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C'est de la grande classe. Avec Gordon Campbell, les stars internationales de la gastronomie vont-elles faire de Mtl un terrain de compétition? Ce serait vraiment cool.:)

 

 

Boulud's Ritz resto will lift competition, chefs say

 

Famous chef uses Quebec ingredients and loves Montreal

 

By LESLEY CHESTERMAN, Gazette Fine-Dining Critic April 15, 2011

 

The Montreal restaurant world received a wallop of good news on Wednesday, when the Ritz-Carlton Hotel announced New York star chef Daniel Boulud will take over its restaurant space. Slated to open in early 2012, Maison Boulud will occupy the space that formerly housed the Café de Paris and Ritz Garden.

 

Montreal seems a good fit for the chef, widely regarded as one of the world's best. It is close to New York, and Boulud attends the Grand Prix annually. He is friendly with several local chefs including Normand Laprise of Toqué! and Marino Tavares of Café Ferreira, and already uses Quebec ingredients in his restaurants including foie gras, Boileau venison and Gaspor pork. He was also the honorary chairman of the 2007 Montreal High Lights Festival.

 

"After a love affair of many years with Montreal, I'm proud to be coming to North America's most European city to join its roster of fine chefs - many of whom are dear friends - and to take part in your love of fine food and vibrant culinary culture, " Boulud said Wednesday in a press release.

 

Montreal chefs have echoed that affection, and say Boulud's arrival will kick up the competition.

 

"I'm excited," said Marc-André Royal, chef-owner of Le St-Urbain and new bakery La Bête à Pain. "I like his New York restaurants and what he does. It's pretty French, classic, and I like that. It will be a perfect fit for Montreal. It will be great to keep us on our toes. We'll definitely feel the pressure."

 

For David McMillan, chefowner of Joe Beef, Liverpool House and McKiernan, two words: "I'm pumped."

 

He said Boulud has a dynamic restaurant group with a great wine program. "It will be delicious French food that goes well with wine. I have no doubt it's going to be good. He doesn't do bad food. Everyone else downtown will have to brush up their A-game. It's no joke. Everyone in New York respects Boulud. He's the American Bocuse. He doesn't make mistakes."

 

McMillan is also excited for the Ritz, "which was the best dining destination in Montreal forever, but not in the last 20 years. To breathe new life into a Montreal institution like that is brilliant."

 

When he heard the news, Michel Ross, chef-owner of Verdun's Mas Cuisine thought: "Wow, another restaurant, and a major restaurant. It's a big coup for the Ritz, which is obviously serious about putting its restaurant back on the board. But I wonder if Montreal can sustain another high-end restaurant like that. Our pie isn't that big. It's nice when they come, but it's really bad if they pick up and leave."

 

The 56-year-old native of Lyon, France, made his name as the executive chef in the glory days of Le Cirque in New York after apprenticing under Michel Guérard in France. He then opened Café Boulud followed by his flagship restaurant Daniel, and then four more casually driven establishments. He has restaurants in Miami, Palm Beach, London, Singapore and Beijing. His six in New York, where he lives, include Daniel, Bar Boulud, Café Boulud, DB Bistro Moderne, DBGB Kitchen & Bar and Bar Pleiades.

 

The Montreal restaurant will be modelled after Café Boulud more than the superhigh end Daniel or the more casual DB Bistro, said Andrew Torriani, the director general of the Ritz. "We want an upscale restaurant," he said, "but it will be the only restaurant in the hotel, so we'll have to deal with ad hoc customer demands as well."

 

The new restaurant is part of a massive reconstruction at the Ritz, which is converting floors to residences; $150 million has been invested so far.

 

Boulud's first foray into Canada was in Vancouver, where he famously took over two restaurants of chef Rob Feenie in 2007. Those restaurants, Lumière and db Bistro Moderne, closed in February. His Las Vegas restaurant, Daniel Boulud Brasserie at the Wynn, closed last summer.

 

 

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Boulud+Ritz+resto+will+lift+competition+chefs/4619441/story.html#ixzz1K4GwSTHK

 

 

 

http://www.montrealgazette.com/Boulud+Ritz+resto+will+lift+competition+chefs/4619441/story.html

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I hope this will bring Montreal a 3-Michelin star restaurant or at least be in the Top 100 San Pellegrino World's Best Restaurants of 2013. I would say 2012, but it wont be open in time for them to review it.

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http://www.cyberpresse.ca/chroniqueurs/marie-claude-lortie/201106/14/01-4408935-un-francais-americain-a-montreal.php

 

Un Français américain à Montréal

 

Lorsqu'il a été question que le chef britannique Gordon Ramsay, réputé autant pour ses étoiles Michelin que pour son attitude de fond de ruelle, s'installe à Montréal, tout le monde est tombé des nues. Lui? À la Rôtisserie Laurier en plus, stéréotype s'il en est un du restaurant de quartier doudou?

En revanche, quand on a appris que le chef franco-new-yorkais Daniel Boulud installerait en janvier 2012 sa nouvelle Maison Boulud à l'hôtel Ritz-Carlton complètement rénové, la nouvelle a atterri en douceur. Boulud, qui incarne le raffinement français façon Amérique du Nord, semblait aller de soi pour la grande institution de la rue Sherbrooke, nappes blanches et mignardises incluses.

 

Une question a toutefois rapidement fait surface: en ouvrant un restaurant de luxe, Boulud va-t-il obliger les autres établissements montréalais à se partager une clientèle pas nécessairement aussi vaste que celle de Paris ou de New York? Ou, au contraire, agrandira-t-il cette base commerciale en attirant à Montréal un nouveau tourisme gastronomique?

 

«Montréal est la plus française des villes américaines, et ça, c'est tout à fait moi. Je sens que je ne serai pas trop perdu», lance le chef, qui était de passage à Montréal le week-end dernier pour le Grand Prix, auquel il assiste religieusement depuis une dizaine d'années. «Je ne me considérerai jamais comme un chef local, mais j'espère faire partie du rayonnement de Montréal.»

 

 

Boulud s'est fait connaître à New York, où il a déménagé il y a 25 ans, en prenant les commandes du Cirque, puis en ouvrant Daniel, triple étoilé Michelin qui fait partie des joyaux de la cité. Ce succès fut suivi de toute une série de restaurants à New York, mais aussi d'établissements qui vont maintenant de Pékin à Palm Beach, en passant par Londres, Miami et Singapour. C'est un acteur international qui ajoute Montréal à cette liste prestigieuse.

 

Selon Boulud, la métropole québécoise a une excellente réputation gastronomique sur la scène internationale et il est très surpris qu'elle ne compte cette année aucun restaurant dans la fameuse liste San Pellegrino des 50 meilleurs établissements du monde du magazine Restaurant. «Il y a énormément de jeunes talents ici... J'ai beaucoup de collègues vignerons de Bourgogne, par exemple, qui sont amoureux du Canada, notamment pour ce qu'on y mange.»

 

Selon lui, c'est une simple question de temps. Et il ne faudra pas attendre longtemps, car il ne manque pas grand-chose pour que Montréal rayonne à sa juste mesure. «Ça va percer», dit-il. Et il compte aider. Notamment, en créant des ponts entre Montréal et New York, si proches, par l'organisation d'activités qui permettront aux chefs montréalais de se faire connaître à Manhattan. L'idée est de susciter l'intérêt, de créer une attention médiatique. De faire parler. Il est tout à fait d'accord avec l'importance de placer la métropole québécoise sur l'échiquier du tourisme gastronomique international, au moyen de listes comme celle du magazine Restaurant, qui peuvent créer une certaine frénésie. «Ça éclaire tout de suite la ville, ça jette une lumière.»

 

* * *

 

Le chef originaire de la campagne lyonnaise a pris pied il y a trois ans à Vancouver, où il a pris la place d'une célébrité locale au restaurant Lumière de Kitsilano. L'hiver dernier, il s'est retiré du projet, qui n'a jamais levé. Ici, à Montréal, peu d'observateurs se sont montrés surpris. Reprendre un restaurant laissé par un chef apprécié, Rob Feenie, sur une côte Ouest culturellement bien différente de New York ou de la France et qui est naturellement plus tournée vers l'Asie, dans un quartier qui n'est pas au coeur des zones touristiques, était un pari presque impossible.

 

Ici, à Montréal, le défi est plus réaliste. Le marché est différent. L'esprit de la ville aussi.

 

Historiquement, la cuisine française, qui est ce que Boulud propose en version moderne, a toujours occupé un créneau important. Aussi, le chef et ses équipes travaillent depuis plusieurs années avec des producteurs québécois. Leur version d'un approvisionnement régional inclut ni plus ni moins le Québec. Ainsi, ils achètent du porc chez Gaspor à Saint-Canut et du foie gras d'un autre producteur d'ici. Et le chef trouve le cerf de Boileau «superbe». De plus, ils travaillent avec des cuisiniers québécois. «On a un bon contingent et ça a toujours bien marché.»

 

Boulud compte en outre plusieurs «copains» à Montréal - dimanche, sur Twitter, il a affiché une photo pleine d'humour de Martin Picard et de lui avec un plat de canard à l'encre de seiche -, dont le chef Normand Laprise et le restaurateur Carlos Ferreira. Il compte sur ces relations pour l'aider à bien s'ancrer dans la culture locale. Car s'il entend attirer des touristes, il entend aussi servir d'abord et avant tout les Montréalais. «Je sais que Montréal ne vit pas que de tourisme, dit-il. Je sais qu'il faut compter sur la communauté. Je sais que je dois apporter quelque chose aux gens d'ici.»

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You're going to open in Montreal? Why Montreal? It's a historical hotel, the Ritz-Carlton. They've gutted the place in the last four years, and they have 130 rooms, so it's a small hotel. The restaurant used to be called Café de Paris—it was famous for being famous but not so famous for the food. That's where Maison Boulud is going to go. What's the concept? I feel I can take dishes and things from Daniel, but mostly Cafe Boulud, DB, and Bar Boulud and take aspects of each one. Upscale casual, but a little more casual than Cafe Bolud.

 

You recently decided to close in Vancouver. When do you know it's time to close a restaurant? In New York, it's my own investment. We build our restaurant based on own earnings and savings. The best partnership is also with hotels, with a management group where there's already a synergy. There, I wanted to make a friend happy and maybe I said yes when maybe I should have said no. Vancouver was very nice but I don't think it was for me. I felt that if the restaurant wasn't profitable, why bother?

 

Boulud Sud just opened. Will there be more Upper West Side projects to come? Non. Three is enough. How about more expansions outside the NYC area? Yes, but not too many. If it's one restaurant every year—I have the staff, support and structure to do that. I just want to make sure I will have a life too. [laughs]

 

We're asking everyone we interview today to pose a question to the next person being interviewed. Danny Meyer had a question for you: Would you ever team up with him and open Danny & Daniel? [laughs] I think so! I have this idea of doing a diner and calling it Paris, Texas. If Danny wants to be my partner, I think we'd do very well. I always felt, in France, we don't have diners, but we do have bouchon, or bistro — depends on the region, but generally, you can hang out all day, and it's for all generations.

 

What would be on this menu, if you did do Paris, Texas? The menu would have two sides. Soup a l'onion on one side, clam chowder on the other. Steak frites on one side, barbecue on the other. In other words, one side is old classic French basics, and the other side is the Americana. [pauses] Maybe that would be good for Queens. [laughter] You want a place where everyone can afford it all day.

 

Also, I want to make sure if we do it with Danny, we open them at same rate as the Shake Shack. [laughter] The magic of a successful expansion — it's the simplicity of its formulas and consistency of its supply. And the control of the quality and all that. He's got it right with Shake Shack.

 

Do you have a question for our next interviewee, José Andrés?

My question to José is: What do you wish for Spanish cuisine to become 20 years from now, and what are you going to do with yourself in America to make that happen?

 

Spanish cuisine has been on a rise, and I think it's not over yet. Like all substantial cuisines, French cuisine — maybe we hit a plateau, but then we find a way up again. I'd like to know about his futuristic vision. It's not so much his expansion plans as vision.

 

Ben Leventhal, from a nearby table: So, chef, what do you wish for French cuisine? To keep communicating and producing inspiration and motivation to young chefs. I think we have the package, the history — you look at the last 300 years, there's a lot to be inspired from. It has to be organized a little bit. Look at Grant [Achatz] in Chicago opening his restaurant Next. It's Escoffier all over again. You know what I mean? Yet he had to recompose it himself.

 

Technique is there, but technique comes from all over the world today. Look at Nathan Myhrvold. The French wish they had a Nathan, somehow, somewhere. But who has the resources? They are getting organized a little more to translate everything that's been done or recorded. I think it's interesting, Nathan's book [Modernist Cuisine], even an inspiration. Although I don't think anyone can cook out of it. [laughter] But still, I am getting a copy for all my chefs.

 

Thanks, chef.

Très bien.

 

(Courtesy of Eater)

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