There was time when for American diners, French cooking meant Julia Child. While Child laid the foundation for our appreciation of French cuisine, Boulud is responsible for building on that framework to create a more intricate, contemporary recognition of what French cooking can do.
Like many talented chefs, Boulud eschewed formal culinary training for hands-on experience, starting in kitchens at the age of 14 in his native France. He felt the real challenge, however, was in the U.S., and in re-educating the American palate and psyche about what French cuisine could be; it didn’t have to be formal and complicated, he believed, but could pay homage to that tradition with a modern appreciation of efficiency. “I would say that the hardware is French, but the software can be more local and more spontaneous and certainly a combination of flavors,” he said in describing his style. “Even if I use Asian ingredients, I always think French balance and seasoning.”
He and his restaurants have won numerous James Beard Foundation awards, and the French government honored him with the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, one of the nation’s highest honors in recognition of his work in elevating French cuisine around the world
WHAT I EAT WHEN NOBODY IS LOOKING: ”Potato chips”
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