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]

How to Look Slick Choosing Wine From a List

At Daniel Boulud’s db Bistro Moderne, 27-year-old Caleb Ganzer brings a fresh face to the sommelier world. There, Ganzer manages the restaurant’s vast wine list, and spends his evenings helping customers pick vintages. Now, this handsome young sommelier shares some tips on reading a wine list with us, so the next time you are on a date or want to impress someone with your knowledge of reds from Italy or white wine made in New York, you can look like an expert every time. 

Utilize the sommelier:“If the restaurant has a sommelier, use them. This may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes diners forget there’s a dedicated staff member for wine recommendations. By asking to speak with the sommelier, you come across as a savvy diner, and simultaneously shift the ordering pressure away from yourself.

Once you’ve engaged the sommelier, all you have to do is tell him or her what everyone is eating, set a budget range, and say ‘Surprise us!’ Sommeliers, like chefs, thrive on these requests and will try to blow you away. It’s exciting and humbling to be given that level of trust, and they’ll deliver with a wine that will get the table talking. You’ll look like a real pro for putting it together.”

Process of elimination:  “Okay, so not all restaurants have sommeliers. So, how do you navigate a wine list full of unknown grapes, regions and steep prices? Start by narrowing the field. Are you looking for a white or a red? A ‘New World’ [aka the Americas] or ‘Old World’ [aka European] wine? Want to try a lesser-known varietal, or something everyone at table is familiar with? Once you’ve tapered down the selections, it’s more than okay to choose the winning bottle based on price point. Don’t choose the least expensive bottle on the list, as that’s the one with the highest markup, but the second or third cheapest should guarantee you a good bottle, with good value.”

Three is key:If you can identify three key tasting notes you enjoy in a wine, you’re good to go. For example, dry, red, and earthy; or white, funky, and mineral. Just mention these adjectives to your sommelier or waiter, and let them guide you to a wine. They should be able to match these buzzwords to a bottle that suits your palate.”

Go in with some Go-tos:“Certain wine regions are reliable for great wines, at great prices. Memorize a few of these ‘value regions’, so that you always have options up your sleeve. For example, in France try Alsace for whites and Beaujolais for reds. In Italy, Alto Adige for whites, and Campania for reds. In America, New York for whites, and Oregon for reds.”

Make it personal:“There’s nothing wrong with picking a wine based solely on personal preference or prior experience. Does the bottle from Corsica remind you of your honeymoon? The bottle from Germany of your time studying abroad? Or the one from Greece of a summer spent island hopping? Whatever you choose, it’s sure to be unique, and serves as a great conversation-starter to be shared during the meal.”

Ganzer’s go-to wine:“Red Burgundy, as a rule of thumb, is great way to pull a wide range of flavors together. The delicacy of the tannins of red Burgundy seldom overpowers subtle fish dishes, and the acidity and earthy flavors are usually enough for even the richest meat courses. I’ve also had a lot of success recently with red Mediterranean wines.”

Words to look out for:  With tasting notes, some classic varietals exhibit certain descriptions. Ganzer recommends if you want something red, dry, and earthy, try a Carigna and Sangiovese, or look toward regions like Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhone, Tuscany, and Rioja. For funky, mineral-filled whites, he said you could go for Grenache Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Savagnin. Or, try vino from the central coast of California, Loire, Roussillon, Jura, and Sardinia.

Now, go test out your newfound knowledge and wow your dining companions.

Miami Gets a Visit from the Marrakech Express

We wordslingers don’t always have it easy. We’ve gotta dine in restaurants before they’ve even had a chance to prove themselves. We go face-to-face with popstars while they’re in the midst of grueling tours. We sit down with Oscar winners and discuss passions other than film. We hit the town with world famous authors when they’re game enough to step out. Then there are the times when we’re invited to dinner by principals of world class concerns that are as legendary as they are mythic.

Such was the case last Thursday night, when I and a small slew of my Miami peers gathered downtown at the JW Marriott Marquis‘ ever delectable db Bistro for a wine and dine with the folks behind La Mamounia of Marrakech.

For those who don’t yet know (and I didn’t), La Mamounia is one of the world’s finest inns. Like Cap d’Antibes’ Hotel du Cap, Paris’ Ritz, or London’s Claridge’s (to which it’s often very favorably compared), this inn has a history all its own. It’s not part of any chain. It doesn’t follow or adhere to any trends. And it serves as an elegant oasis for the sorta traveler for whom either is anathema. In short, La Mamounia is unlike any place else on earth.

Opened in 1923, La Mamounia “began life in the 18th century as a wedding gift to Morocco’s Prince Moulay Mamoun from his father, King Mohammed Ben Abdellah” (thanks Time!). In 2006, the inn closed for a face-lift. Three years and some $180 million later, it re-opened as something more spectacular than it had begun (and that’s saying something). Instead of 242 rooms, La Mamounia now has 210, 71 of them suites (including seven signature), and three that are three-bedroom Riads (each with their very own Moroccan salons, a private pool, and a private terrace). According to the fact sheet, French designer Jacques Garcia, who spearheaded the overhaul, teamed with local Moroccan artisans to create custom furniture, hand-painted wooden ceilings and doors, Zillij mosaics, and N’Quesh plaster work (among other wonders). Some of those rooms offer “unobstructed views of La Mamounia’s legendary gardens, the Atlas Mountains and the [12th century] Koutoubia Mosque.” (Assouline has a wonderful book about it all.)

Our hosts for the evening were La Mamounia GM Didier Picquot, and Executive Director Denys Courtier, as well as Melanie Brandman of The Brandman Agency. The suitably-named Courtier had the unenviable task of being seated next to yours truly, but he handled it with all the aplomb you’d expect from one accustomed to dealing with over-sized personalities. While Denys was far too young to have been on hand when Alfred Hitchcock occupied La Mamounia for the filming of The Man Who Knew Too Much (let alone Marlene Dietrich’s stand in Morocco), he regaled me with tales of Doris Day’s singing of “Que Sera Sera” with the pride of someone who saw it all. Courtier was on hand for the star-studded re-opening however, and when I mentioned I’d just interviewed Bryan Ferry, he was delighted to inform me that Britain’s best-dressed crooner had been on hand as well.

Courtier was also kind enough to entertain my idea of moving into the inn next May so that I might finally write my first book. Whether that book will be the completion of something already begun, or an entirely new idea springing from my time in Morocco, is anybody’s guess. But from the sense I get about this fabled place, La Mamounia will play an extensive role in whatever it is I put to paper, just as its played an extensive role in the history of world wonder. I just hope those in the Churchill Bar don’t tire of me before I’m finished!

Miami Openings: JW Marriott Marquis Miami, db Bistro Moderne, Plato’s Closet

JW Marriott Marquis Miami (Downtown) – Not your daddy’s Marriott. ● db Bistro Moderne (Downtown) – Daniel Boulud makes his dent on the downtown dining scene. ● Plato’s Closet (Kendall) – First class and second hand threads.

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!

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.

Industry Insiders: Julie Farias, the General’s Butcher

As one of the many talented cuisiniers participating in Le Fooding D’Amour (September 25-26 at at New York’s P.S.1), Julie Farias knows a thing or two about a good cut of meat. The Texas-born chef—who recently moved from Brooklyn’s Beer Table to The General Greene—worked for Daniel Boulud for five years (at Café Boulud, db Bistro Moderne, and Daniel), but attributes much of her culinary know-how to her southern upbringing and family influence (her clan owns a tortilla factory inside a San Antonio meat market). Farias tells us about working in kitchens on both coasts and how Le Fooding is going to taste for New Yorkers. In her case, it’s going to taste like tacos made from 40 cow heads.

What influenced your move from Beer Table to The General Greene? Nicholas Morgenstern, the owner of The General Greene, and I met at Daniel when he was the pastry sous-chef there and I was working the soup station. We worked together at 5Ninth. There, I was the opening sous and he was the pastry chef, and then we also worked together at Resto. I’ve known him for a really long time, and before last year, I was living and working in Los Angeles and Las Vegas on a project for the Palazzo. Nick came out to see me and asked me to come to his new restaurant, The General Greene, and I didn’t think anything of it. I said that I wasn’t in the position to leave. When I came back from Vegas, I moved to Beer Table. Owners Justin and Tricia Philips were friends of mine, and they needed a little help setting up the menu. They said, “We have this place, and there’s no kitchen, but we love your food and we think that this would work out.” And I loved the idea of it more than anything. Especially the spatial challenge. We had no kitchen at Beer Table. There was a convection oven, no dishwasher, no prep, no kitchen. When you take things away and you have bare essentials, it made me think about food in a different way. I always thought that fire was a bare essential but I realized that electricity is. I’m not as much of a Neanderthal as I thought I was. The timing was eventually right when Nicholas asked me again, and it just had to happen. He’s a fantastic partner.

What were you doing in Las Vegas? I was working for a gentleman named Jonathan Morr. He owns Republic and Bond St. We opened an Asian noodle restaurant called Mainland at the Palazzo Hotel and Casino. I created the menu, and I was also Jonathan’s consulting chef. I traveled from New York to Miami to Los Angeles to Vegas. I did consulting work for Thompson Hotels out there, creating their room service menu. I also lived and worked at Hotel Oceana in Santa Monica. I had no home for a year.

What was it like building the menu at The General Greene? I’m going to give a metaphor: me being here right now is, in some ways, like cutting in on a dancer. I’m about to dance with the pretty girl, so I’m cutting in and I have to keep up the pace for whatever waltz or jitterbug or lindy-hop they’re doing. There’s already a rhythm here; it’s a successful restaurant. Nick has asked me to work on organization, on execution, kitchen techniques, things like that, and keep up on the quality of products. It was a very big change to go from one burner to a stove and a downstairs and four to five cooks and a dishwasher.

What should we order on our first visit? We have bar snacks, and my favorite one right now is the bacon dates—dates wrapped in bacon and cooked in maple syrup. After that, you’d have to try the butter lettuce with a lemon vinaigrette, curried almonds and ruby-red grapefruit. I’m a big fan of ruby-red grapefruit. For me, they are a little sweeter, a better color, and before, we were using regular grapefruit on this dish. I also put collared greens on the menu, and these you have to try. They’re sautéed with garlic, red pepper chilies, and a squeeze of lemon juice. You have to try the chuck flap steak from Niman Ranch. It’s something known as a bavette, and it’s a tough kind of meat meant to be cooked medium rare. We grill it then slice it thin, and we serve it with a roasted garlic sauce with olive oil and Portuguese sea salt. It’s got a really hearty flavor. Then, you have to finish it off with a salty caramel sundae. It’s a hot caramel cake with salted caramel ice cream, whipped cream, caramel sauce, and then crushed, salted mini pretzels on top of it. It’s out of this world. You may have to stop by Nick’s Greene Ice Cream Cart as well.

How did you get involved with Le Fooding? It turns out, [Le Fooding founder] Alexandre Cammas lives in the neighborhood. His wife, Natalie, had actually had dinner at Beer Table, and so there was sort of a little match-making there, and they contacted me and came down to The General Greene.

What will you prepare for the September Le Fooding D’Amour event? I’m doing tête de veau tacos or “veal head.” It’s traditional barbacoa from San Antonio, Texas. I’m doing this classic recipe here, and I think it makes sense with the idea of the picnic setting. I actually smoked one of the cow heads today. They’re kind of scary looking. I’m going to be smoking about 40 of them for the event. They’re really kind of magnificent with the eyes, the skull, and the teeth.

Will New Yorkers embrace the Le Fooding concept? New Yorkers are all about food. I came here from Texas to cook. I returned to New York from Vegas because I felt that there was more of a focus on and interest in food here—from grocery stores to cooking at home. In keeping with this mentality, to me, it just seems like Le Fooding is a very natural thing. People will be attracted to this, and Alex’s interest in graphic design is reflected in the style of the event. Why would New Yorkers not want to come? I think that Alex’s goal is definitely going to be fulfilled.

What are your favorite bars and restaurants? Because I’ve been working at The General Greene so much, I’ve been limiting my going out to Brooklyn. I love Five Leaves and Char No. 4. They do a lot of smoked meat, and I butcher there on Mondays. Defonte’s in Red Hook is a sandwich place, and oh my God, it’s super yummy. I love the Skybox at Daniel. For drinking, I’m kind of a liquor snob … but when I feel like being a bit more on the rowdy side, I go to the Palace Cafe in Greenpoint. Budweiser and Jack & Coke is about as sophisticated of a drink you’ll get there. All of these places are in keeping with the same mood.

Nicholas Morgenstern and Julie Farias photographed by Michael Harlan Turkell.

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.

Le Fooding Takes Over NYC

The French are better than we simple Americans at many things (staying thin, being fashionable, appearing cultured), but most importantly, the French know their food. Alexandre Cammas took his inherent French penchant for dining to new heights when he founded the gastronomic movement, Le Fooding, in Paris almost a decade ago. On September 25th and 26th, Le Fooding invades New York for their first stateside appearance. Le Fooding d’Amour Paris-New York is centered upon 6 renowned chefs from New York and 6 from Paris cooking for charity (Action Against Hunger) at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. Tickets are inexpensive, the idea behind the event is monumental and with the talent in the cooking arena — Yves Camdeborde (Le Comptoir de la Relais), Inaki Aizpitarte (Le Chateaubriand), William Ledeuil (Ze Kitchen Galerie), Alberto Herraiz (Fogón), Stephane Jego (L’Ami Jean) and Christophe Pelé (La Bigarrade), plus David Chang (Momofuku), Julie Farias (General Greene), Daniel Boulud with Olivier Muller (db Bistro), Wylie Dufresne (wd-50), Sean Rembold (Marlow & Sons) Riad Nasr (Minetta Tavern) — it’s physically impossible for the food to be anything less than superb. Alex and his event coordinator, Zoé Reyners, give BlackBook a sneak peek.

What is Le Fooding, the movement? Zoé Reyners: It started 9 years ago in Paris while Alex was a food writer. He used the term fooding in an article to rhyme with fueling. It was unintentionally expressing what he felt about gastronomy at the time in France. Back then, it was a very regulated, very serious matter. Alex was fed up with this and wanted to inject some feeling into it. That’s why he ran with fooding. The idea was well-liked by the press and people started talking about that word. With a bunch of his food writer friends — who had the same feelings about food at the time — Alex decided to use this word “fooding” as a banner for what they were thinking. They held the first event with friends. It was a casual thing to do with new chefs, but the media attention surrounding the first event showed that this was something necessary, and something that people agreed with. Events were organized more often. The website was founded, a phone line, and an office were set up. Step by step it became a real company. There is now a team of 50 writers working for the annually distributed Le Fooding guide. The first completely independent issue was put out last year. Before that, it was as a supplement for larger magazines.

When you got started, what was the reaction of your target audience? Alexandre Cammas: The young French people responded very well and quickly to what we were doing, but it was more difficult to get attention from the old-school chefs and old-school food writers because Le Fooding was different and new. We weren’t just food writers … we started to be involved in concrete things. Normally food writers don’t take risks and straight criticize what’s good and not good. For the first time, we took some risks, and we organized events.

How do you decide on restaurants to review for the publication? Alex: The criteria to select a restaurant in our guide, or for our events, is after we have dinner, we ask ourselves if we want to come back to a restaurant. If so, that’s a good restaurant. You can explore this question, not only with three-star Michelin-guide restaurants, but you can ask the same question for pizza parlors, for bistros, for cafés.

Who are the people who explore this question? Alex: Naturally, it’s the people who are curious, who are open-minded to the taste of the time and to tastes of the time. If you’re straight-minded, if you just like one sort of cuisine, Le Fooding doesn’t much care for your type. We make the guides and the website for people who are curious, like we are.

Why did you choose to introduce this concept to New York? Zoé: The question people usually ask us is, “What’s new for New Yorkers because this spirit already exists here?” I think the event is actually very different from the kind of events organized in New York.

Alex: A guide is a guide, but we’re pairing our guide with the charity event. It’s quite different from TimeOut or from BlackBook.

Is advertising in the guide created in-house? Zoé: We don’t create the advertising, but we have graphic designers handling much of the advertising so that it’s not completely different from our illustrations, the text, or the spirit.

Alex: There’s definitely a spirit. The guide is funny, and you can just read it for pleasure. You aren’t supposed to just want to look in it for an address of a restaurant. For the events, it’s the same. We started in Paris with events. Therefore, we decided to come to New York and start with events too.

What do we need to know about the event? Alex: The event we produce in New York City will be very different from the events that you know surrounding food. It’ll be at P.S.1. We usually do our events in art centers. The spirit is linked to the idea that food is not only food. It can be about the atmosphere and the culture that surrounds it. Also, it’s not only star chefs that you have to pay lots to eat their food. We don’t come with the most famous chefs of France, but we come with the ones who are alive in Paris.

Zoé: I think people know them, but they aren’t the mythical chefs. They’re active, innovative, creative chefs.

Tell me about the graphic design aspect. Alex: We’ll create a collector’s menu. Each chef will be represented by one graphic designer. The chefs of Paris will be represented the best graphic designers of Paris; and the New York chefs will be represented by designers from New York. Some of the designers are: Ich & Kar, Change is Good, Gianpaolo Pagni, Helène Builly, Vanessa Verillon, Nicholas Blechman, Tim Tomkinson, Jan Wilker, Paul Sahre, Jeanne Verdoux, Christoph Niemann, Andre and So Me.

Will the chefs contribute any ideas to the design of the menu, or is it completely up to the designer? Zoé: The designers meet the chefs. They’ll taste their food. They try to understand their spirit, their way of being, their humor, and then they are inspired to create a design in which they are completely free to do whatever they want.

When will people start buying tickets? Alex: The other thing that is different is the price. It’s a price accessible for all the people who like food and who like this sort of party spirit, and not necessarily for the people who have a lot of money. They’re $30, alcohol not included.

And once inside? Zoé: Guests have the choice to go to 6 different chefs each night, and taste amazing food. It’s a huge meal for $30 and it’s a distinguished chef’s meal. From 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., the venue will be open only to VIPs on the guest list and for around 200 people that will have $60 VIP tickets, with Veuve Clicquot champagne included. The VIP space will be open from 6 p.m. to 11:30, whereas the rest of the venue will be closed at 10 p.m. Besides approximately 100 tickets each night, all the tickets will be available on the 15th of September on the Le Fooding website. Before that day, some tickets will be available if you have a secret code. Alex: We’ll also have DJ’s spinning in the VIP area and in the general admission area, including Paul Sevigny and Kolkhoze from Le Baron in Paris.