PHILO, Calif. (AP) — Sally Schmitt, who founded The French Laundry restaurant in California wine country and helped launch the region’s farm-to-table movement, has died. She was 90. Schmitt and her husband Don opened The French Laundry in 1978 after spending four years renovating a rustic building that once operated as an actual laundry. They sold the restaurant 16 years later to Thomas Keller, whose award-winning cooking turned The French Laundry, as well as Napa Valley, into a food-and-wine destination. Keller pays tribute every year to Sally Schmitt by serving one of her cherished prix fixe menus. She spent the latter years of her life teaching cooking at her apple farm in the Mendocino County town of Philo and writing her memoir and cookbook.
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