French chef Daniel Boulud earns the title of best restaurateur in the world

Post three decades of his flagship restaurant Daniel in New York, French chef Daniel Boulud speaks of his latest honour as a sign of friendship from colleagues
‘DANIEL’ is Chef Daniel Boulud’s flagship restaurant in New York

Known for creating French gastronomic delights with American products and flavours, chef Daniel Boulud was named best restaurateur in the world by Les Grandes Tables du Monde for his flagship restaurant Daniel.

According to the association of 184 top restaurants worldwide, the Lyon native, who moved to New York in 1982, “embodies, for many North Americans, French gastronomy, or even gastronomy, period.”

The 66-year-old Daniel Boulud defines his cuisine as French in its cooking and textures but with American in the ingredients that go into it. Besides the two Michelin starred Daniel in New York, the chef also has other restaurants in the United States, Canada, Dubai, Singapore and the Bahamas.

The chef recently took to Instagram to express his emotions on winning the prestigious and highly coveted title. He says, “Together, we continue to evolve and elevate the cuisine, rooted in the French tradition, with modern refinements to make even the most classic dishes a revelation. Our bar and lounge offer an à la carte menu, and no reservations are required. Our New York finest hospitality is back, and so is #DANIEL. We look forward to sharing our delicious journey with the team, suppliers, and loyal customers”.

Chef Daniel Boulud took to Instagram to express his appreciation on the honour

In an environment widely perceived as extremely competitive and high-pressure, Boulud told AFP after the news broke that the honour represented a “professional dedication and really a sign of friendship and support from colleagues.” 

In the forty years that chef Daniel Boulud has spent in New York, his love for the city hasn’t overridden his French ways. The same is evident with his restaurant Daniel, which has received numerous accolades for its refined European cuisine since its opening in 1993. The restaurant has earned its place among the pillars of New York City’s bustling dining scene, and is also celebrated for its world-class cellar and gracious hospitality. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the F&B industry hard in the last two years, Daniel was no exception. While some of chef Daniel Boulud’s establishments closed, ‘Daniel’ kept going. The restaurant coped by setting up a terrace of covered shelters on the sidewalk “with heating in the winter and air conditioning and music in the summer” for die-hard fans.

And they’re back now, stronger than ever before. With a dining room redesign set for 2021, Chef Boulud also promoted his Chef de Cuisine, Eddy Leroux, to Executive Chef, and Shaun Velez, formerly Executive Pastry Chef at Café Boulud, to Executive Pastry Chef. 

Collaborating with Chef Boulud, Chef Leroux and the culinary team, Chef Daniel has created a new menu rooted in French tradition, with modern refinements and innovations. There’s also a completely vegetarian menu available, as is a $275 seven-course prix fixe tasting menu.

The economic and cultural capital of the United States and a cultural mosaic of 8.5 million inhabitants, New York is home to 183 French restaurateurs, according to the French consulate. Amongst these, Daniel has managed to carve out its niche with refined interiors that provide luxurious ambience, and food that’s as comforting as exciting. 

Fair warning, the fine dining at Daniel is a pricey affair, where one dinner could easily set you back by about $300. For those chasing a good time however, it’s a reasonable price to pay.

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