What makes Daniel Boulud’s restaurants different from one another?
None of my restaurants are a cookie-cutter type of restaurant. Café Boulud in New York and Café Boulud Palm Beach are different. There’s definitely a strong connection among all the restaurants, and that connection is the food we develop. Palm Beach and Toronto are very far away, so you can’t have the same state of mind in creating a menu for both of them. Yet they are both Café Boulud in their standard of quality and complexity of food, quality of service, quality of setting, expectation and all that.
For example, Café Boulud Toronto at the new Four Seasons is similar to what Café Boulud New York is in the sense of the menu with the four different sections: La Tradition, La Saison, Le Potager, Le Voyage. So we’ll have the menu divided that way, but in Le Voyage, we do more of a Mediterranean journey. The general manager of the Four Seasons is Greek. For the opening of the Four Seasons Toronto, we did a Mediterranean menu in homage to the general manager. The menu will keep changing as the seasons change, and we build a certain comfort with suppliers and comfort with customers. I think what’s important is to make sure we don’t print the menu in New York, send it to Toronto and say that’s it. We organically work very hard at making sure we keep tweaking the menu, which will be very market-driven like many of my menus.