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On a sunny morning in Napa Valley, America's most celebrated chef is reflecting on his career, the culinary empire it spawned and why he just spent $10 million to upgrade his famed restaurant, the French Laundry.All of this is apparent in the chef's gleaming new workspace, a 2,000-square-foot state-of-the-art kitchen, which feels more like a sleek, modern art gallery than a cramped, hectic kitchen.At 61 years old, Keller entertains the thought of slowing down. Keller said he embarked on the French Laundry's renovation to ensure it thrives for the next 20 years. The distinctions make Keller the only American chef, past or present, with two sets of three-star Michelin ratings.On a tour of the new kitchen and the French Laundry's lush culinary garden, Keller is vocally enthusiastic about the upgrades. The attention to detail is typical of Keller, Breeden said.Keller has not cooked full-time in years but is still very much the face of the French Laundry, which is inside an old stone cottage in the heart of California wine country.
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