About the Chef

Josef Keller was born and raised in Switzerland. In his early teens he made his way into the rigorous Suisse Cooking Apprenticeship program with an emphasis on French cuisine and dining room management. Chef Keller worked in the fine European hotels of Zurich, Geneva and the winter resort area of Verbier in an up-scale restaurant.

On moving to the U.S., the precocious chef amazed Philadelphia while at la Scala’s, a northern Italian restaurant, for four years, and charmed Lake Tahoe at the Swiss Lakewood Restaurant and Lodge, working both the front and the back of the house for another four years. The highly awarded restaurateur moved on to Santa Rosa in 1980 and opened La Province, a French continental restaurant, for a run of 12 years. Following that, he owned and managed Josef’s Restaurant & Bar at the La Rose Hotel for 17 years where Charles Schulz and his family were frequent customers.

One of Josef’s most meaningful roles was at Meals on Wheels in Sonoma County where he restructured the program to provide better tasting meals by using more fresh produce, herbs and improved cooking methods. Mr. Keller was employed at the Prelude Restaurant at the Green Music Center, a 4 star restaurant, and at the Overlook Restaurant (a lunch time eatery for faculty and students), both at Sonoma State University. His responsibilities were training, organizing and scheduling the wait staff for both restaurants, as well as inventory and wine ordering. On top of that, he organized and staffed the concessions for concerts.

Josef currently lives in Santa Rosa, California, happily married to his wife, Jill Keller Peters, an artist. They have a total of 6 children and 6 grandchildren. He enjoys relaxing in his garden, playing on the golf course and hiking. And maybe one day he’ll get back to skiing.