Every night, the world’s cooks subject themselves to the heat and pressure of the professional kitchen. We wanted to turn up the pressure on them in a different way, subjecting them to our rapid-fire interview about travel, food, and pop culture. In this episode, we talk with Daniel Boulud, the legendary chef who has two Michelin stars for his flagship restaurant Daniel and along with Thomas Keller and Jérôme Bocuse created Ment’or to guide the next generation of American chefs.
What’s your most prized possession?
Besides real estate? What do you mean?
What was your first car?
My first car was what we call a 4L in France, a Quatrelle. It was an urban, cheap French car. After maybe a month that I had this car, I was driving in the fog with a bunch of friends going out at night, and I crossed a road and put it into a ravine. That was the end of the car.
What music do you listen to while getting ready for service?
Rock. I’ll go for anything within the ’70s.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be doing?
I don’t know, a farmer maybe, because that was the only alternative at 14.
What do you think of Yelp and Yelpers?
Yelp? I don’t care.
NBA or NFL?
Chunky or smooth peanut butter?
I don’t like peanut butter.
Mountains or beaches?
Beaches by the mountain.
Who did you idolize as a kid?
My hero as a young chef was Paul Bocuse.
Coffee or tea?
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I think avocado.
Waffles or pancakes?
Waffles. But the Belgian one with sugar inside.
Most underrated food city in America?
I don’t know if it’s the most underrated food city because there are not too many left, but Portland, Maine. It has always had wonderful chefs there, but it also has the most beautiful seafood in America and so the two together creates something very special in this little town.