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tofino

Daniel Boulud Coming to Vancouver

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Came to egullet to check out the commentary on the announcement in todays Globe & Mail about Daniel Boulud taking over as exec chef at Lumiere, but didn't see any post yet???? Quite the announcement!! Should be great for the Vancouver food scene and vancouver in general, as the press that will be garnered from this will be huge in the States as well as through all of his existing restaurants - quite a coup for the Sidoo's - it will be interesting to see how this dynamic works out!

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Yes, I noticed this a couple of days ago over on the CityFood website. It will be interesting to see what happens. Will Vancouverites automatically support a "franchise" from New York? I have huge respect for Daniel Boulud and I'm sure that he will be a much better fit than the debacle a few years ago with Jeremiah Towers at the Hotel Vancouver.

It remains to be seen how much he will actually be here in Vancouver though. He is famous for the quality of his chefs so it should be interesting to see how he incorporates our food scene with his N.Y. style.

DB burgers anyone? (that's where Feenies burger came from).

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I think its a pretty big coup for Vancouver. I've lived in cities where big name chefs have set up locations - sometimes it works, sometimes it fails. It will be interesting to see what happens and, as a consumer - I am very curious to sample it first hand.

What's the word been for DB's other outposts?

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Is this really such good news for Vancouver? Bring in the big guy from New York to show us lowly Canadians how it's done. When I think about Vancouver I think about how locals like Feenie, Hawksworth and Bishop put that city on the gourmet map. So now Boulud comes in to hog the high paying customers and add a bit of New York know-how at both Lumiere and Feenie's -- soon to be a DB Bistro Moderne.

I don't know...some might argue that Daniel Boulud doesn't need Canada, but I wonder why Canada, which is finally pinning down some sort of culinary identity, needs a Lyonnais chef based in New York.

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I don't think it's good or bad news - but it will be interesting and it will be impactful on the local marketplace.

Of course - the gods live in the details. Whether DB brings in a higher standard that raises everyone's bar or if this just turns into a branding excercise is the big question.

I would be just as interested if Susur Lee or Martin Picard decided to open a Vancouver operation.

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I'd love to see the deal that was signed with the Sidoos as DB has probably had offers from wealthy local investors in every major city in the U.S. over the last few years. Why us?

This will have to be incredibly worthwhile for him to have chosen this location (other than perhaps a test market for future roll-outs of his concept).

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I'd love to see the deal that was signed with the Sidoos as DB has probably had offers from wealthy local investors in every major city in the U.S. over the last few years. Why us?

This will have to be incredibly worthwhile for him to have chosen this location (other than perhaps a test market for future roll-outs of his concept).

One word: Olympics

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The Olympics are a flash in the revenue pan and aren't (shouldn't) be part of a restaurant's long view/strategy. Besides, it'll likely be bought out for the duration of the Games within weeks of its opening.


Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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The Olympics are a flash in the revenue pan and aren't (shouldn't) be part of a restaurant's long view/strategy. Besides, it'll likely be bought out for the duration of the Games within weeks of its opening.

My guess would be with a $300-per-head "Olympic" tasting menu for fourteen days straight, turning the tables three times a night.

Sounds like a sharp business decision to me.


Edited by Lesley C (log)

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The Olympics are a flash in the revenue pan and aren't (shouldn't) be part of a restaurant's long view/strategy. Besides, it'll likely be bought out for the duration of the Games within weeks of its opening.

My guess would be with a $300-per-head "Olympic" tasting menu for fourteen days straight, turning the tables three times a night.

Sounds like a sharp business decision to me.

I thought of the Olympics as well but the PR hit would be more the reason than the not inconsiderable revenue that they'll generate for three weeks. If they open well they'll be packed regardless of the Olympics.

The exposure here and subsequent word of mouth is more likely the reason we got the nod (along with a possible very generous financial incentive from the Sidoos).

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OK, but let's just say that little scenario is in the planning stages. Right there you're looking at over a million in food sales alone for a two week period.

But besides all that, this whole venture stinks. Say what you will about Feenie (a man who is now clearly walking around with Daniel Boulud's chef knife in his back), but he built that restaurant. I also think it's disingenuous for the owners to still list awards acquired by the restaurant under Feenie's reign in the "Honours" thread on the Lumiere site.

I don't think I would have found any of this as icky had Boulud just decided to open up a restaurant in Van. On his own, great!

But under these circumstances...yuck.

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Is this really such good news for Vancouver? Bring in the big guy from New York to show us lowly Canadians how it's done.

If someone chooses to frame it that way (and I'm guessing few do), that would only serve to shed light on the insecurities of the framer. At the end of the day it's just a business decision - this guy is obviously a high profile guy being brought in to replace another high profile guy. Of course, you can read into it whatever you want.


Jason

Editor

EatVancouver.net

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Regarding the Olympics question - it really is an interesting piece of the puzzle.

The big dollars of course - are not related to serving Olympic Tastings to the public - but whether you can get someone to buy you out for the month. This guarantees a cashflow and the ability to maximize margins for minimal effort.

I am sure the prestige factor of buying out the restaurant has just increased exponentially with the addition of the DB name.

Well - it's all speculation for now - proof is in the pudding. We'll see if the Siddoo's and DB are serious about operating a great restaurant - or if this is basically just a break even food stall until Feb 2010 hits and everyone cashes in.

Still has not dampened my curiousity.

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The Restaurant business is a competitive and cutthroat business and the comptrollers at Lumiere are just trying to recuperate their investment. It is hard to replace some one like Rob and try to keep the ship moving in a consistent manor all the while the helm has changed. A kitchen having had what I call a Coup D’etat, the resulting power struggle can rip a part a kitchen; when the dust settles, whole movements of crew can result in a complete shift in kitchen politics. Traditional kitchen hierarchy is like that of the military and traditional French kitchens came from Napoleons time, so much of that culture is the same.

Your crew should follow you to hell so if you leave things can get rather tricky… where do alliances go.

The politics has just become very tricky and management’s workload has just become very complicated to keep all sides happy.

steve


Cook To Live; Live To Cook

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Is this really such good news for Vancouver? Bring in the big guy from New York to show us lowly Canadians how it's done.

If someone chooses to frame it that way (and I'm guessing few do), that would only serve to shed light on the insecurities of the framer. At the end of the day it's just a business decision - this guy is obviously a high profile guy being brought in to replace another high profile guy. Of course, you can read into it whatever you want.

Not my insecurities (I'm from Montreal so this isn't going on in my back yard). But let's say that here, if Normand Laprise (someone with a similar profile to Feenie if a wildly different temperament) left Toque! and Daniel Boulud took over that space, it would cause a big scandale.

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Why anyone would greet the addition of Boulud to the local scene with anything but excitement is a mystery. And why not Vancouver? Great city, awesome produce, and a totally new market for him.

Who cares what they're paying him? As long as it is sufficient to keep him from joining the local "White Spot Alumni"...it's all good.


Damian du Plessis

Bravo Restaurant & Lounge

Chilliwack, BC

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Olympic revenues are one thing, but how embarrassing would it be for the city, not to DB himself, to have a location close within a couple years?

I'm confused by this comment. Why should Vancouver or its restaurant scene be embarassed if a hypothetical Lumiere-under-Boulud closes within a few years? The scene at large certainly isn't responsible for the menu or business decisions that Boulud / the Sidoos will make.

I'm probably missing some subtext...too early in the morning.

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Is this really such good news for Vancouver? Bring in the big guy from New York to show us lowly Canadians how it's done.

If someone chooses to frame it that way (and I'm guessing few do), that would only serve to shed light on the insecurities of the framer. At the end of the day it's just a business decision - this guy is obviously a high profile guy being brought in to replace another high profile guy. Of course, you can read into it whatever you want.

I actually agree. I think if anything it motivates the quality of what we already have, to try and elevate to another level. It should be interesting to see what Boulud can bring to the table that cant be done here already.


Edited by gerald (log)

Gerald Tritt,

Co-Owner

Vera's Burger Shack

My Webpage

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Why anyone would greet the addition of Boulud to the local scene with anything but excitement is a mystery. And why not Vancouver? Great city, awesome produce, and a totally new market for him.

Who cares what they're paying him? As long as it is sufficient to keep him from joining the local "White Spot Alumni"...it's all good.

A fly-in-chef should spend two or three days per week at the restaurant. Otherwise it is just a formal visit, like a CEO visiting a branch plant, where everything runs smoothly for

a few hours. The question remains: what will Boulud, add, or maintain? And how can he re-invigorate staff morale? (Humane gestures, and spreading money might help.)

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I certainly hope it turns out better than Gregory Short's entry into the Vancouver market in the role of Executive Chef at La Vallee. What a let down!

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Olympic revenues are one thing, but how embarrassing would it be for the city, not to mention* DB himself, to have a location close within a couple years?

I'm confused by this comment. Why should Vancouver or its restaurant scene be embarassed if a hypothetical Lumiere-under-Boulud closes within a few years? The scene at large certainly isn't responsible for the menu or business decisions that Boulud / the Sidoos will make.

I'm probably missing some subtext...too early in the morning.

What I was trying to say was if we (Vancouver) could not support such a world class chef, wouldn't that be a confirmation of what a non world class town we were?

*added missing word from orig post

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What I was trying to say was if we (Vancouver) could not support such a world class chef, wouldn't that be a confirmation of what a non world class town we were?

just...wow. If a restaurant were to fail in Vancouver, you would blame the city/diners? It's not up to the chef and the management to position a restaurant effectively for a given market?

the Vancouver dining scene has much to be proud of. Even if "world-class classical French" turns out to be a dimension in which Van doesn't excel, I don't think it's a condemnation of the scene as a whole. It isn't as if that genre is Vancouver's only food claim to fame or a genre the city in which the city should excel.

I should add that I'm not saying that Chef Boulud's involvement is bad (I can't see how it could be). I just think it's odd to consider a hypothetical restaurant failure as being a failure of the city.

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What I was trying to say was if we (Vancouver) could not support such a world class chef, wouldn't that be a confirmation of what a non world class town we were?

just...wow. If a restaurant were to fail in Vancouver, you would blame the city/diners? It's not up to the chef and the management to position a restaurant effectively for a given market?

the Vancouver dining scene has much to be proud of. Even if "world-class classical French" turns out to be a dimension in which Van doesn't excel, I don't think it's a condemnation of the scene as a whole. It isn't as if that genre is Vancouver's only food claim to fame or a genre the city in which the city should excel.

I should add that I'm not saying that Chef Boulud's involvement is bad (I can't see how it could be). I just think it's odd to consider a hypothetical restaurant failure as being a failure of the city.

Hear Hear!!

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