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Last Update: Saturday September 25, 2021

Preparing food that sustains people is a sacred trust.

From failure to the best in the world


Yountville, California: We spent a day with Chef Thomas Keller to try to learn his secrets. We think we distilled a few of them here for you, but like any true artist, there is still mystery around a man who is so respected by employees, customers, and chefs.  The reservationist told us, "Food is transformed when it goes through Chef Keller's hands." 

Located in the world famous Napa Valley, this is the place from which Chef Keller gained great fame. He now also owns Per Se in New York City, and Bouchon in Yountville and in Las Vegas.  To accomplish this growth, he has recruited, hired and trained some of the best chefs and service people in the country.

Writer Irvine Welsh had this to say about dining at The French Laundry:  "...we received 19 courses and 15 different types of accompanying wine... From the opening glasses of Krug Grand Cuvée Champagne and our crisp and tasty cornets of marinated Atlantic Salmon with Red Onion Crème Fraîche to the 'Mignardises' washed down with Barbeito Sercial Madeira 1910 Vintage Port, some four hours later, this was a gastronomic assault course. I have neither the time nor the space to go into what we received in between all this, so I'll just highlight some personal favourites. The Cauliflower 'Panna Cotta' with Point Reyes Oyster Glaze and Iranian Osetra Caviar was a magnificent canapé. taste buds went into overdrive with the Salad of Marinated Jacobsen's Farm Figs with Caramelised Fennel Bulb, Roasted Garden Peppers, Shaved Fennel and Fennel Bulb Vinaigrette, and gastronomic orgasm was achieved with the Sweet Butter Poached Maine Lobster with first-of-season Chestnuts, Granny Smith's Apples and a Hydromel Sauce.

... the waiters just keep coming with more dishes, unfailingly polite and informative as ever.

...obviously, the title of 'best restaurant in the world' is subjective to the point of lunacy. Having said that, I doubt it would be possible for The French Laundry to be equaled.

...Thomas Keller is a true giant among chefs, coming over as a genuinely inspirational figure, and to see him in action in his kitchen is pure joy."

Go to all the Key Ideas & Video......

Small business is about reaching for higher perfections and richer expressions.

Do you have an idea for a business?  Be inspired and gain some insight from these business owners who have walked over the coals. 

Now to think about it, some are even reinventing the coal as diamonds! 

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There are always four paths to walk and eight steps to climb:


Start a Business

Capture the essence. Go deeper. Then, invent!  What do we know about light?  Turns out, not much more than we did 100 years ago. Yet ,Jack Miller has a few new insights. Then, his daughter had her own insights about art preservation.  So together, they started a business  based on those ideas! Like most,  they bootstrapped it!


Key Question: How do I start a business?"


Grow a Business

Meet Anne Beiler, founder Auntie Anne's Pretzels.
One of the most amazing stories in our library; this woman has made billions and has given most of it away. She is on a mission to create real businesses based on love and the blessing of an absolutely delicious pretzel.

Key Question: What is a path for growth?


Buy a Business
...with your blood, sweat and tears.
That's family business
. Meet Cindy McEntee; she grew up in her grandmother's little joint on the pier.  A restaurant for the fishermen, it had a good reputation but  was barely a business.  Now, known around the world, Cindy's  children are positioning to take over.  
Mo's Chowderr is a classic story about family business.

Andy Wilson, founder, Boston Duck Tours, Boston, Massachusetts

Sell a Business
Andy Wilson had a dream. He had a job, too. He made good money, but he was not satisfied. He wanted to do more. So, he jumped ship and started Boston Duck Tours and literally changed history. To get started, he sold a piece of the business from the get go. You can, too.

Learn eight possible ways to exit your business!
Key Question: Who is the best buyer?

Starting a business is easy. Now learn how to exit that business.  There are eight possible ways. Learn them all!

Key Question: Who is the best buyer?

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