Daniel Boulud Launches Exclusive Dalmore Scotch

If a Franco – Scottish accord seems at first a bit odd, it’s perhaps important to remember that friendships are often the product of common foes. Scotland and France, of course, were regularly united (the Auld Alliance, they called it) in opposition to English territorial pissings. And Mary Queen of Scots was the daughter of Marie de Guise, after all–both legendary antagonists of The Crown. But the news that Gallic superstar chef Daniel Boulud has just launched a partnership with Alness-based distillery The Dalmore, we must admit, is really more of an…epicurean thing. And just in time for summer imbibing, The Dalmore Selected by Daniel Boulud will be a feature at all six of his NYC dining establishments: Daniel, Café Boulud, Boulud Sud, db Bistro Moderne, Bar Boulud, and DBGB Kitchen & Bar

In painstaking collaboration with Dalmore master distiller Richard Paterson, the exclusive single malt was conceived to the discriminating tastes of the many-Michelin-starred Boulud, who enlightens that, "the creation of a single malt is an artisanal craft, which takes expertise and time." Matured in American white oak, it is uniquely finished in Muscatel, Madeira, and Port wine casks. The final product is as smooth as velvet; and notes of pears, plums, and mocha are specifically tailored to coaxing the palate to optimum appreciation of the the master chef’s culinary proclivities.

But mind, it’s not all such seriousness. The exquisite new spirit has also been honored with the introduction of a corresponding and imponderably decadent DB dessert temptation: the Chocolate-Coffee-Whisky Sundae, made with whisky gelee, brownies, and a cream brulee tuile.

Alba gu bràth! Vive la République! And all that.

[Related: BlackBook New York Guide; Listings for Daniel, Cafe Boulud, Boulud Sud, db Bistro Moderne, Bar Boulud, DBGB Kitchen & Bar; More by Ken Scrudato; Follow Ken on Twitter]

Daniel Boulud Is On the Market

Back in ’09, restaurateur Daniel Boulud gave us some advice on shopping in markets for his slew of upscale, New York restaurants (Daniel, Bar Boulud, DB Bistro Moderne, and DBGB). And now it seems that the charming Frenchman is on the market himself.

In explaining techniques for finding good produce, Boulud told BlackBook, “When you go to the market, you use your eyes to spot the good things; you use your brain to look a the price and compare; then you use your nose. Sometimes you can use your hands, but often farmers don’t like when you touch things.” Well now, Boulud is having to use the sixth sense: his heart. Gawker reports that Boulud is calling it quits with his half-French wife, Michelle “Micky” Palmer Boulud. The couple have a college-aged daughter, Alix. Our condolences to Chef Boulud, and let us know if one day down the road we can play matchmaker!

Bryant Park vs. Lincoln Center: Out with the Old, in with the New

Last night the “fashion set” bid the tents at Bryant Park adieu and turned the runways into 1Oak– a look that came complete with dancing models, Moet and Ronnie Madra. I put “fashion set” in those very convenient quotations because partiers were more of the “drinking set,” as apparently none of the people who had spent the most time under the big top- the fashion editors, designers and front row stars- could muster the nostalgia necessary to say goodbye. That and Calvin Klein was having his party somewhere else.

(‘DiggThis’)In any case, a big stink has been made about what will happen to NYFW when it moves to Lincoln Center in the fall, farther away from the Garment District and all of those downtown fashionistas. Will more designers choose to show off site? Will downtown-dwelling stars and fashion mags decline to travel all the way to the Dakotas? Will New York as a fashion capital lose its international cred from the lack of a centralized location if said designers continue to show independently? Will the Lincoln Center give fashion credibility as an art form? Deep stuff, right?

These are all really important questions that I’ll leave to be answered by the Sunday Styles (or teen bloggers writing from Arkansas who seem to have just as much validity). I’m more interested in figuring out how the “fashion set” will defile transform the UWS nabe into fashion land, what tequila hole Michael Kors will turn to for a pre-show blackout, what hotel the cast of Jersey Shore will take over, what unassuming quaint pub Kate Moss will put on the map, if they do so choose to journey north.

Hot spot for over-worked fashion editors to cry it out after getting snubbed by the Wintour. Old: Ruby Tuesday. Distance: Just over a block from Bryant Park, on 7th Avenue. Why: The food chain provides many carb options, something the editor has been abstaining from for half their life, and an atmosphere one can be sure is totally free from fashion peers. Let the floodgates open- Fashion Week is tough, but easier with cheese, breaded and fried. New: Central Park. Distance: One block east of the Lincoln Center. Why: What better place to run to in a fit of rage and “why me?” than freaking Central Park? The editor will feel as if they’re starring in a weepy Woody Allen film; scorned woman turning away from all she knows to find answers in the woods of Manhattan! The drama! Bonus as an ego boost when they find smirking at tourists in flip-flops easy from their perch on Prada pumps.

imageHot spot for models to gorge between shows. Old: Crumbs 42nd Street. Distance: In Bryant Park. Why: If you’re making up for a week’s worth of calories, you should at least be eating something pretty and within walking distance from your next call time. New: Magnolia Columbus. Distance: 4 blocks north of Lincoln Center. Why: The fact that they are Carrie cupcakes (for models still infatuated with SATC) makes the walk to gorge worth it. Besides, models never make call times.

imageSpot for designers to have a pre-show stiff one. Old: Cellar Bar @ the Bryant Park Hotel. Distance: Pretty much on top of Bryant Park. Why: Cellar Bar is a sophisticated rager, perfect for sophisticates in need of numbing nerves and their publicist’s front row choices. New: Candle Bar. Distance: Roughly 8 blocks north, or one subway stop from the Lincoln Center. Why: Gay dive that’s a nice counterbalance to the frat-tastic bullshit of the Upper West Side. And we all know how progressive the fashion world is.

imageCheesy fashion-themed bar big with tourists. Old: Stitch Bar and Lounge Distance: 3 blocks south, 2 block west of the Bryant Park tents. Why: They have cocktails named Anna Wintour, Silk Scarf and Stiletto. This place screams “Girl’s Weekend!” New: None, yet. Maybe Rosa Mexicano will change her name to Rosa Cha of the occasion? Why: While there are quite a few Jazz or Opera themed bars, the UWS is prime for fashion to make its mark. Right locals? Anna Win-tini could be on the menu at any given bar hungry for tourists.

Hot meal ticket that is completely booked come fashion week. Old: Aureole Distance: Nestled between Conde Nast and Bryant Park. Why: Charlie Palmer’s house of indulgence is right next to Vogue. This is a quick dinner on-the-go for a busy Voguette. imageNew: Bar Boulud. Distance: Just past Broadway, right in the Lincoln Center’s wheelhouse. Why: “Location begs Lincoln Center spillover, i.e. middle-aged Philharmonic fans and ballet families.” Replace this i.e. with middle-aged fashion editors and PR families.

Photo: Gothamist

Industry Insiders: Max Riedel, Crystal King

Max Riedel knows crystal. He’s the Riedel Glassware spokesperson, and a member of the 11th generation of a family business known for spinning high-end glassware. Riedel was born in Vienna, but now leads from the office in New York, where he attracts fellow car lovers and attractive women. More on his fast lifestyle after the jump.

Point of origin: There was school and military service which is mandatory in Austria. Later, I did the very first internship at Tiffany in New York. Then, I picked grapes for Taittinger Champagne, after which I moved to Paris for three years where I worked with our distributor. My father and grandfather were always wanting me to come on board and they made it easy, so I was very fortunate to join in 1997. Then came the big move to New York.

Non-industry projects: I have a lot of interests outside of my industry, but I designed a champagne glass for the Riedel collection, the pink ‘O’ glass which we introduced in 2004, 15% of the proceeds from the sale of which are donated to one of my favorite charities, Living With Breast Cancer. It’s now in it’s fourth year. As with the pink ‘O’ champagne glass, 15% of every pink ‘O’ glass we design at Riedel is donated to the charity. I received an award from the BBC award for our involvement.

Favorite hangs: I’m so rarely casual, I always wear a suit and tie, but sometimes I travel, go on long trips with beautiful cars in wine countries, often in the South of France. This year it was Tuscany, and last year the Cote d’Azur, but in New York I like to spend time at Blaue Gans or Bar Boulud .

Industry icons: My father. Nobody is as creative as my father, and as far as the wine country goes, my heart beats for the Pinot Noir in Oregon; they’re very consistent. When it comes to winemakers, I like the late Robert Mondavi, with whom I worked, but for sure I admire Frederic Engerer President of LaTour.

Counterparts: I was engaged, but we split after six years, so now when it comes to hanging out with beautiful girls, I’m very open minded. But like to hang out with foodies like Lee Schrager, and others who contribute to our industry. And, of course, anybody who likes to ride around fast cars.

Projections: I foresee a promising future in my family business as it’s grown so much. We purchased our biggest competitor, so now we’re free to act in any industry where glass prevails. We’re coming up with a new decanter for the Reidel brand, and we’re also coming up with a crystal beer collection, based on old concepts, a beautiful glass that’s actually dishwasher safe. We’ve come up with a four-piece crescendo for the pink ‘O’ collection — available through our new web store which we launched in August, linked to riedel.com, the first web store that carries our entire collection.

Industry Insiders: Daniel Boulud, French Ace

Daniel Boulud is one of a handful of people who can claim ownership of four stars from the New York Times’ restaurant critic. His modest roots in Lyon, France, instilled his understanding for local produce, and anyone who has visited one of his restaurants (Daniel, Bar Boulud, DB Bistro Moderne, DBGB) understands his love for a decadent burger. The New York-based chef will also be sharing his culinary mastery with supporters of the Le Fooding d’Amour event on September 26-27.

How’d you get involved with Le Fooding? I knew of it in France, through the media. I found out about it coming to New York through my friend, Yves Camdeborde, the chef of Le Comptoir, and my nephew Jean Luc Martin, who is a maitre d’ there. We’re always in contact, and Yves told me that Alexandre Cammas would be coming to New York and it would be great for me to meet with him and see if we could participate in the event.

What did you particularly like about the organization? In America, we definitely have many of those events. This is not a novelty to have chefs by stations and to have bartenders doing special cocktails. The food and wine festivals are all over the country, with charity dinners and all that. What’s interesting here is that it’s done in a very young and casual way. They approach music, art, food, and mixology together. I also like the fact that the French chefs are coming to New York to do the party. I think that’s interesting, because it’s good to have some fresh ideas coming into New York. It’s going to be very successful.

What will you be preparing for the event? For the event, with Cafe Boulud, we’re preparing a couscous. It’s traditional flavor and a contemporary approach to a couscous. We are making hamburgers, with different part of the braised lamb and a very good broth with it. It’s spicy and sweet.

Are there any organizations in the U.S that you would compare to Le Fooding? I will compare Le Fooding with when Danny Meyer does his barbecue block party, where thousands of people come, and there are all the different barbecue makers and beers.

Alex Cammas started Le Fooding because he said that he was tired of the “regulated, very serious nature of gastronomy in France.” How does French dining differ from American dining now? This is like if a punk or a rock artist was saying that classical music is just boring, and “let’s live the rock ‘n’ roll‎.” That punk had to learn classical music in order to become a good punk musician. So, I think it’s the cycle of generations. There’s certainly a young generation of chefs in France who want to detach themselves from old gastronomy. Luckily, they’re very talented and very creative chefs, and that gives them a platform and a window to do that. With Le Fooding the idea is to bring the great young chefs — not always the chef who has a three-star rating, but the one who has the best bistro in town — and the most creative of the new generation. In America, we add many opportunities to present our young chef into old food and wine festivals, which is something that would not exist in France.

Where are some of your favorite markets? In New York, Union Square is my favorite, but it’s also one of the largest. I like to go to the fish market in the Bronx. I love going down the aisle of those huge fish markets. In Europe, my favorite markets are in San Sebastian, Nice, and Paris. Rungis Market in Paris is amazing. It’s a big market for professionals; maybe the best in the world. In every city I visit, I always ask the concierge to direct me to the best market. It gives me a sense of what people are eating locally, because the only people you have in the market are locals. I was born and raised on a farm, so every Saturday from the age of eight — when I was old enough to go with my father to the market — until the age of sixteen, I was with my father selling our vegetables. Today, every chef dreams to be a farmer, and for me I was a farmer and I dreamed to be a chef.

One piece of advice you could give about making selections at the market? When you go to the market, you use your eyes to spot the good things; you use your brain to look a the price and compare; then you use your nose. Sometimes you can use your hands, but often farmers don’t like when you touch things. When you go to the market, you get involved with what you want to buy. You have a relationship talking about the product with someone who has grown it and nurtured it. It’s a whole different thing from grabbing something off the shelf and putting it into a cart.

DBGB: Boulud Rocks Out On The Bowery

On Tuesday night, assistant editor Foster Kamer and I had one for the books, the blogs, etc. After interviewing famed New York-based chef Daniel Boulud, we were invited for an evening of decadent sampling at Boulud’s newest LES resto, DBGB. Unlike Boulud’s pre-established (and more famous) kitchens in the city (Daniel, Bar Boulud, DB Bistro Moderne), DBGB’s a bustling, loud affair, the kind you can just stumble in from off of the Bowery, and throw yourself into the bar room of. Yes: it’s the Pastis of the East Village. Deal with it.

We were seated in the main dining room, flanked with wood shelves of ingredients and used dishes of Boulud’s contemporaries, as Radiohead and The Cure blasted above us. Soon after, Boulud blasted us away with the full comp.

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Starters: Asparagus with a fried poached farm-egg and duck prosciutto went quicker than any of the others. Escargots in a persillade custard, duo of mackerel, veal tongue, beef bone marrow, spicy crab cake and crispy tripe, didn’t do too bad themselves.

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Round Two: Meat. Our awesome waitress rolled out their specialty: sausages. We readied the Lipitor. We tried the Espagnole (spicy chorizo), the DBGB Dog (stole my love from Gray’s Papaya), Vermont (stuffed with cheddar), Polonaise (with a sweet twist), Boudin Basque (blood sausage over mashed ‘taters), and the Viennoise (with delectable sauerkraut). After washing it all down with some microbrews (also: ingeniously picked by a stellar waitress, but we’re prejudiced), Mr. Boulud himself greeted us and discussed iPhones and bouncing from kitchen to kitchen.

Dessert: He pulled our menus from us, and laughed when we tried to order. It was among the more divine encounters I’ve ever experienced. Like the hand of a culinary god pushing you back into a pew, telling you to take your shoes off. Our final course started with the Omelette Norvegienne (flambéed at the table). Thinking that was the end of it, we were pretty content — until we saw the procession of desserts marching towards our table, among which were: three ice cream sundaes (coffee-caramel, cassis beer-yogurt, golden plum-pistachio), tarte au fraise with mascarpone and berry ginger ice cream, Crepe Farcie with roasted cherries, and the Gateau Russe au Framboise with pistachio mousse.

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Upon leaving, Mr. Boulud handed us DBGB mugs right off the wall (the maitre d’ looked un petit peu shocked), and invited us back. Usually, knowing our place as mere journalists, we’d say thanks and go on our merry little way, never to return. That’s how the typical press meal goes. Write it up, go away. And in most cases, it’d be unfair to do a review of the food, as it was, above a bunch of other reasons, comped.

Not here. Not with this food, service, atmosphere. Foster had been once and gave his endorsement to a burger with Daisy May BBQ on it (cutely titled ‘The Piggy’). It’s the kind of thing that sounds patently ridiculous: an uber-burger entry into the Meat Madness of New York, designed by a chef with one of the few four star restaurants in the city who decided to stake a place out on the Bowery and over-flavoring an already tasty burger. It should, for all intents and purposes, be a joke.

If it is intended as a joke, it’s one with a great punchline. Again, no review, but we will say that we enjoyed the hell out of ourselves. Wouldn’t you?

They asked us, as we dipped out the front door, if we’d be back, as paying customers. Grinning like idiots, coffee cups in hand, we couldn’t help but laugh. Yeah. We think we’ll be back.

Industry Insiders: Albert Trummer, Apothecary Deluxe

Albert Trummer is the Austrian bar chef and brains behind Chinatown operation Apothéke. With business-minded partner Heather Tierney, Trummer serves his liquid medicine from behind the bar to an eager clientele night after night at the booming corner spot on Doyers Street. While growing up in his family’s restaurant in Austria, Trummer learned his way around the bar and turned his father’s private club into a booming hotspot at the age of 15. He’s since worked for the likes of David Bouley, the Chambers Hotel, Home Bar on Shelter Island, and 60 Thompson. The master mixologist speaks about who does nightlife best, the apothecary premise and his plans for the future. And for a special video clip, he even mixes up his famous flaming inferno beverage for BlackBook’s Cayte Grieve and Eiseley Tauginas.

Who does it right in the business? David Bouley is not just my mentor; he is my idol and the rock star of chefs.

How have you showcased your talent? The biggest event that I did myself was the Music Awards hosted in Miami. I was hired by Louis Vutton/Hennesy. We served 2,000 people in the mansion at the Outkast event. The ordering list was incredible. We made an over 300-gallon special container of mojito for the party. It was empty by the end.

How did you meet Heather Tierney? She had written about me when she worked for Time Out. She had a vision for the place. I always wanted to have a venue with an apothecary concept. In Europe, these places are like Duane Reade. They’re cozy, and you know your pharmacist who writes your prescription. That’s how I feel went we create a drink for someone.

How will you improve the apothecary experience further? My wish list includes creating a healthy alcohol. I’ve been talking to a distiller and doing tests and found that the herbs I use are holistic remedies for some gastro-intestinal problems. It’s a secret formula that I hope to get FDA-approved and produce “Albert’s Remedy.”

Are you looking to open another place? I have many offers. I prefer to be in a hotel, as that’s my background, and they supply the level of facility I require. I’d also like to start the service of having a cocktail butler, where the mixologist goes to your room with assistants, and it is a type of show for the guests. I’d like to have Albert’s Cocktail Theater.

Tell us about Apothéke’s mixologists. Miguel is from Mexico and does Aztec-related drinks, working with Mezcal and tequila. Jack is American and does Savoy-style bourbon drinks. Bourbon is hot right now. Greg is a specialist in Italian bitters. Orson is from Venezuela and brings the Amazon and rain forest.

Any house secrets you can share? I ship the herbs and oils from all over the world, and we soak our limes with sugarcane.

Is the recession affecting you? My grandfather said this is a safe business. Even in this economy, people still eat and drink all the time. People still need entertainment.

Where do you eat and drink? I always go to a Bouley or Daniel Boulud’s restaurant. The food is fantastic, and there are no shortcuts. I also really like Da Silvano, and Smith and Mills takes pride in their drinks.

Are you doing any special events this year? Nelson Mandela’s 91st birthday party in July. I’m creating the drink called The Mandela, which is based on African herbs and elderflower. The host is Bill Clinton.

Favorite authors? Ernest Hemingway and Jack London.

What is something people don’t know about you? I think David Copperfield is a great entertainer.

Favorite artist? Salvador Dali.

Is there a city that does nightlife better than New York? I’ve traveled all over the world, and none of them can compete with New York.

Why? The variety of cocktails. The master chefs from around the world work here.

Anything we could do to improve nightlife in New York? It’s missing intimate music clubs that they have in LA. Places where someone like Sting is recording. It’s a great part of the music scene there. New York needs smaller, more sophisticated music venues.
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