David Bouley

Chef, Restaurateur

New York

Star chef and restaurateur David Bouley has captivated diners and dominated Manhattan’s Tribeca restaurant scene since the 1980s. After growing up in Connecticut, Bouley began his career in Santa Fe, then moved to Los Angeles and finally to France, working with powerhouse chefs like Roger Vergé and Michel Richard. In 1985, Bouley opened the acclaimed Montrachet, a French restaurant in Tribeca, with restaurateur Drew Nieporent. Bouley left shortly after to open Bouley, his eponymous, fine-dining French restaurant. Soon celebrities, food critics and traveling foodies flooded Bouley as it evolved into a New York institution. His latest venture is Brushstroke, a collaboration with Tsuji Culinary Institute, Japan’s top culinary school in Osaka. The restaurant specializes in kaiseki, a type Japanese cuisine with small courses and seasonal ingredients. 

  • On December 4, 2014
    Jarrod Long is now following David Bouley
  • On April 3, 2013
    steven olson is now following David Bouley
  • On November 2, 2012
    David Bouley answered the question: David Bouley

    What are David Bouley’s favorite New York hotels?

    We just did some work in my apartment so I stayed at the Mondrian on 9 Crosby Street. I was up in the top of that building. It’s like 25 floors, and you’re right in Soho so you see both rivers, you see all downtown and you see uptown. They have a really beautiful greenhouse bar and restaurant. It’s on an old block that hasn’t changed outside at all — it looks like it probably did 150, 200 years ago. And it’s at the beginning of a one-way street so it’s hard to get to, but it’s really cool.
  • On November 2, 2012
    David Bouley answered the question: David Bouley

    What are David Bouley’s favorite things to do in New York?

    I look for events in Central Park. They have spectacular events and most of them are free. Visitors should go to some of the centers of different cultures. You can go to the Japan Society center and see exhibitions by Japanese artists. Just look around for all the different centers, because no city has the melting pots or connections to homelands like New York City.
     
    There’s always something happening on Broadway. And visitors get excited about seeing live music in small venues. There’s a place called the City Winery, and they bring in musicians, both old talent and young new talent. The Beacon Theatre is also great — some nights you might find someone like the harpist from Burgundy there or you might find Eric Clapton playing there.
     
    If someone wants a great Guinness, send him to The Ear Inn. It’s about 120-something years old down in Tribeca. Nobody has Guinness like this place. They must clean their tanks and their tubing once a week, which most people don’t. And they sell an incredible amount of Guinness. It’s really local and very, very old. The ceiling looks like it’s going to fall on your head. It’s got a lot of history. It was a brothel for a while for sailors in the 1800s, and then it became what it is it today.
     
    There are always great things happening on the 92nd Street Y, and then they opened down in Tribeca as well. There’s also the Zen Center, which always has interesting things happening — dance, yoga, presentations, music.
  • On November 2, 2012
    David Bouley answered the question: David Bouley

    What is the best trip David Bouley has ever taken?

    I was cooking for the royal family in Bangkok, and they organized for me to travel to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand and spend a week there with artists. I was going to places where they build plates, carve wood, make the silks and age stone. This was the first time I felt the feeling that I get when I’m in the South of France — just so relaxed. The smell of everything — the rosemary, the thyme, the sun — it’s just such a beautiful place. And that’s how Chiang Mai made me feel. So I had an amazing time.
  • On November 2, 2012
    David Bouley answered the question: David Bouley

    What are David Bouley’s favorite restaurants?

    Kahala in Osaka. It has only eight seats. The chef is someone that has a sort of Western European hand in his Japanese-style cooking. I also love Kitcho in Kyoto. And then in France, I love L’Astrance and Pierre Gagnaire. I also like La Bigarrade — these guys are doing some of the best food at unbelievably low prices. It only has 21 seats, and it’s amazing. It’s in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, which is going through a little bit like a transformation like Soho, Tribeca or Brooklyn went through.
     
    I love Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain. The chef is a dear friend. Everyone I send there comes back with big smiles. His daughter is taking over now, but it is still a very beautiful restaurant with very unique cooking with a very homey feeling. We find it a hard place to leave.
  • On November 2, 2012
    David Bouley answered the question: David Bouley

    What are David Bouley’s favorite hotels?

    In Paris, when I want to celebrate, I love Le Bristol Hotel — if I’m there on vacation. The Hyatt Regency in Kyoto is a great place.
     
    I used to stay at places like Hotel Costes. But now it is too busy. I usually I try to find hotels that are just on the edge of opening and go there before the crowds. Ones that are prolific and personal but quiet. I love Le Bristol because the hotel could be full and you’ll never see anyone there. Now they have a really wonderful spa — La Prairie is a very ambitious spa.
  • On November 2, 2012
    David Bouley answered the question: David Bouley

    What are David Bouley's favorite cities to visit?

    Kyoto is definitely one. Paris is another one. These are cities that I have a lot of friends in, for years and years now. I love to visit my friends and see where they are operating and how they are operating.
     
    I also love to eat in these cities; both are great for food, obviously. When I went to France recently, I spent a few days with some farmers. We studied some new products that I’m bringing back to my experimental farm. I’ve met a lot of farmers over the years. I have a lot of French relatives who are kind of tuned into this kind of lifestyle as well.