I would go for the Keller job.
If you think ahead ten years, would you regret not having worked on Long Island or not having worked for Keller?
And as far as passion goes I've never really liked that analogy. A passion is something you feel strongly for and engulf yourself with but often only for a short period of time. Passion fades away, at this point of my career I'd say tenacity describes me better. I don't feel a "passion" burning in me, that's not what drives me to get up and go work every day. I'm relentless and methodical at work, I do what I do to spite myself sometimes but mostly just because it's what I do best.
Boy it's times like this when I wish my father was still alive
i'd imagine you're going to get dicked around more in a higher profile environment, bring out your best and worst all at the same time; that to me is more exciting. do you want adventure or stability? sounds to me more like long island might be better direction for you.
Keller. Some things in life are worth the risk.
It's nice sometimes to take a gig where you aren't the one ultimately responsible at the end of the day. Usually less hours, less stress, more opportunity to learn, etc. And if you rock, a higher position will always become available, there or somewhere else. And maybe one gig is less $, but if it is less hours and stress, maybe quality of life will be better. Recharge your batteries a bit, learn, be inspired. Like it was said, those LI gigs will always be available, especially with TK on your resume.
Get out of your comfort zone. Take the risk. TK all the way.
"God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney
On the other side I saw a Keller sous on a failing restaurant show. (I think Ramsey's) Just to say that anyone can become lazy and not see a problem with it.
Chewie's the man.
A good friend of ours worked at Per Se (director of Private Dining , I believe) and had nothing but good things to say about it. She left to work for Ducasse and hated it. TK personally invited her back to work on the Left coast. If that's not high praise for an employer, nothing is. I'd go with Keller even at my age.
And like Chuckles pointed out, the Island will always be there.
Manhattan living ain't cheap though. Last I remember, the only place that was still affordable and somewhat livable was UES above 95th street.
“Though I could not caution all, I still might warn a few; Don’t lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools.” Robert Hunter