Daniel Boulud Soothes Insecure Chicagoans about Windy City’s Culinary Importance


We assume that Milwaukee is working itself into a tizzy over the prospect of Daniel Boulud coming over to cook at the Grain Exchange, run by longtime friend and colleague Paul Bartolotta, on October 22nd. Naturally, this led into an interview with the Chicago Reader, who may have been slighted by the fact that Boulud wasn’t visiting The Greatest American Food City That Ever Was and Ever Shall Be (With the Exception of New York and Maybe Los Angeles, Oh God, Please Say You Like Us).

But Boulud has high regard for the Windy City. No, he’s honest, he does:

Now, in Chicago, probably the only thing we like to hear more than what a New Yorker thinks of us is what a Frenchman thinks of us—
Ha! Well, Chicago is, how shall I say . . . when it comes to cooking, and when it comes to representing America with distinguished talents, Chicago has always been—especially in Europe, and especially around the world, you go back to the days of Jean Banchet. I remember, when I grew up as a young chef, when you’d ask what was the best restaurant in America, and everyone would say, oh, Jean Banchet [Le Français] in Chicago. And today, you ask who is the best chef in America, and everyone will say, oh, Grant Achatz in Chicago. So I think the tradition continues! I am very inspired by Chicago, I am inspired by Paul Kahan, I’m inspired by Grant, I’m inspired by many of the personalities who have done amazing work in Chicago.

Considering how geographically well-represented we are at The Braiser, it’s always a surprise when Chicago gets self-conscious about being, well, Chicago. Cheer up, Chicago! People love you for who you are on the inside. Your gutsy, cheesy, beer-y inside.

[Chicago Reader]

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