Diner En Blanc with chef Ken Frank of Michelin-starred La Toque Restaurant
Jean-Noel Fourmeaux - Winery Owner
Jean-Noel Fourmeaux, 3rd generation winemaker from Bordeaux, was an official taster for the French government in 1980 when the famous Judgment of Paris proved that California wine quality had become world-class. The French A.O.C (Appellation d’Origine Controlee) sent him to California to find out what the New World winemakers were doing. As he says, “I came, I stayed!” Rather than being constrained by the traditions that exist in France, he chose to be creative in making wine and became part of the California winemaking experience.
Ken Frank - Chef, La Toque Restaurant
Chef Ken Frank first achieved national acclaim in 1977 when he was Chef of La Guillotine Restaurant at age 21. At that time he was a pioneer, insisting on using only the freshest, seasonal, quality ingredients. He was the original Chef at Michael???s in Santa Monica, considered the Los Angeles birthplace of ???California Cuisine,??? which he left in 1979 to open the first La Toque on the Sunset Strip at age 23. He finally heeded the call of the wine country and moved north to open a new La Toque in Rutherford in 1998.
After a successful ten-year run in Rutherford, Frank moved his signature restaurant to the Westin Verasa Napa in the fall of 2008. He can be found nightly, tasting wine, directing the kitchen, or mingling with his many long-time repeat guests in the dining room of La Toque.