Monday, November 2, 2009

Bedroom cooking

This is a late post; just catching up with some of the worthwhile items in the (past) news…


Star chef Daniel Boulud on cooking on the bed ... among other things

May Seah

DANIEL Boulud is busy. "It's 11.45pm and my dining room is full and I have to go and say hello to my customers," said the Michelin-starred chef from his restaurant, Daniel, in New York City. Not in a mean way, but I still felt terrible for taking up his valuable time.

Yes, the 54-year-old is very busy and very important. Overseeing a night's service, entertaining other chefs and fielding interviews is all in a day's work for a man who's been executive chef at Le Cirque, received James Beard and Legion d'Honneur awards, and stars in the Asian Food Channel's Daniel Boulud: One Night In Singapore.

"I was very impressed," said Boulud of Singapore. "We visited some very interesting markets, had street food and then one night we had some Indian food, which was very cool."

The documentary, filmed while Boulud was in town last year, follows the French chef and his team as they cook for a prestigious dinner held at the Fullerton Hotel. That sounds like an easy task for an acclaimed chef, but what do you do when the kitchen is on a different floor from the dining room and you have very exacting standards on the subject of plating? You turn some hotel bedrooms into a kitchen, of course.

"That was the second time I cooked in a bedroom!" said Boulud. "The first time was when one of my customers had a small apartment on Fifth Avenue. Because the kitchen was so small, the only place we could plate the dessert and the entrees was in the bedroom. There, I was cooking on the bed. In Singapore, they removed the bed, so that was better!"

So, has he ever cooked in his own bedroom for his wife? "We eat in the bedroom but we don't cook. We do more than cooking!" said Boulud with a chuckle.

The bedroom isn't the most unusual place in which he's brandished a spatula, though. "I've cooked in a truck, I've cooked in a train, I've cooked in places where there was no kitchen, period. We make it up. But I like that," said the chef. "As long as you give me a little bit of fire, a little bit of something, I'll always get organised.

"And, of course the most emotional thing I did was cooking for 9/11. We had a boat next to Ground Zero, where we were feeding maybe 3,000 people a day - all the firemen and the policemen. That was maybe the hardest but the most rewarding and the most emotional moment in my life."

Boulud's a veritable culinary veteran but, like a chocolate lava cake, he's got a soft centre. "If I were a dessert, I think I'd be chocolate. And it'd have coffee in it and there'd certainly be rum or cognac. A little bit of booze, a little bit of caffeine, and a lot of chocolate!"

Catch Daniel Boulud: One Night In Singapore tonight at 9pm on the Asian Food Channel (StarHub TV Ch 69)

From TODAY, Plus – Tuesday, 29-Sep-2009

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]