When filming in Toronto, nary a week goes by without finding me tucked into a corner at Cafe Boulud with a dear friend and a glass of bourgogne blanc. Then come the frites, the perfectly roasted chicken, or perhaps a classic niçoise salad, and you have essentially stumbled upon my recipe for happiness by way of Chef Daniel Boulud. Between casual & hip DBGB, Michelin starred Daniel, and his multitude of namesake restos worldwide, his skill of creating staggeringly beautiful French comfort food (think refinement without the fuss, technique accompanied by a strong embrace) has made his eponymous brand the ultimate dining destination. By way of gal pal Gail Simmons, and her dear friend, Evyn Block, we have found our way to this Chef Talk with the legendary Daniel Boulud. Thanks ladies for the intro, and thanks Chef Daniel – cheers to friendship, food, frivolity…and a ’92 Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Montrachet. As one does.

What's the staff meal your kitchen gets most excited about?

When one of our talented cooks from Mexico makes a classic posole.

What is the one knife you can't live without?

A beat up Sabatier that I have had since I was 14 years old.

What's your naughty food indulgence?

Good and Plenty licorice. Its not the fancy stuff, but I like it.

What's your mini bar go to?

If they had Dalmore whisky, it would be that…but that would have to be pretty special mini bar. Otherwise, Campari and soda. And almonds.

If you could stage at any restaurant in your city, where would it be and why?

Peasant restaurant, in NoLita with Chef Frank Decarlo. He cooks everything on wood fires, and I would like to master that.

After a long day at work you go home and…?

Well, it starts with music, a great glass of wine…

If you weren't working in a kitchen, what would you be doing?

I would definitely still be in some kind of business that creates very special experiences for people.

Drink of choice?

Great wine! Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Montrachet. I like the 1992, 2002 or 2010 vintages.

One cookbook you can't live without/most referenced?

What's the most overrated ingredient?

Maybe black garlic.

Describe your cooking in one word:


Images via: Bloomberg, Instagram