I got the same Williams-Sonoma email that Angela did. The one offering the “Exclusive: Fried Chicken Kit from Chef Thomas Keller”.
I have to say that I do love Williams-Sonoma. Some of their items are a bit pointless and others are a bit pricey, but that’s ok — we do most of our kitchen shopping at the outlet store. There are some decent deals there.
I also can’t overstate the tremendous respect I have for Thomas Keller. He is a superb cook and chef. His creations and his drive to always be better are an inspiration.
The question really boils down to this: “Do you need an ‘Exclusive: Fried Chicken Kit from Chef Thomas Keller’?” As Angela so eloquently explained, no, you don’t. But Williams-Sonoma has a clientele that is willing to pay top dollar for quality and/or for a name. If folks are willing to buy it, then by all means, sell it.
And I certainly don’t begrudge Chef Keller the opportunity to capitalize on all his hard work. If fried chicken is one place he chooses to make his mark, more power to him.
It’s just that, for me, Keller Fried Chicken just doesn’t process in my little brain. When I think about fried chicken — and I think about it a lot — Thomas Keller is not the one I picture flipping me the bird, so to speak.
So who do I picture?
Well, Scott Peacock is just too good looking to be a chef, but as soon as you hear that soft Georgia lilt, you know it’s gonna be ok. I would trust Scott to fry chicken.
Linton Hopkins looks like a good buddy from deer camp. I also wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he names his cast iron skillets. I would be proud to have fried chicken from Linton.
John Currence looks like your cranky brother-in-law, but you just know he can fry up a mean bird. Heck, that’s probably part of why you married his metaphorical sister.
I would eat pretty much anything Chef Keller put on a plate, but I guess that, deep down, the Southerner in me can’t accept fried chicken advice and supplies from Napa Valley. To me, it feels like the same kind of sacrilege as the folks who throw a steak on the grill and call it a barbecue.