Here's a video of chef Daniel Boulud talking with Charlie Rose on his eponymous PBS show Monday night. Boulud discusses creating his latest book, Daniel: My French Cuisine and the definition of French cuisine. The conversation also touches on the influence of Ferran Adrià, why Boulud loves New York, who Keller thinks the greatest American chef is (hint: Thomas Keller), and much more:
· On being a Frenchman in New York: "I've been for 3 decades in New York, and I don't think you can take the French out of me. That has been the source of inspiration for me and that has been the cuisine I always practiced."
· On what French cuisine is: "My French cuisine is the application on the ingredients. First, like many other cuisines, French cuisine starts with the ingredients. You have to have impeccable ingredients. Of course you have to the seasoning, it's a balance."
· On the influence of French cuisine: "I think when you see today every country has their own cuisine. I think the foundations of many cuisines are based on French cuisine, especially when you elevate the cuisine to a much more gastronomic and complex experience. Even the greatest chef in Spain, the greatest chefs everywhere will say it. The greatest chef in America, Thomas Keller ... he's also cooking French, but it's his own interpretation."
· On the diversity of influences: "There are many recipes in this book that have nothing to do with the pantry of French cuisine, with the ingredients of French cuisine. When I have abalone from California, and I use spice from India, and I use seasoning from the Middle East (not all in one recipe, but in many recipes) it's the inspiration you bring to that. I have learned that from the '70s in France, where the greatest chefs of France were sort of changing the face of French cuisine a the time. And there was the nouvelle cuisine."
· On opening a restaurant in France: "I would have loved to open a restaurant in France. My tease was that I would put an American chef. If I have a restaurant in France, I would put an American chef there. It's not excluded that I won't do it."
· On America's status in the global culinary community: "In the past, Europe was the country to be asked to open in Asia or other parts of the world. And today they're looking at America."
· On not being in all of his restaurants at every moment: "There's a DNA of Daniel. Even in the most casual restaurant, even in the retail store, I'm very concerned about what we do everyday. The restaurant business is about a team, not about only one individual. Even if you have an individual chef in the kitchen, he cannot touch everything that makes the experience of dining in that restaurant. It's about how well-organized you are, how much you trust team, how much you stay close with them, how much you motivate them, and how much you give them the chance to do the job right ... I've been blessed, I have wonderful people working with me."
· On his home: "I live above the storm. My bedroom is above the kitchen of Daniel. My living room is above the dining room."
· On French wine: "The way French cuisine has been the foundation for many other cuisines, I think France has been the foundation for many other wine countries."
· On wine and food: "I could not think of dining without drinking wine... it's the most magical thing to have a wonderful meal, and it's made to pair with a particular wine. Sometimes the wine comes first."
· On young cooks: "Seasoning and spice is the most difficult thing to teach a young cook ... the cook has to be able to measure with two or three fingers."
· On choosing to live in New York: "Coming to America, and being in New York, I felt I can stay French and I can be an American."
· On Ferran Adrià: "I love him. Spain didn't have the history about food the way France had. Spain had to sort of reinvent itself. And Spain had to create something new for themselves. And I think Ferran Adrià was the leader in looking at food in a whole different way. And I think he has been an amazing inspiration to a new generation of chefs. But at the same time, most of those chefs are still inspired by what Ferran teaches, but are also inspired by what the past teaches as well. And I think it's important to still dig into that."
· On Paul Bocuse: "For me, he is certainly the Pope of French cuisine."