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Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud Cookbook: French-American Recipes for the Home Cook

Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud Cookbook: French-American Recipes for the Home Cook

by Daniel Boulud

After thirty years of cooking in France and America, the Daniel Boulud knows what he wants. “I'm looking for balance,” he explains. “A hint of herb, a little acidity—sweet seafood needs a bit of sharpness—and all the brininess and flavor of the scallops.” It is a simple but perfect recipe and it has been given all his attention,


After thirty years of cooking in France and America, the Daniel Boulud knows what he wants. “I'm looking for balance,” he explains. “A hint of herb, a little acidity—sweet seafood needs a bit of sharpness—and all the brininess and flavor of the scallops.” It is a simple but perfect recipe and it has been given all his attention, commitment, and talent—as have each of the recipes in this simple but perfect cookbook.

“Cook the sauce another minute, then add just a touch of olive oil,” urges Daniel Boulud in his kitchen at Café Boulud in New York City. “Not too much. That's it,” he exclaims. His voice carries his passion as he swirls the copper pan holding the finished dish. Over the tops of his glasses he assesses the color and takes in the aroma of the sauce. Then he brings a few drops of it to his lips. After thirty years of cooking in France and America, the chef knows what he wants. “I'm looking for balance,” he explains. “A hint of herb, a little acidity—sweet seafood needs a bit of sharpness—and all the brininess and flavor of the scallops.” It is a simple but perfect recipe and it has been given all his attention, commitment, and talent—as have each of the recipes in this simple but perfect cookbook.

Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook contains all his creative cooking skills made accessible. By means of Dorie Greenspan's expertly written recipes, Daniel accompanies you into your home kitchen, where his inspiration becomes yours and his instructions are easy to follow. With little effort, you find yourself reproducing his magic on your own stove.

One ingredient for a perfect dish is family tradition. In the book's first section, La Tradition, we are transported to the original Café Boulud run by Daniel's grandparents on the outskirts of Lyon—France's culinary capital. Daniel's education as a cook began with his grandmother and the Poulet Grand-mère she lovingly prepared for her guests. It continued with great chefs that shaped his unique interpretation of home cooking. Recipes such as Skate with Brown Butter and Capers, Hanger Steak with Shallots, and splendid Pommes Frites reveal the influences of his French roots.

But tradition also includes respect for seasonal ingredients. In the next section, La Saison, Daniel accompanies us through the market. We select peas and sugar snaps that are ready to tumble into the pot for the Chilled Spring Pea Soup. Fresh corn becomes the surprise ingredient in Lobster with Sweet Corn Polenta. Complete the celebration of the seasons with Ruby Grapefruit with Pomegranate Sabayon or a milk chocolate-cherry tart like no other.

In the third section, Le Voyage, Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook takes us on an exploration of many of the world's cuisines with dishes as varied as Italian-style Veal Gremolata, Spanish Gazpacho with Anchovy Toast, or a fast and easy Asian salad of crab, cucumber, and mango. Imagine yourself under the warm Middle Eastern sun as you taste Daniel's Coffee-Cardamom Pots de Crème.

In the last section, Le Potager, Daniel offers an extraordinary selection of vegetarian dishes, from easy starters like Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad to main courses such as Lemon-Lime Risotto with Asparagus or bone-warming Root Vegetable Cassoulet, and, of course, sublime desserts to cap any meal.

Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook opens wide the door of his kitchen and invites you in with 150 recipes that will unfailingly stimulate your passion for flavor while offering a healthy, easy, and modern approach to good eating. He also provides a collection of basic recipes that are used at Café Boulud; a glossary of terms, techniques, and ingredients; and a short batterie de cuisine, a guide to pots, pans, and a few gadgets. He even provides a list of trusted suppliers so you can find the same ingredients he uses at Café Boulud. Thirty-two pages of color photographs of finished dishes prepared personally by Daniel will allow you to see, and almost smell and taste, what you are cooking. Watch as this book becomes the extension of your own hands. Whether making a salad for one or a dinner for eight, let Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook be your reliable guide to great food.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Patricia Wells author of Bistro Cooking and Patricia Wells At Home In Provence Daniel Boulud is a rare breed of chef, one who seamlessly merges the best of French cuisine with the modern flavors of America. In this new book, he is at his best: It's cafe fare with imagination, focus, purpose, and massive depth of flavor.

Charlie Trotter chef-owner, Charlie Trotter's, Chicago Well, of course Daniel Boulud is a food genius. Everybody knows that! What he's done with the Café Boulud Cookbook, though, is utterly tremendous. Home cooks will be bowled over by his passion for the simple and straightforward. These are the kinds of recipes that truly make cooking fun!

Colman Andrews editor, Saveur It is a measure of how genuine and refreshingly unpretentious the Café's cooking is that Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan have been able to present it so accessibly and temptingly, in book form, to those of us who can't enjoy it in situ every night.

Thomas Keller chef-owner, The French Laundry, Napa Valley, California Daniel Boulud has influenced chefs for years with his innovative methods and flavor combinations. Now his inspiring cookbook proves that great French cuisine doesn't have to be complicated cuisine.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten chef-owner Jean-Georges, Jo Jo, Vong, and The Mercer Kitchen, New York City, and Prime, Las Vegas I salute Daniel's talent for creating classic French dishes in his signature style. This book brings this gift of his to life, enabling the reader to create these delicious meals in their home kitchen.

Laurie Glenn Buckle
In The Cafe Boulud CookbookBoulud's has 200 recipes divided into four sections, each representing a theme that influences his menus: classic French dishes, seasonal specialities, world cuisine and dishes from the potager, or vegetable garden. This big, beautiful work succeeds in bringing Boulud's inspired food to the home kitchen.
Bon Appetit
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Echoing the French-American accent of food from his casual Caf Boulud, the New York City chef also acclaimed for Restaurant Daniel encourages home cooks to prepare meals as he does, by attending to four inspirations: his own French tradition, seasonal foodstuffs, international flavors and the kitchen garden. Like many recipes based on restaurant selections--particularly French--the dishes here often require multiple steps and careful attention to detail. Those cooks with time and ambition will be able to create the more demanding fare, such as Sea Bass en Cro te, which makes a theatrical appearance inside its cloak of puff pastry. Costumed differently are Mustard-Crusted Calf's Liver, which requires a difficult-to-find 1 3/4-pound piece of meat, and Chestnut-Crusted Loin of Venison. Lighter dishes reflecting the chef's meticulous touch include Morels and Pea Shoot Gnocchi in a Light Broth, and Crab Salad with Apple Gel e. Earthier and easier are Lamb and Bean Casserole, and Bay Scallop and Tomato Gratin. Boulud's (Cooking with Daniel Boulud) creative agility is evident throughout, as when he intensifies Tuna Vitello, a switch on the Italian classic vitello tonnato, featuring saut ed sweetbreads, and A Dozen Baby Spring Vegetables with Vanilla, Ginger and Basil. 6-city author tour. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Inspired by the meals of his homeland near Lyons, James Beard award winner Boulud (Cooking with Daniel Boulud) teams up with IACP award winner Greenspan (Baking with Julia) to serve up a colorful collection of recipes featuring dishes from his New York City restaurant. The cookbook is divided into four sections: "La Tradition," or classic French dishes; "La Saison," seasonal specialties; "Le Voyage," dishes inspired by varied world cultures with some fusion touches; and "Le Potager," culinary delights from the garden. Recipes run the gamut from traditional fare such as Pommes Frites and Apricot Tart to cutting-edge culinary treats like Duck Dumplings in Broth and White Gazpacho. Many of the dishes assume some degree of culinary experience, but clear instructions accompany each recipe. Armchair cooks will appreciate the culinary tidbits that introduce each recipe, as well as the book's stunning photographs. Recommended for mid-sized and large public libraries.--John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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For almost one hundred years, the locals of St.-Pierre-de-Chandieu, my small hometown outside Lyon, met daily at the roadside Café Boulud, the petit café and not-quite restaurant that my great-grandparents, grandparents, and later my parents took pride in tending on their family farm. It was the rendezvous point for generations of townsfolk. It was the place people went to begin and finish a day, to toast births and marriages and to mourn losses. It was where love affairs started and, of course, where some ended. It was warm, welcoming, and a vital part of village life. And, it was a memory I always carried with me.

From the time I was an apprentice, a fourteen-year-old living away from home, I dreamed of creating a restaurant that would capture the warmth and conviviality of my family's café. Thirty years later, I opened my own Café Boulud in New York City, the city that is today as much my home as St.-Pierre-de-Chandieu was when I was a child.

Café Boulud opened at the perfect moment in my life, at the time when I could truly say, "I am a French-American chef." The opening of Café Boulud, my thirtieth anniversary in the kitchen, and the midpoint in my French-American career share a date. Since I have now cooked in America for as long as I cooked in France, it was the ideal moment to pay tribute to the cuisine I grew up with, the kitchens I trained in, and the foods I've come to know and love in America, all of which Café Boulud and the Café Boulud Cookbook celebrate.

Just as I do at the Café, I have arranged the recipes in this book according to the four muses that have inspired my cooking: La Tradition, the classic, full-bodied foods of France; La Saison, the bounty of the market; Le Voyage, the foods of lands near and far; and Le Potager, vegetarian dishes that extol the goodness of the garden.

At Café Boulud, the menu is presented in four columns — La Tradition, La Saison, Le Voyage, and Le Potager — and we encourage people to move from column to column according to their cravings. I urge you to do the same: Please, choose recipes from each of the sections. There are no rules — you can plan an all-Tradition meal, or skip around, choosing, for example, a starter from Le Voyage, a main course from La Saison, and a dessert from any of the sections.

Similarly, I hope you'll feel free to pick and choose components within a recipe. I've presented the recipes just as I would serve them to you if you were my guest at Café Boulud. So, for instance, the recipe for Peppered Arctic Char includes the parsnip mousseline that we serve under the fish and the soft shallots, cooked in red wine and port, that we serve over it. I've given you the recipe for the complete dish so that you can understand the spirit of my cooking, the way I create a dish and the way it would be presented at the Café. At home, you may not want to make the dish in its entirety, or you may want to serve your favorite mashed potatoes with the peppered char. By all means, do it! I want you to have fun with these recipes, to use them often, to make them your own.

Following the sections dedicated to La Tradition, La Saison, Le Voyage, and Le Potager, you'll find a short chapter of basic preparations — pastry crusts and creams as well as simple stocks and condiments — that we use often in the kitchen; a glossary of terms, techniques, and ingredients that you can turn to if you have a question about how we do certain things at the Café; a short batterie de cuisine, including pots, pans, and a few gadgets that make cooking more efficient — and more pleasurable; and, finally, a source guide, a list of trusted suppliers who will send you the same ingredients I use at Café Boulud.

To create this collection, I have chosen the recipes that hold the dearest memories for me, the ones most tied to my culinary life in France and America, and the ones most enjoyed at Café Boulud. All of the recipes have been tested so that they will work as well in your kitchen as they do in mine, and all are offered to you with the hope that when you share this food with your family and friends, it will bring you as much satisfaction, indeed, as much joy, as it has brought me over the years.

Daniel Boulud, New York, 1999

Copyright © 1999 by Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan

Meet the Author

Daniel Boulud is the chef-owner of two New York City restaurants, Café Boulud and Daniel, one of only six restaurants to earn the New York Times's highest rating. He is also the author of Cooking with Daniel Boulud.

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