Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
tofino

Daniel Boulud Coming to Vancouver

Recommended Posts

Let's get realistic here , Daniel Boulud is not coming to Vancouver , he will not be cooking here , all he's doing is putting some cash into a business that will get the right to put his initials on the door , and hoping for the best .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

First off, I agree with you - that when a restaurant fails, that it is most likely the concept or some other factor - and not the audience - that is the root cause. "Blaming" someone for not subjectively liking something is, of course, silly.

The idea that I'm throwing out there is, if DB walks away from the city in a couple years, does that mean that we are too small town for the likes of big New York guns? A parallel might be, again hypothetically, if Tiffany decided to close up shop on Robson. Would that mean anything? Just thinking aloud, but yeah I think it would make some sort of statement. (Maybe that statement is, Vancouverites don't have enough disposable income.)

Now if that were to happen, would I care? Not really. As you have noted, our city has much to be proud of. We have home grown some of the best talent in the country. Feenie and Hawksworth are both native to the city, and returned to it to shine. Same with a lot of other folks. There's plenty of stuff out there left to explore.

I'm merely speculating - and have probably dragged this out long beyond what it was worth in the first place. With the dough being thrown into this venture, plus DB's marquee value, the soon to be ex Lumiere will probably be just fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm merely speculating - and have probably dragged this out long beyond what it was worth in the first place.  With the dough being thrown into this venture, plus DB's marquee value, the soon to be ex Lumiere will probably be just fine.

alright :). I'm guilty too of overdiscussing what was probably a minor comment in the first place. I too hope that Chef Boulud's involvement brings good things to Lumiere and to the Van scene at large.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In one word , FRANCHISE , didnt 'we have a Hardrock Cafe for a while as well ?

Clones have no meaning .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the best restaurants in the world are part of restaurant groups headed by a chef-restaurateur like Alain Ducasse, Jean-Georges Vongerichten or Thomas Keller. And those same chef-restaurateurs have some real duds in their collections. Until we know a lot more about Daniel Boulud's Vancouver venture -- the scope of his involvement, the caliber of chef-de-cuisine selected for the restaurant, and of course the particulars of the food -- it's going to be pretty hard to draw conclusions one way or the other about its seriousness.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
\

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 originally thought I'd ignore the above statement as it was a bit too "trollish" for my taste but as the conversation continues it's worth replying to. What the hell does it matter who was in the building before? If Chef Boulud had orchestrated the exit of Rob Feenie I would then agree with the "knife in the back" reference.

Rob Feenie, whether he is a great chef with poor financial skills or a media hungry jerk who played fast and hard with his investors and lost, is no longer associated with the restaurant he was perhaps foolish enough to sign his name away to.

Whether it's Normand Laprise or Martin Picard who have left their business due to difficulties with partners they have taken on and signed legal agreements with it's all the same at the end of the day as long as a new and different restuarant rises from the ashes. There remains a viable business location, zoned and equipped with a world class kitchen. The current operators rather than pretend that the old chef is still around (right, though, on the time to remove the old awards and plaques) have sought out the best possible (in their mind) replacement to ensure that their investment will hopefully pay off. Better a world class operator than a schmuck who would trade off on the name/location until it ran itself into the ground. Of course there will be talk regardless, but under the proper circumstances let the show go on.

With the Olympics on the way this will be too high profile a location for Chef Boulud to only pay lip service to the kitchen and food quality. The only mistake he could make in that aspect would be to pull a Ducasse (with his first New York location) which was over the top even by New York standards (although this is a DB location and not a Daniel there could still be the risk of ridiculous price points for the food being served). This will be a fabulous opportunity for local chefs and FOH staff to pick up on Daniel's style and techniques.

Hopefully at the press luncheon on Friday there will be less fawning and more interesting questions asked as to why here and now for DB.

It will be interesting to see what the extensive menu planned for the press lunch on Friday does for the local food cognizenti but a suggestion to Chef Boulud: we don't need P.E.I. oysters to be brought in, some of our local ones aren't bad :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From today's Globe:

At Lumière, he said, expect major menu changes. "It's too special-occasion," he said of the current carte. "I think the idea of having only a tasting menu is wonderful, but I'm not sure it is right for Vancouver. More à la carte, a short prix fixe, maybe a four-course, five with cheese - and then a tasting menu ... I think that works better."

....

He will send staff from his restaurants that make up the Dinex Group to help with the relaunch, but Mr. Mackay will remain in charge of the kitchen. Nevertheless, Mr. Mackay's leash may be short.

"I have full intention of keeping Dale as executive chef if he fulfills his job to our expectations," Mr. Boulud said. "It's up to him to work with me. It's not up to me to work with him."

Full story here: Boulud's Bold BC plans


Cheers,

Anne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

His plans sound interesting - I think the move away from a tasting menu is a smart one. As a diner - a full on tasting of 9 or 10 courses is simply too much - and unless done very well, it's wearying on the palatte. As a result, Lumiere became a "special occasion" dining spot.

I hope that Dale comes out of this process on his feet - he has been buffered by forces way out of his control - so it will be interesting to see how it all works out for him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great article by Fiona. In that short column, she managed to answer a lot of questions that seemed to be floating around. And although I did love the full on Lumiere tasting menu when I had it, it's true that it was too special-occasion. Even a four or five course menu spells "occasion" to me, just one that is more accessible multiple times a year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(from the Globe article):

Specific dishes are yet to be discussed, "but the ingredients are majestic here," Mr. Boulud said. "I am not worried at all about supply."

for me that was the take-away quote of the article. From that alone I feel like he "gets" what Vancouver is about.


Edited by Endy' (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Despite us being in a "remote corner of North America". :rolleyes:


The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you haven't heard enough there's an interview with Boulud on CFUN's The Best of Food and Wine, announced on the City Food website today as follows:

If you are interested in learning more about Chef Daniel Boulud, you will get your chance this Saturday. The Best of Food and Wine Show with Anthony Gismondi and Kasey Wilson taped a 40 minute interview with the New York celebrity chef yesterday for airing during their regular noon timeslot on CFUN 1410 radio. (If you are unable to be near a radio at that time, the station’s website now also features live streaming.) The session opens with the question: “So Daniel, you wrote the intro to Rob Feenie’s second cookbook, now you are taking over his former restaurant. What is your comment on that?”

CFUN


Cheers,

Anne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So did anyone catch the CFUN interview? I missed the damn thing and would love to have heard it. Podcast anyone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I listened to it. No podcast unfortunately.

He's pretty articulate.

He was very concious of looking at price-points, local ingredients, what will work in Vancouver. Gets excited when he talks about ingredients. Thinks hot dogs are the best snack food. Doesn't like banana as a flavour.

I checked out some menus on his website: a 3-course prix fixe at Daniel is $98. At Cafe Boulud and db Bistro the highest priced mains are $42 (extra for the truffles, like on the db burger which is $32 otherwise).

A 3-course prix fixe at Parkside is $65, the Winter Tasting Menu at West is $98, the 5-course tasting menu at Le Crocodile is $75.

I think it will be very interesting to see what he does, how he does it and how he impacts the city's restaurateurs. And conversely how the city, the local ingredients and the local restaurateurs impact his restaurants.


Edited by barolo (log)

Cheers,

Anne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doesn't like banana as a flavour.

What no banana dishes?? There's a deal killer right there :laugh:

Thanks for the synopsis. I'm looking forward to this (but not the hassle it's going to be to get in.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say he's got a pretty well oiled pubicity machine behind him too - he managed to mention his charity work and his TV show, both which also were mentioned an other unrelated interview I've heard.

I realize that is not a particularly relevatory insight but it does remind me that the messages are all well thought out in advance.

His TV show - you can watch an episode - is After Hours

A Starchefs.com interview:Daniel Boulud

A blip.tv interview: Drinks w/ LX


Cheers,

Anne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I have full intention of keeping Dale as executive chef if he fulfills his job to our expectations," Mr. Boulud said. "It's up to him to work with me. It's not up to me to work with him."

Is this arrogant, even by chef standards...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"I have full intention of keeping Dale as executive chef if he fulfills his job to our expectations," Mr. Boulud said. "It's up to him to work with me. It's not up to me to work with him."

Is this arrogant, even by chef standards...?

No. I'd say Dale has an amazing opportunity to work with one of the food worlds top players. It is totally on Dale's shoulders not to blow it. I would say DB is being quite generous as he could have just cleaned house and started with a fresh NY chef.


cook slow, eat slower

J.Chovancek

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poor Dale...yet another chef cast deep in the shadows of "one of the food worlds top players."

But if he's not happy, OUT! right?

Let's bring in a fresh NY chef to show 'em how Boulud's dated nouvelle cuisine is done!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lesley, is your objection to Daniel Boulud specifically? Or is it a more general objection to culinary globalization?

If it's the first, I think I can agree with you. Boulud would not have been my choice. I've had some good meals at his restaurants, and some bad ones, as well as uneven service. I've not been particularly inspired by his take on contemporary French cuisine. (As a business proposition, though, I think his brand appeals to the jet set that will be descending upon Vancouver.)

If it's the second, well, I think the train has left the station. Many of the world's top chef-restaurateurs now sit at the head of multinational brands. That's not something that can be reversed. I wouldn't want to reverse it anyway. New York City, where I live, has a culinary scene that I think has benefited from having restaurants from Robuchon, Keller, Ducasse, Nobu and other out-of-town chefs (even, briefly, Montreal's own Normand Laprise). Every city should be so lucky.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If it's the second, well, I think the train has left the station. Many of the world's top chef-restaurateurs now sit at the head of multinational brands. That's not something that can be reversed. I wouldn't want to reverse it anyway. New York City, where I live, has a culinary scene that I think has benefited from having restaurants from Robuchon, Keller, Ducasse, Nobu and other out-of-town chefs (even, briefly, Montreal's own Normand Laprise).

And even more briefly, Vancouver's own Rob Feenie. He had an out-of-town gig in New York re-working the Plaza Athenee's Le Regence about 10 years ago. He did this at the same time as he was supposedly in the kitchen at Lumiere.

Sounds familiar?

I'm not excited about Boulud's arrival (or rather, the arrival of his brand; rumour is that his contract requires he spend 6 whole days a year in Vancouver) but I wouldn't call the menu at db Bistro Moderne dated or nouvelle; it's bistro food plus a burger. In many ways it reminds me of the menu at Feenie's.

http://www.danielnyc.com/dbbistro/cuisine.html

As for what Boulud will do with the menu at Lumiere, by the time the renos (which will, among other things, expand the Feenies side to encompass what is now the Lumiere tasting bar) are finished, there won't be much Lumiere left to worry about. Lumiere wasn't the profitable operation. Feenies was. A scaled-down Lumiere will continue to exist primarily for reasons of ego and brand continuity, not business.

Lumiere/Feenies problems have been largely management related; there's been quality in the kitchen and and on service even in the darkest days. The public's perception of the Lumiere/Feenies brand is still surprisingly good. Speculating about what Boulud will do is besides the point; the operation will succeed or (continue to) fail on how the business is managed going forward. And just as before, that will depend on the owners maintaining a functional relationship with their new Exec Chef/partner, and the owners' willingness to attract and retain quality managers (and to actually let them do their jobs). Based on their past record, the owners might have a bit to prove in all these areas.


Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steven, Boulud is Boulud. In New York, he's one of the kings. You can't take that away from him. Like I said in a previous post, if he came in on his own to set up, more power to him-- even though it sounds like he doesn't know much about the city besides what his visiting staff has told him.

I think Boulud's tone about this whole takeover has been patronizing, as in look at us big New Yorkers coming in to show you yobs how it's done. I'll clean up that mess… Daniel Boulud: the cleaner!

Also, there's a history in that restaurant space that Boulud seems happy to ignore. I don't know the details about the Feenie downfall but I do know that when I've interviewed him he has said intelligent things about Vancouver, his hometown. So ok, let's just erase all of Feenie's hard work, take over the spaces with Boulud concept restaurants, and pretend this Rob Feenie guy never existed.

I guess what gets me most here is what's looking like a complete disregard for the man's work. Boulud is going to Vancouver because Vancouver is a great food city. Correct me if I'm wrong (and as I’m an outsider I may be), but didn't Rob Feenie have a lot to do with that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Boulud is going to Vancouver because Vancouver is a great food city.

No, he's coming here (or more accurately, his brand is) because the Sidoos are paying him a lot of money. No money, no Danny.


Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Hong Kong Dave . I would love to see a Gordon Ramsey, Tom Aitken, or a Jamie Oliver off-shoot here. A new face will not hurt the city but I think we can stand on our own two feet in the culinary world now.

SB


Edited by SBonner (log)

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...