Q&A with Chef Daniel Boulud
Memorial Day weekend marked the unofficial start to summer, as well as the official launch of a new concept from Chef Daniel Boulud: Daniel Boulud Kitchen. Boulud already has a host of New York eateries, including DANIEL, Café Boulud, Bar Boulud, Boulud Sud, and db Bistro Moderne. But now the culinary flavor of his French classics can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home, from Manhattan to the Hamptons, with plans to expand to Westchester and Greenwich.
The weekly-changing three-course menu starts at $75 per person along with à la carte options and features dishes such as White & Green Asparagus with Poached Egg Dressing, Lobster Salad Provençale, Grilled Halibut with Morels & Spring
Peas, Daniel’s Classic Beef Duo, and Opera Cake with Crème Anglaise, or a Fraisier. Add-ons include bottles of wine and cocktail mixes for two like the Classic Negroni.
Hamptons Monthly had a chance to catch up with the Chef to learn a little more about this new avenue of business for him, his favorite summer produce, and how you should take him up on adding on that Negroni as he closes out with a toast. So, raise your glass and read on.
Congrats on the new venture! It’s said that the mother of invention is necessity, and with the timing it seems this new part of your business was a response to COVID-19 and its impact on the restaurant industry. What inspired you to move forward with this delivery concept, and what are you most looking forward to in tackling this new challenge?
I already have a catering company in New York City, and we have done takeout before, but never focused on creating a brand. We were simply giving service to our own customers. With the increased demand, we decided to create Daniel Boulud Kitchen. I am looking forward to continuing to grow the brand, diversifying it, and offering a variety of menus.
The menu will be rotating. What are some of the considerations you take when deciding what to prepare, and how will meals be delivered to ensure the highest level of quality associated with the Daniel Boulud name?
The menu will be changing periodically. We have five brands representing my name, and it is an opportunity to bring each of them to our customers from fine dining to bistro and grab & go. In New York City we have a few different delivery options, like Postmates and Tock-to-Go. Also, we use our Lexus car to make private deliveries. With proper care of the taste and packaging, we do our best to maintain our standards of excellence.
In the summer there is no shortage of incredible produce, especially with all of the locally grown offerings in the Hamptons. What are three of your favorite seasonal fruits/ vegetables and favorite dish to make with each?
Corn for a chilled corn soup with local seafood.
Tomatoes, to create a beautiful ratatouille along with eggplant and zucchini.
Of course, peaches, to make wonderful Peach Melba with ice cream or whipped cream and a raspberry coulis.
A favorite summer food for the Hamptons set is lobster – prepared in all fashions ranging from classic broiled or boiled, to the traditional roll, and even in some cases sitting atop a burger. Can we expect to see any of your own takes on the tails and claws?
I would definitely like to feature lobster on my menu over the summer. I love it grilled with a delicious seven- herb butter, lemon, and cracked pepper.
Five percent of sales from Daniel Boulud Kitchen will go directly to benefit Hand in Hand, a foundation you started back in March at the beginning of the temporary shutdown to restaurants for guests. Can you tell us a little more about the organization?
Started in March 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and the temporary closing
of our restaurants to guests. The Foundation supports those employees who have not been able to work and are experiencing extraordinary financial hardship. We are grateful for those individuals who have generously donated to the organization to date and are hopeful to bring back all of our furloughed employees as restaurants slowly start to re-open, but it’s a long road ahead to be sure.
I imagine these past four months have been some of the most challenging you’ve faced in your career. You’re not only a chef, but a restauranteur with 12 locations worldwide and a responsibility for many jobs.
We have learned it is the people and the community who come first. What people can do right now is continue to support restaurants, charities and foundations, both locally and nationwide. New coalitions have been formed because of the pandemic to protect staff, suppliers, farmers, purveyors, and many other small restaurant businesses. If people continue to support these new organizations, the hospitality business will continue to improve and have a stronger voice.
Food is a way of bringing people together, and that’s something we need more now than maybe ever before, and it’s what you’re offering through your beautiful meals. So, let’s for a moment look at this as the ultimate Daniel Boulud dinner party, and as the host you’re asked to make a toast. What would you like to say?
“To my family, friends, and team, all those who have given support during this diffcult time, I raise my glass to better days ahead. Santé!”
For more information or to place an order now for delivery, visit www.DanielBouludKitchen.com. Pick-up from Restaurant Daniel is also available.