When restaurateur Chef Daniel Boulud does something, he makes damn sure he does it right. So when Chef Jarrod Verbiak decided to leave downtown Miami's db Bistro Moderne for his job at Boulud's Maison Boulud in Beijing, there was little fear that the French bistro-contemporary American restaurant would experience anything but a smooth transition.
Enter Matthieu Godard, a Normandy-born chef who joined Boulud's team in New York as a line cook in 2006 and quickly worked his way up to sous chef, and then to executive sous chef at several of Boulud's famous New York establishments.
In his years in the city, Godard both grew accustomed to the Boulud way and developed his own twists. "I have a very accessible take on French cooking, but I add my own little touches to make it stand out," says Godard. And his personal cooking style couldn't fit into the Magic City scene better. With a flair for seafood, he gives the bistro a fresh spin. One standout move of Godard's is his service of a cold lobster at lunch, dressed with an avocado chutney, watermelon, hearts of palm and a curry dressing. "Creativity is key," he says of the dish. "But consistent quality is just as important."
Godard spent nearly two months alongside the db Bistro Moderne family in Miami preparing for his new esteemed position, but admits the city is still pretty new to him.
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"The transition is pretty smooth in terms of my complete understanding of [Boulud's] style and his standards," says Godard. "But...Daniel also insists on his chefs adding their own personality to the menu."
So Godard's takeover will merit some new goodies on the db table. Original additions by Chef Godard include an Andalusian gazpacho with quail egg, serrano and white anchovy and grilled prawns with zucchini pesto, artichokes and sun dried tomato.
"They are super robust when it comes to flavor," he says of his new items. "But also very summery in terms of the ingredients."