Contraband Thomas Keller Bacon

I had an amazing epiphany the other night. I took Bryan to dinner at The Six, the West LA restaurant I reviewed last month. We ordered the beet panzanella but the kitchen forget to add its signature crumbles of bacon to the dish. After quickly realizing the kitchen's snafu (we were oblivious to the bacon's absence), our waiter brought us a plate of hot bacon strips. They were amazing; better than any bacon I've ever had. I can't even explain why...the bacon was just perfect. Not too crispy, too chewy, too oily or cut too thick. Just great.

When chef David Gussin came out halfway through our meal to say hello, I asked him if the bacon was the same bacon he had served during my February food blogger dinner, a special cut from a Louisiana pig farm. He said it wasn't; it was Hobbs' bacon, widely known throughout the culinary community as Thomas Keller's (French Laundry, Bouchon) bacon of choice.

Then he said something I never thought possible: "I can sell you some if you want."

Sell me some? The Thomas Keller bacon could be mine, right there and then, at the restaurant? While I had heard rumors of a friend negotiating a price on a tub of truffle honey from Carnevino in Vegas, I had no idea you could do that. But I jumped on the opportunity. Six dollars and an incognito brown bag later, one pound of Hobbs bacon was mine.

Since then I've been doing nothing but making bacon. Here's a breakfast I made for Bryan the other day before his two-hour therapy extravaganza: two eggs sunny side up, two pieces of whole grain toast with sliced avocado and of course, the bacon. Ahhh, the bacon.

I'm not sure if I'm the last person on earth to know about this little contraband restaurant food trade, but I'm really excited about it. So the next time you're at a restaurant and eat something you just can't live without, ask your server or chef if you can buy some. The worst they can say is "no," but I suspect they'll say yes!


  1. You must have enjoyed every last bite! It does look impressive.

  2. Bacon Nirvana! I had not thought about asking to buy premium ingredients from a restaurant like that. Great tip!

  3. Why the switch to Hobbs' from his Louisiana-sourced bacon?

  4. E&J - Thanks! Bryan literally cleaned the plate.

    Chris- You're welcome! :)

    Kevin - David wasn't clear on why; just seemed that he was unable to get the Louisiana bacon and moved to the Hobbs bacon. They also removed the marcona almonds from the panzanella dish and the poached egg from the wild mushroom crostini. :(

  5. We are a little late in seeing this post, but can't thank you enough for the favorable piece about Hobbs' Applewood Smoked Bacon.

    All of us here at Hobbs' agree, it's mighty good.

    Thanks for the delightful post and wonderful photos.


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