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Bouchon's Shmancy Red Carpet Fiasco

For a picture diary of the below written recount, please view the photo stream below (21 images in all).

Last night's red carpet affair at Thomas Keller's about-to-open Bouchon may just have been the biggest thing to ever happen on a Monday night in Beverly Hills. Paparazzi and Beverly Hills police notwithstanding, the event was a flashbulb frenzy full of foodies and famous Keller fans alike. Posing for photographs with the Mayor's office during the ribbon cutting ceremony (Villaraigosa couldn't make it afterall), the 7-Michelin starred chef played proprietor in a crisp grey suit and smiled gently for cameras. An hour later, Keller donned his chef's whites, shooting the breeze with LA's finest and patiently posing for photos with food bloggers and other fans. Star Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus were in attendance; Julia grazed the dessert buffet while Star looked longingly at the food without taking a bite. Ryan Seacrest dodged cameras by leaping from room to room while Pierce Brosnan held court at a large oval booth over looking the main dining area.

As soon as guests figured out that they could hang out in the kitchen - that there was more food there - the party really took off. Focused chefs behind the hot and cold preparation lines fixed up tray after tray of petit croque monsieurs, beef short ribs with a dollop of mashed potato, cups of butternut squash soup, cod croquettes, tarte flambees, and delightful little cones of fresh French fries. As dance music played, Keller stepped behind the line to stick his tasting spoon in this pot, then that bowl just to be sure that even these free hor d'oeuvres were up to par. Hilarity ensued when Chef entered the bread room, amused to find his bakers teaching guests how to bake epis (wheat-stalk shaped baguettes). Actor Aziz Ansari turned around to shout, "They're baking Pillsbury Crescent Rolls in your new oven!" Keller glanced over, cracked a smile, and then walked on. Guests, delighted, continued on in their bread lesson, waiting patiently for their loaves to bake so that they could take them home for breakfast.

A cheese selection, house-made charcuterie, house-cured olives and baby vegetables, tapenades, honey comb, and a lifetime supply of freshly baked breads catered to endless lines. (Fact: Bouchon bakes its own bread three or more times a day.) There was a duo of cooks in one corner handing out paper cones of truffled popcorn, Keller's signature celebratory joke. The oyster bar, a vision in nickel and glass, churned out freshly shucked shellfish faster than the tipsy crowd could handle. Nearby, bartenders mixed drinks and poured wine. An accordionist, complete with striped sailor shirt and beret - seemingly flown in from the streets of Paris - played in the cocktail lounge. An ice sculpture of Bouchon's signature beach volley-boule graced an outdoor area and kept tray after tray of caviar crisps cool. A Josephine Baker-esque singer completed the old Paris - meets - new money look. It was a dizzying dazzle of decadence. The only question that remains: what's next? Will Bouchon Bakery open in the space next door? No one knows, everyone is keeping their fingers crossed.
— As witnessed by Daniela Galarza

Bouchon Bistro

235 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210 310 271 9910 Visit Website

Bouchon

235 N Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA, 90210

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