The chef’s attention to festivals and the seasonal ingredients magnify the detail of work created in each dish from week to week. Daikon radish is one of the key vegetables in Japanese home cooking, inexpensive and versatile, even transformable to a candle shade by a master chef’s knife-carving technique.
Since 1987, guests have been drawn to the allure of Chef David Bouley’s restaurants. From the artful interiors and unsurpassed service to seasonal menus and exceptional wine lists, dining has evolved into a celebrated experience.
Today, Bouley is focusing on new ways of taking his renowned culinary ceremonies outside the restaurant walls, combining cuisine, education, entertainment, and service to create unforgettable experiences in catering and events.
In catering, Bouley is motivated by the chance to cultivate a working relationship with customers. His goal is to reach the guests on a higher level, and it is imperative for him to first explore their true interests in food—the tastes, textures, and techniques they enjoy more than others. For instance, some guests prefer their fish to be steamed and light, while others prefer a fish that’s been seared until caramelized for an added crunch. Through these decisions, personality steps into his role of creative direction, and his customers become the source of inspiration through which Bouley channels his signature style and cuisine. For Bouley, catering calls for harmony—a seamless combination of taste, ambiance, and service no matter if you’re planning a corporate gathering, charity event, or intimate dinner party.
Bouley’s goal always is to create higher expectations. And he lives by one rule: you execute and deliver every meal like you do in the restaurant. What separates Bouley from other caterers is that he makes himself vulnerable, executing dishes with the same kind of detailed sensitivity and culinary
Named the 2007 World Champion Cheese Affineur “Refiner” and honored as a Master Craftsman of France, Rodolphe Le Meunier now brings his passion and cheeses to Bouley restaurants.
Rodolphe Le Meunier at Bouley Bakery
In order to send his cheeses to David Bouley, Le Meunier had to first master the transportation cycle to ensure the cheeses spend the least time in transit possible.
He also needed to make certain that once the cheeses arrived at Bouley Market, they would be stored in optimum conditions to breathe and evolve naturally. Bouley built a specially designed cheese cellar for this purpose. The cellar itself has a viewing window that allow patrons to observe the cheeses, and the room is climate controlled–set to the exact temperature, humidity, and ventilation levels needed to create the perfect environment for the cheeses. To complete the cycle, Le Meunier has developed a training program to teach Bouley’s staff how to care for, cut, and present the cheeses.
Rodolphe Le Meunier at Bouley Restaurant
Le Meunier has also provided a coup de coeur selection of five cheeses to be presented on a tasting plate at Bouley Restaurant. The seasonal assortment will change every few months, and Le Meunier will also conduct exclusive tastings, such as a trilogy of aged Comté d’Alpages including a 2008 aged 18 months, a 2007 aged 30 months, and a third from 2006 aged 40 months. They will be paired with a vin jaune, a regional white wine from France’s Jura region.
Rodolphe Le Meunier at Bouley Test Kitchen There will also be cheese events at the Test Kitchen, where guests can taste all of Le Meunier’s cheese selections and learn how to incorporate them into recipes.
Le Meunier has hand-selected these 15 cheeses that will be available at Bouley Market:
Comté d’Alpages AOC 18 Months
Cow–Jura; One hundred percent; Montéliarde cow’s milk and free of additives, the Comté is aged for a minimum of 120 days. It has a nutty, slightly salty, yet sweet taste.
Cow–Jura; This smooth and sliceable cow’s-milk cheese is still made according to tradition, with a fine dusting of ash between two layers.
Fourme d’Ambert AOC
Cow–Auvergne; A semihard blue cheese that is aged for a month during which time it is injected with sweet Vouvray moelleux wine, which also makes an excellent pairing.
Cow–Morbihan; A washed-rind cheese produced at a monastery in southern Brittany, it’s rinsed in a walnut brandy and has a nutty note.
Tomme de Savoie
Cow–Savoie; Made from raw milk exclusively from cows in Savoie and Haute-Savoie, this traditional tomme is rich with distinctive herbal aromas that vary by producer.
Fouchtra de Vache
Cow–Auvergne; Similar to the Saint-Nectaire, this raw-milk cheese is aged for six months and has a brushed, clean crust. Volcanic terroir imparts distinctive flavor.
Sheep–Auvergne; Aged on straw, this sheep’s milk cheese has a delicate paste and a natural rind. Distinctive for the hole in its center, it’s named is derived from the French word for well.
Goat–Auvergne; Smooth and melty on the palate, the 10-week aging process allows for salty and pleasantly acidic notes that leave a delicate aftertaste of goat’s milk.
Cow–Lille; Also referred to as the Boule de Lille, it resembles a cantaloupe at first glance. Naturally colored with annatto, the aged version, vieille, is chewy with a nuttyflavored crust.
Sheep–Cantal; A raw sheep’s-milk cheese that resembles a sausage, and is smoke-cured in much the same way.
A firm, classic Basque cheese that has been made in the same tradition for centuries. It has an earthy quality similar to Sardinian pecorino, and is revered as one of the region’s finest.
Cow–Alsace; A 1,000-year-old recipe, this miniature round of washedrind cheese is luscious on the palate with sweeter notes of hay.
Tomme aux Piments d’Espelettes
Sheep–Basque Country; A firm sheep’s-milk cheese that is coated in a light dusting of the Basque paprika, piment d’espelette, which imparts a toasty spiciness that enhances the cheeses own nutty, sweet flavor.
Tomme du Vieux Saulnois
Cow–Alsace; A semisoft, washed-rind cow’s-milk cheese, it is rinsed with wine as it matures, which helps it to develop fruity notes with hints of mushrooms, grass, and butter.
Sheep–Basque Country; A light, balanced Pyrénées sheep’s cheese with fruit and nutty notes, it’s considerably delicate for a mountainous-region cheese and has a thin, tart crust
The welcoming aroma of the fresh-picked apples that perfectly align the racks of the vestibule at Bouley restaurant has inspired the creation of a fragrant, apple-infused signature cocktail.
2 oz Smirnoff vodka
2 oz green-apple purée (or Ravifruit, found in specialty food stores)
1 splash vermouth
1/2 shot of simple syrup
Combine and shake well. Strain into frozen martini glass, and garnish with an apple chip. Enjoy!
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to boil. Simmer until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Add lemon juice.
Slice one green apple very thin using a mandoline. Soak slices for 5 minutes in simple syrup mixture. Remove, and lay flat on a nonstick baking mat. Cook for 1 hour at 190ºF. Remove and let cool.
1 leek, sliced in half and then thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 lbs yellow Yukon potatoes, sliced on a mandoline to 1/8 inch
6 oz good Italian dried prunes, flattened slightly for layering
2 cups half-and-half
2 oz chopped parsley
1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sauté sliced leek lightly in olive oil. Add chopped garlic and reserve.
Lightly oil a baking dish with sides that are at least 3 inches high.
Add a teaspoon of the leek and garlic mixture to the baking dish, and layer the potatoes until 1/2-inch thick.
Add a layer of prunes, and more of the leek and garlic mixture. Continue layering until all have been used up.
Mix half-and-half with parsley, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Pour over the top of the potato gratin and bake at 325ºF degrees for about 45 minutes or until soft.
1 can good-quality coconut milk
3 oz mushroom water (recipe below)
1 tsp grated lime zest
1 tsp fresh ginger juice
2 oz chopped tarragon
2 oz wild mushrooms (recipe below)
4-6 oz arugula or bibb lettuce (per person)
parmesan cheese, sliced into fine sheets
1 tsp chive oil
6 oz shitake mushrooms, stems removed
6 oz hon shimeji mushrooms, washed and dried
6 oz porcini mushrooms, stems peeled
3 lbs white button mushrooms
2 gallons water
For the Wild Mushrooms:
Place all mushrooms in a saucepan with the garlic and the bay leaf, and pour in enough olive oil to cover the mushrooms. Cook on medium heat and bring to boil. Boil for 1 minute, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Allow oil to cool before removing mushrooms with a slotted spoon, and reserve. This is a great way to preserve the flavor and texture of wild mushrooms, and they will last between a week and a week and a half or more. They can be reheated or eaten cold.
Wash mushrooms well and add to a large saucepot with water. On low heat, simmer down until reduced by 95 percent, until you have a fragrant black truffle aroma. Pour into ice-cube trays and freeze for future use.
Boil coconut milk down by half. Add mushroom water, lime zest, ginger, and tarragon. Whisk together. Heat up mushrooms in this sauce. Meanwhile, prepare lettuce bed on a large plate. Spread warm mushrooms on top. Add fine sheets of parmesan. Drizzle with chive oil.
In homage to the mojito, the Grand Marnier Smash is a classic cocktail updated with Grand Marnier as the base ingredient. Easy and delicious, Grand Marnier is muddled with mint and lemon to create a refreshing drink designed to please imbibers everywhere.
8 leaves fresh mint
4 wedges of fresh lemon
1.5 oz Grand Marnier
1 sprig mint
Muddle mint leaves and lemon wedges in a tall mixing glass. Add Grand Marnier and ice, and shake vigorously. Strain liquid over fresh ice in a rocks glass, and garnish with a fresh mint sprig.
“I have never bought meat that has not come from the butcher,” Paul Vaccari reflects. “My dad even used to send me care packages when I was in college!” But then he’s a third-generation owner of Piccinini Brothers, considered one of the great old-guard meat purveyors of New York City, so meat is his currency.
Back in the 1920s, his grandfather Guido opened the original store, just a block away from where Piccinini Brothers now stands in Hell’s Kitchen. From the very beginning, their ambition was to supply the city’s restaurants with the best quality meats, and they have never faltered. Intrigued by the creative side of the business, Paul was always eager to collaborate on new projects with chefs, and in particular David Bouley. “David was very instrumental in helping us with the way we now age our meats. We adapted a lot of our agingroom specifications according to his needs.”
Paul Vaccari and David Bouley share the same passion for quality and are working together to source more local farm–raised animals, selecting lamb, rabbit, and poultry from farms in New York State, as well as pigs and goats from New Jersey. In the end, it is the result of what is on the diner’s plate that makes this butcher-and-chef relationship so beneficial.
Diminutive in stature but formidable in her knowledge and place in the world of wines
from small French estates, Becky Wasserman-Hone is full of juxtapositions.
Born and educated in New York City, Becky Wasserman-Hone migrated 40 years ago from the United States to the tiny village of Bouilland, France, when the wine world was still “innocent” and Volnays cost seven francs a bottle–the equivalent of one euro–for a premier cru. Becky got her start by selling François Frères oak barrels to the California wine industry, but later rolled out her last barrel for a career representing individual domains principally from Burgundy, plus grower champagnes, the Beaujolais, the southern Rhône, and the Languedoc Roussillon. Her company, SARL Le Serbet/Selection Becky Wasserman, is almost entirely staffed by women. Her team selects and exports wines from small estates whose reputations are based on sound viticulture practices, and respect for their specific terroirs.
The company motto, “We cannot sell what we do not drink,” is not mere marketing. Wines are reviewed in the office, accompanied by lunch cooked by Russell Hone, Becky’s husband, and are often judged by their current and future compatibility with food. “The destiny of most wines is not to stand alone but to accompany food at some point in their lives,” says Becky.
Becky met David many years ago, when Dominique Simon was the sommelier with a reputation of which to be somewhat fearful, as he did not suffer fools gladly. She remembers her first visit to Bouley, opening the front door to be welcomed by the extraordinary scent of hundreds of apples. This was her introduction to a cuisine that treats the raw materials of culinary art with respect, and that does not seek to glorify the chef to the detriment of his ingredients. This respect is the fundamental belief of the best Burgundian estates: that the personality of the terroir must shine through; the winemaker is but an interpreter.
There are thousands of domains bottling their wines today, and the quality can vary tremendously. How does one work through this maze? This is where someone like Becky comes in. From day one, she has been committed to finding wines that clearly evoke the vineyards from which they were produced; no one has been as dedicated as she to the essence of what terroir represents. If the back of a bottle says “Selection Becky Wasserman,” you can be assured of experiencing a wine made with great passion and respect for its place of origin.
Becky has been decorated by the French government for services rendered to Burgundy; she is a Chevalier de L’Ordre du Merite Agricole. She attributes her palate to myopia, and insists that poor vision enhances the senses of smell and taste. She says that selling Burgundies requires “the zeal of a missionary, the stubbornness of a mule, a large sense of humor, and the ability to change clothes in a telephone booth.”
Her admiration for David Bouley’s cuisine continues to grow, and her recent tasting note compared his food to a wine from Chambolle-Musigny: “intensity with lightness.”