Chef Daniel Boulud Brings A Farm-To-Table Journey Home With Daniel Johnnes And Amex

BOULUD AMEXPhoto Credit: Films by Francesco – Courtesy of American Express

While the hospitality industry that we know and love may have shifted, 2 Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud has not slowed down delivering his world-famous cuisine to his customers. Having pivoted his business model to create Daniel Boulud Kitchen—where customers can order prepared meals-to-go at home in the Hamptons and the New York area—as well as his new outdoor dining experience, DANIEL on the Terrace—Chef Boulud has successfully come up with creative ways to keep servicing his clientele this summer. Keeping with this momentum, he recently partnered with James Beard Winning Sommelier Daniel Johnnes and American Express to transport card members on a delightful culinary farm-to-table journey through a virtual three-part series. This includes specially curated wine to pair with the meal from Hudson Valley. Additionally, for customers staying local this summer in Hudson Valley, American Express is offering special, limited-edition Summer Farm Essentials baskets curated by Chef Daniel Boulud, FarmOn! Foundation Founder Tessa Edick and La Paulée Founder and Sommelier Daniel Johnnes.

Here, we chat with the award-winning Chef on his latest initiatives, how he is pivoting to a “new normal” in the hospitality industry, his must-try dishes at DANIEL on the Terrace and his top 3 summer ingredients.

HL: Tell us about the reopening of DANIEL outdoors. How has this reimagined the traditional DANIEL experience? What is similar and what is different?

DB: The terrace at DANIEL has been a new opportunity to begin the reopening phase during the COVID-19 health crisis. Although temporary, it is very welcome, and it feels good to be back. The outdoor space has been embraced by the neighborhood, helping to bring back some of our staff and suppliers. It is a new beginning. New York needs to return to what it was and taking steps like this is very important for the city. It has been fun to reimagine DANIEL and bring a more casual experience through DANIEL BOULUD KITCHEN. Our principals of quality, commitment, and excellence in service remain the same, but in a more casual way.

HL: What’s your favorite aspect of DANIEL on the Terrace? 

DB: I always thought it was a good idea to open a terrace at DANIEL, but never followed through. After more than 20 years in business, it took a pandemic to make it happen. We feel proud to have taken this step in an effort to help reopen our city. What I love about the terrace is that it reminds me of Europe and the true casual approach to fine-dining. Our menu is simpler, but with a continued commitment to service, warm hospitality, delicious food, fine wines and making people feel special.

BOULUD AMEXPhoto Credit: Films by Francesco – Courtesy of American Express

HL: What are the must-try dishes?

DB: The menu changes periodically, but we always keep appetizers that are light and refreshing. For example, the Melon Velouté with Lobster Medallions and Kaffir Lime, or the Poached Ora King Salmon with Vegetable Aïoli. We keep the classics like the Beef Duo of red wine-braised short ribs and filet mignon with seasonal vegetables. At the moment, we are offering a delicious Grilled Halibut with Roasted Red Peppers in a Marjoram-Chorizo Emulsion as well as a Pan-Seared Yellowfin Tuna with Lemon-Herb Gremolata. Of course, for a more casual offering, the Frenchie Burger! Our delicious desserts include the Île Flottante with peaches and Crème Anglaise or the Noisette composed of hazelnut mousse, apricot jam, salted caramel with a hazelnut biscuit.

HL: Tell us about your new summer cooking series with Daniel Johnnes. What sparked this idea and what can viewers look forward to?

DB: Daniel Johnnes and I have known one another for more than three decades as colleagues and working partners. I am passionate about wine and always learn from his knowledge and expertise.  The idea was to find an opportunity to do something together. American Express is very supportive across the country to the restaurant and farming communities. They gave us an occasion to spend some time together on a farm in the kitchen while sharing good wines, and excellent ingredients; all in good friendship. We hope to inspire many people to support their local farmers. We are thankful to American Express for giving us the chance to collaborate with FarmOn! and helping us to highlight the rich history of farmers in the Hudson Valley region. Viewers can jump on the opportunity to get the farm box full of delicious recipes inspired by my kitchen and a selection of wines chosen by Daniel Johnnes.

BOULUD AMEXPhoto Credit: Films by Francesco – Courtesy of American Express

HL: What types of dishes can we expect?

DB: Composing a dish around local ingredients and creating spontaneous recipes is something I love to do. Spending time at Empire Farm in the Hudson Valley, I was inspired by the land, the bounty, and the freedom of deciding to cook something based on what was offered locally. I made a lamb dish, inspired by my summers in Provence. Even though it is a stew, it has all the flavors and fragrances of summer by using local vegetables and even pig feet. It is a simple and fragrant soulful lamb stew. Another dish was based on pork belly, which has a connection to my youth growing up on the farm. A slab of it regularly made its way to the family table—poached, roasted and smoked, accompanied by cold grain salads with vegetables. I wanted to make something similar at the farm by cooking a hay-smoked pork belly glazed with apple cider vinegar and maple syrup, accompanied by a blend of traditional French lentil salad and American coleslaw. I also cooked a chicken casserole, a glimpse back at my career when I worked in the region of Bresse with Georges Blanc where the specialty was Poulet à la Crème, a classic French chicken dish, with cream, butter, eggs and white wine. Accompanying the casserole is a rice pilaf with beautiful Maitake mushrooms. We wanted to highlight these same local ingredients through the farmers of the Hudson Valley. The recipes were created to accompany the wines selected by Daniel Johnnes. It was good fun to cool all of these dishes over a firepit!

BOULUD AMEXPhoto Credit: Films by Francesco – Courtesy of American Express

HL: How do you curate the Summer Farm Essentials baskets? 

DB: The basket is a collaboration of the ingredients FarmOn! has compiled and a collection of wines by Daniel Johnnes. I cook with many of the components included in the basket and other local ingredients were added to complement and complete the offering. I’m also excited that baskets will be eligible for the American Express’ Shop Small Offer. With this offer, enrolled Card Members will receive $5 back after they spend $10 or more at an eligible U.S. small business up to 10 times (through September 20, 2020).

HL: What are your current top 3 favorite summer ingredients?

DB: I always grew up with amazing tomatoes, a favorite of mine during the summer season. Since arriving in America, sweet corn is another summer gem that I love so much, I brought seeds to plant on my farm in France. Peaches, I adore everything about them and never miss the opportunity to make Pêche Melba—honey roasted peaches with lavender, topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, raspberry sauce, and sprinkled with toasted almonds. Certainly, a dessert that can be made locally with ingredients from the Hudson Valley.