On Saturday afternoon, one of the world's most talented chefs dropped into his Miami outpost to cook lunch for his fans. Daniel Boulud joined his DB Bistro Moderne executive chef, Jason Pringle, and team to cook a meal straight out of his latest book, Daniel: My French Cuisine. The book celebrates the chef's 20th anniversary of his NYC restaurant, Daniel.
The meal, accompanied with a wine pairing, was exemplary of a French bistro. Short Order was invited to attend. Pictures of the feast after the jump.
Daniel began the afternoon by jumping atop the bar to welcome guests and then explaining what they'd be eating. Think Top Chef finale when the chefs come out to explain to the judges what they're making, only it's Daniel Boulud and you're there.
His book, which is divided into parts, features more than a hundred recipes (and mouthwatering photos) from his acclaimed restaurant Daniel, informative essays on various subjects, from truffles to wine, and narratives by Bill Buford on his experience in the kitchen with Daniel when they created traditional French dishes such as poulet en vessie and chartreuse. In the last part, "Daniel at Home," the chef steps away from the epicenter of his life and cooks a meal at home one day a week. "On Sundays, when Daniel is closed, I often cook for friends and family," the chef writes in his introduction to this last chapter. "I have the incredible privilege to live above the 'store' and, in an emergency, have access to the treasure chest of ingredients in the basement." By "basement," he means his restaurant.
All of the "Daniel at Home" dishes are inspired by his favorite regions in France. We began with a wild mushroom tarte flambee with onions, fromage blanc , crème fraîche, oregano, and chives. The minuscule secret ingredient is nutmeg. We couldn't even snap a shot of the tarte whole because the rest of our table devoured it in an instant. This was accompanied by a 2011 Trimbach Pinot Blanc from Alsace.
The modern Lyonnaise salad showcased the region that Daniel is from, Lyon. Leeks, lardon (bacon), chicken liver, carrots, chives and the a the most impeccable poached egg that oozed out its inner goodness at a touch of the fork create a distinctive combination of flavors. Chicken liver is submerged in milk overnight to bring out its flavors. This one is paired with a 2011 Domaine Francois Villard Saint Peray from Rhone Valley.
Loup de mer, also known as Branzino in Italy and Lubina in Spanish, is a delicate white fish filet that's to be treated with extreme attention and needs little to no embellishment. The Mediterranean sea bass is cooked in the oven alongside fennel, a grape sauce vierge and herbs de Provence (a region in France). Simple and delicate, its taste was as graceful as its presentation. This was our favorite wine pairing, which went with a 2012 Domaine l'Hermitage Bandol Rose from Provence (to complement the herbs).
For dessert, a tarte normande took us to Normandy. The flan custard filling includes gala apples, honey, crème fraiche and Calvados (an apple brandy from Lower Normandy). It was also served with a milk Calvados sorbet, you know, in case the tarte didn't have enough. A 2007 Domaine Aux Moines Moelleux from Savennieres finished off the meal.
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Daniel walked around personalizing copies of his cookbook and greeting guests before taking hold of the microphone to thank everyone. From the 14 chefs joining him in the kitchen to execute the meal to the Sommelier and guests in attendance from his other establishment, no one was left out. He then defined bistro and what his food is all about. "Something seasonal, something tasty, something you can eat every day. That is a Bistro. We look forward to seeing you again, make you happy."