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Daniel Boulud Comes to Dinner - continued

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Daniel Boulud
Daniel Boulud Thomas Schauer
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Renowned Manhattan-based chef Daniel Boulud's arrival ups the fine-dining stakes in Vancouver

Boulud comes to town not as a solo toque, in other words, but as the face of his Dinex Group—a vast consulting and holding company made up of hundreds of cooks, managers, sommeliers, operations directors, and chefs. His is a first-rate business informed by a passion for food, an instinct for service, and demonstrated logistical prowess. “It’s naïve to think of a chef standing behind a stove all the time these days,” says the 53-year-old Boulud, who made his North American reputation as executive chef at Le Cirque in New York before opening Restaurant Daniel in 1993. “It’s about being a great chef with a great team. And being well-capitalized.”

The success of his team is evident in well-defined restaurants that consistently receive critical acclaim and deliver a deeply satisfying dining experience. In New York, besides Daniel, there’s Café Boulud, db Bistro Moderne, and Bar Boulud. In Palm Beach, he has Café Boulud. In Las Vegas, in the Wynn complex, there’s Daniel Boulud Brasserie. Soon there will be Maison Boulud in Beijing, which he plans to open in advance of the Olympics. And now, of course, there’s Vancouver.

Dinex’s talent is consistently on the road, tuning in-house management teams at each of its restaurants. A Dinex SWAT team—including Oliver Muller (executive chef, db Bistro Moderne), Jean François Bruel (executive chef, Daniel), Eric Bertoia (corporate pastry chef), Brett Traussi (director of operations, Dinex Group), and Stephane Istel (chef, Feast & Fêtes Catering)—accompanied Boulud to Vancouver in March, when the chef spent a couple of days sampling the fare at Cioppino’s and Tojo’s, and meeting with people from Vij’s and West. He also cooked a spectacular lunch at Lumière for 80 local chefs, media members, and friends of the restaurant.