Chef Confidential: That Time RN74's David Varley Accidentally Egged Thomas Keller's Car

By: 
Julien Perry

Welcome to Chef Confidential, a new recurring feature here at Restaurant Insider in which chefs and other industry types divulge amusing and embarrassing stories from the dining trenches.

First up, chef David Varley, who was plucked last summer from Michael Mina's executive team to focus solely on the company's Seattle property, RN74. He revealed something to me while I was interviewing him recently about one of his egg dishes for an upcoming issue of Seattle Magazine: He hates eggs. He hates them so much that, if he is to be believed, he's never even eaten an entire egg. 

As proof, he told me a couple of embarrassing stories that revolve around his idea of the worst food ever. The most notable happened during a cocktail party he attended several years ago at Thomas Keller's lauded French Laundry in California's Napa Valley.

"We were out in the courtyard having hors d'oeuvres and champagne and deviled eggs come out," says Varley, getting visibly fired up. "So, I took a deviled egg, said 'Thank you very much,' and I wait for the waiter to leave and I [motions hucking the egg] up and over the fence. The best part of this is that Thomas Keller's house is on the backside of the French Laundry and the only thing that separates the two is a picket fence. His driveway is on the other side of the fence, so the egg landed on his windshield. Somebody walked by and said, 'Holy shit, somebody tagged TK's car! And then later, a server comes up [to the table] to drop a course and says, 'We left the deviled eggs off this time since TK found one on his car.'"

Eventually, Varley fessed up in person. "I saw [Thomas Keller] in Aspen two years ago and I'm like, 'Hey, I don't know if you remember this, but it's kind of a funny French Laundry story.' I told him and he said, 'I absolutely do remember that,' and then proceeded to tell me that I never had to eat anything I didn't like. I said, 'Well, I didn't. Don't worry!'"

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