Daniel Boulud’s culinary achievements are a chef’s dream.
The French-born chef has a restaurant in Singapore, one in London, three in Canada and 14 in the United States. Ten of them alone are in New York City, including his eponymous flagship, Daniel, which maintains its two Michelin stars for 2020 and has received four-star reviews twice in The New York Times. He has received the Culinary Institute of America’s Chef of the Year award and the World’s 50 Best Restaurants group’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Daniel and he together have won the coveted James Beard Foundation four times and he has written nine cookbooks.
But despite his superstar chef status, he’s an everyman at heart.
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Breakfast is a family affair every morning, when he and his wife, Katherine, cook together for their young children. He likes to order pizza to-go. One of his favorite kitchen utensils is a wooden spatula that his father, a retired farmer, made for him.
He will be in Pittsburgh on Nov. 6 when the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden will honor him at its annual benefit at the Duquesne Club. For several years now, the club has invited famous chefs, including Rick Bayless, Jacques Pepin, Alice Waters, Thomas Keller and Ina Garten, to its annual garden-to-table themed galas.
Mr. Boulud (pronounced boo-LOO) said he felt honored for not being asked to cook for the event, yet he was disappointed that he would not be cooking.
The evening’s dinner will be prepared by the club’s executive chef Keith Coughenour, chef Kevin Sousa of Superior Motors and chef Andrew Garbarino of The Twisted Frenchman. One of the top restaurant critics in the country will be the surprise guest at the event, which is sold out.
During a telephone interview last week, he was busy in the kitchen at his Boston restaurant, Bar Boulud, preparing for a culinary event. But he took the time to answer questions while giving instructions to his staff, who was preparing poire belle helene (poached pears served with ice cream).
The conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Q: What do you typically cook for your family?
A: I have young children, and I like to cook something healthy, local and seasonal for them. My wife and I cook together. We make chicken, shellfish, stir-fries, vegetables and beef. Sometimes they have a curry undertone for more flavor. We want our kids to know that there is no difference between their food and our food. We complement quinoa, grains and rice with vegetables. There might be protein or no protein. The other day we made a pumpkin soup with broccoli, corn and brown rice. We love eggs. We make eggs that are from Heermance Farm [in Tivoli, N.Y.] every morning for the kids. Sometimes, I will order a Margherita pizza with prosciutto from Mezzaluna.
Q: What about for yourself after a long day at work?
A: I live above the restaurant [Daniel]. When I come home late at night, I will toast a slice of […]
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