
The Proxy in San Francisco, a collection of activities and outposts, opened in 2011.
The French Laundry was in 2003 and 2004 named the best restaurant in the world by Restaurant Magazine.
A 9-course meal goes for $295 and wine sells for $3,250 to $7,950 a bottle. The famed restaurant is known for twice daily serving nine-course tasting menus, none of which uses the same ingredient more than once.
Michelin Guide San Francisco has six times awarded The French Laundry their highest rating of three stars.