1988 Best New Chef Daniel Boulud
1988 Best New Chef Daniel Boulud

Daniel Boulud

F&W Star Chef » See All F&W Chef Superstars In 1988, Daniel Boulud was a member of F&W’s first-ever class of Best New Chefs. Today, he’s one of the cooking world’s true giants. He shares his top New York spots, his favorite cookbooks and how to make scrambled eggs the DB way.  What’s your most requested recipe at Restaurant Daniel, the one dish you’re most known for? We change the menu at Restaurant Daniel all the time but for 20-some years, I’ve done this paupiette of sea bass wrapped and sautéed in a crisp layer of potatoes, set on a bed of leeks with a red wine sauce. For our 15th anniversary in 2008, when we redid the decor, my chef came to me and said, “Daniel, you are redoing your restaurant, we have a new beginning—we have to get rid of the paupiette. We are sick and tired of cooking it.” It felt like they were ripping my heart out! But I knew he was right, so I agreed. I still loved the combination, so I proposed we keep one dish on the menu with those same four ingredients—sea bass, potatoes, leeks and red wine—with a new interpretation every year. The fish isn’t wrapped in potato anymore, but we might do a pommes lyonnaise, and bake them in sheets with a fondue of onions and a custard of leeks with fried leeks on top. Later, after F&W Best New Chef 2007 Gavin Kaysen had taken over Café Boulud, he asked me for permission to put the original paupiette on his menu. So now it has a second life at Café Boulud, and a new, eternal life at Restaurant Daniel. What’s your favorite cookbook of all time?Les Recettes Originales de Robert Laffont. It’s a series of about 12 to 15 cookbooks created by the publisher Robert Laffont, by all of the French chefs who redefined French cuisine in the 1970s: Frédy Girardet, Roger Verger, Michel Guérard, almost everyone did one. The books are all the same format, and very well made; some were translated into English, like Girardet and Guérard. But I grew up in France and was a young chef in the ’70s, and those were the first books I collected. Once I became a chef at Le Cirque and had some money, I bought more expensive first editions and antiques. But those books bring me back to my heroes: Jacques Maximin, Georges Blanc, they keep me grounded in French cuisine. I’ve been carrying them around with me for 40 years now. What’s one technique everyone should know? How to make scrambled eggs the DB way. Again, this is all about slow: A slow stir over a double boiler. You don’t want the water to touch the bowl, you just want the steam. I prefer a glass or ceramic bowl to a stainless steel double boiler. First I’ll buy a truffle, and put it in a big jar with about half a dozen uncracked eggs. I’ll leave the jar in the refrigerator for about four or five days, so that the eggs absorb the aroma through their shells. Then I’ll temper the eggs, taking them out of the fridge to let them come to room temperature. Meanwhile, I’ll cut a few tablespoons of butter into very small (1/8 inch) cubes, and keep those cold in the refrigerator. Then I’ll whisk the eggs with a little salt and pepper, and pour them into the prepared double boiler. I stir them slowly, taking my time. Once they’ve started to curdle and turn creamy, I’ll stir in the cold butter pieces to slow down the cooking. Once the eggs and butter are blended and take on a porridge-like texture, I’ll finish them with a little chives, snipped very fine. Then I’ll take a 1-inch thick piece of white bread, remove the crusts and cut the bread into three 1-inch thick batons. I’ll butter the bread, not the pan, and then toast them on all four sides in a pan, until they color all four sides, and are perfectly crispy on the outside, warm and tender in the middle, and then serve that with my scrambled eggs. Without the truffle—and you don’t need one—it’s a very affordable luxury. What are your top don’t-miss places in New York? I like to take friends to hear some real, old-school New York cabaret, after hosting them for dinner at one of my restaurants. I often eat at my own restaurants, and I have a different favorite nightclub near each one—there’s Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel next to Café Boulud; Feinstein’s at the Regency next to Restaurant Daniel, and the Algonquin is right next door to DB Bistro Moderne. I live on the Upper East Side, so we’ll often do a museum day at the Met, the Frick, or MoMA. The Met can take up a day all on its own; the Frick is so peaceful, and MoMA is a must—its collection is unbeatable. For brunch it’s fun to go to Brooklyn. Last time my parents were here—they’re 84 and in great shape—I took them to Roberta’s. That was very cool, but perhaps the best moment was when my father noticed the pizza oven. At home in France, since he retired as a farmer, we turned the chicken coop into a pool area with a big pool house and a wood oven to make pizza. At Roberta’s, my father spent half an hour watching the cooks, to see how they made pizza and to see what else they cooked in there. He was passionately interested in that. I like to go and listen to some jazz. Sadly, a lot of my favorite jazz clubs have closed, but Red Rooster now has Ginny’s Supper Club in the basement; I like that place very much. 1988 Best New Chef Bio Won Best New Chef at: Le Cirque, New York City
Entertaining advice and hot hors d'oeuvre recipes from chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud.
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This luxe seafood soup from star chef Daniel Boulud starts with a fantastically rich-flavored broth made with fish heads, bones, lots of aromatics and tomatoes. Saffron-laced potatoes, snapper and bass fillets, shrimp and mussels all go in at the end and the dish is served with the best rouille we've ever tasted. Slideshow:  More Seafood Recipes 
Chef Way Daniel Boulud makes this oozy appetizer with Vacherin Mont-d'Or, a creamy cheese sold at top cheese shops.Easy Way Camembert is as rich and runny as Vacherin Mont-d'Or, but much easier to find.Plus: More Appetizer Recipes and Tips More Mushroom Recipes
Vin d'Oranges
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Among the many flavored wines that Daniel Boulud makes is this festive aperitif. It's also perfect with dessert. The wine must stand for at least 40 days to be at its best, so plan accordingly.Plus: Ultimate Cocktail Guide
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For this Brazilian side dish, Daniel Boulud gives braised collards and silky white beans an unusual accent of fresh lime juice. Slideshow:  More Recipes by Daniel Boulud 
For this Brazilian side dish, Daniel Boulud gives braised collards and silky white beans an unusual accent of fresh lime juice. Slideshow:  More Recipes by Daniel Boulud 
This luscious dish is deceptively simple: skate stuffed with duxelles, a mixture of mushrooms and shallots, served alongside creamed spinach. More Seafood Recipes
Sizzled Scallops
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Chef Daniel Boulud of Daniel in New York City is famous for elaborate four-star dinners, but surprisingly, he's also a genius at creating fast one-dish meals with a French accent. Here he prepares a complete meal in a single skillet: crusty sea scallops, fresh green snow peas and golden potatoes.Plus: More Seafood Recipes and Tips
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For this delicious recipe, chef Daniel Boulud quickly cooks scallop slices, then serves them with a rich, tangy avocado-tomatillo sauce and Indian-spiced hearts of palm (we substitute chayote, which is easier to find). Slideshow: Daniel Boulud Recipes 
Salt Cod Croquettes
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Known as bolinhos in Portuguese ("little cakes"), these croquettes are Daniel Boulud's take on a classic Brazilian bar food. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, with plump chunks of salt cod, they are a terrific match for zippy caipirinhas. Quick Appetizers
Chef Way Daniel Boulud broils snapper right on dinner plates, topping the fish with citrus, diced jalapeño and bell peppers. A simple radish-fennel salad goes alongside.Easy Way Broil the snapper on a baking sheet, then serve it with a salad that combines all the bright, crisp flavors of the original dish: fennel, radishes, bell pepper, citrus and jalapeño.
Daniel Boulud sometimes makes this signature dish with squab, with a cube of foie gras in the stuffing. Amazing Chicken Recipes
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Prune Flan with Orange Salad
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Marie Boulud serves this lovely version of crème caramel on Sundays, with golden brioche and sugared almonds.Plus: More Dessert Recipes and Tips
Chef Way: Daniel Boulud tops house-made orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta) with a bolognese sauce prepared with venison, pork butt, chicken liver and veal stock. He finishes the dish with fresh porcini mushrooms, chestnuts, and butternut squash. Easy Way: Store-bought dried orecchiette gets tossed with a bolognese sauce made with just ham and ground chuck. Finishing the dish with chestnuts (leaving out the porcini and squash) adds a delicious and unexpected touch.
Mushroom Pomponnettes
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At restaurant Daniel, Daniel Boulud makes these popular bite-size mushroom quiches in individual molds, but mini-muffin pans are perfect substitutes.Plus: More Appetizer Recipes and Tips