Dominique Crenn & Daniel Boulud Host Epic Dinner Party With Laurent Perrier

Chefs Daniel Boulud and Dominique Crenn

Photo Credit: @danielboulud

Three-Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn is one exceptional hostess. Last night and tonight, the restauranteur threw a handful of dinners in partnership with her fellow Frenchman, Daniel Boulud. The Crenn World Chef Series, in collaboration with American Express, is an exclusive ongoing dinner event that runs through May. Crenn selected nine chefs for their trailblazing style and critically acclimated cuisine and invited them to come to San Francisco and cook with her at her fine dining establishment Atelier Crenn. The series, which takes place over two days, started last November with Martha Ortiz of Mexico City’s Dulce Patria.

The chefs and their teams

Photo Credit: @atelier.crenn

Boulud was the fourth chef to join Crenn in the kitchen—after Virgilio Martinez of Central in Lima, Peru and Angel Leon of Aponiente, in Cadiz, Spain. The first seating for dinner was at 5:45 p.m. and the second at 9 p.m. Upon entering Crenn’s atelier, guests were promptly greeted by a staff member. There was an excited buzz in the air as the waitstaff, which almost outnumbered the diners, moved from table to table, taking coats, delivering amuse bouches, and inquiring about dietary needs.

The menu came in a cream envelope adorned with flowers

Photo Credit: @atelier.crenn

When it came to wine pairings, there was only one offering on hand, Laurent Perrier Champagne. Crenn’s team decided that there was only one type of wine that would pair best with the food: bubbly. Guests were treated to the entire collection of Laurent Perrier’s current releases—seven different kinds of Champs, from the Ultra Brut (a category that they pioneered) to the Cuvée Rosé (which they made famous in the 1970s) to the Cuvée Alexandra (the brand’s most prestigious label). It was a thrilling journey to experience the delightful bubbles side by side and made the dinner feel that much more celebratory.

Boulud’s John Dory

Photo Credit: Katie Sweeney

Reflecting Crenn’s culinary roots, the 15-course menu was seafood heavy. Dishes alternated between Crenn and Boulud; some of the items were signatures that Crenn is famous for such as the oyster e rosé, a whimsical presentation of raw oysters with rosé gelee encased in a white frozen edible shell. With geoduck, sea urchin, langoustine, sturgeon, lobster, John Dory, and abalone, the meal was like a tour of the ocean’s most luxurious catches. Although everything was delicious and there was no weak link, highlights included Crenn’s spiny lobster tartare with seaweed and whey that was served with a rich and soothing shellfish broth and Boulud’s snails with black trumpet mushrooms and aged garlic. With miniature baguettes, freshly cut pear leaves, and melted Andante Dairy metronome cheese, the cheese course was spectacular.

Crenn’s abalone

Photo Credit: Katie Sweeney

Crenn overlooks nothing, and the dishes had impeccable presentation and interesting plating. Each course required a specific set of silverware, and many were served in hand-crafted items that resembled natural elements or works of art. After the meal, each table was invited to tour the kitchen and snap a photo with the chefs. Boulud let the small groups into Atelier Crenn’s gorgeous back pastry kitchen where a team of pastry chefs monitors the dining room via television screen ensuring that their intricate desserts are timed to perfection.

Candy bowls in the pastry kitchen

Photo Credit: @atelier.crenn

While this exceptional meal will never be recreated, the Crenn World Chef Series continues for the next three months. The following dates and chefs are scheduled to appear: March 19 and 20, Alex Atala of D.O.M in São Paolo, Brazil; April 23 and 24, Jan Hartwig of Atelier in Munich, Germany; April 30 and May 1, Gert de Mangeleer of Hertog Jan in Zedelgem, Belgium; and May 14 and 15, Quique Dacosta of Quique Dacosta Restaurante in Denia, Spain. Tickets open eight weeks in advance.