Oct 17, 2011

Chef Daniel Boulud in Montreal: gala dinner with Ritz-Carlton's top brass in attendance

Chef Daniel Boulud (at left) with Carlos Ferreira, who was the honoree of Saturday night's gala
by Alexandra Forbes

Elvis has left the building.

Or rather: Daniel Boulud has left town after a flash visit. He flew in Saturday afternoon from L.A. to cook at a posh benefit dinner on Saturday night. I won't bore you with the details, as the dishes and grand wines served there won't be seen again anytime soon. Suffice to say there were three highlights, the first being the halibut with a squid ink 'marmelade' and topped by perfectly crisp chips, prepared by Gilles Herzog of F! Bar, which tasted much better than this bad photo may lead you to believe:

The second highlight was the gorgeously dense and silky terrine of foie gras served by Olivier de Montigny of La Chronique:

And the third, of course, was the main dish, prepared by Daniel Boulud's brigade: venison with cubes of root vegetables and sauce poivrade. Here is one of his chefs, testing the cuisson of the venison loins. I forgot to snap a photo of the finished dish as I was having too much fun watching the team at work in the kitchen. I love to see chef Boulud pull a team together, as he firmly but cooly bosses everyone around like an orchestra conductor.

I was lucky to be seated with very interesting people. There were the bosses of the Dinex group (which owns Boulud's flagship, Daniel restaurant, and all their other restaurants around the world). And there were the lovely mr. and mrs. Andrew Torriani, who are behind the refurbishing of the Ritz-Carlton hotel. The Torrianis have enlisted none other than Boulud himself to run the new restaurant of the Ritz once it reopens, so needless to say I had lots of questions for them... :)

Oh yes.... how could I forget... there was a dessert by famed pâtissier Christophe Michalak, of the Plaza Athenée hotel in Paris, even though the man himself ended up not coming to Montreal. The chocolate square had round holes through which a delicious nutty foam surfaced to the top as I put pressure on it with my fork. Delish.

Andrew Torriani, CEO of Montreal's Ritz-Carlton, and chef Daniel Boulud
And for those who haven't seen it yet, here's the video where I interview chef Daniel Boulud at Montreal's Ritz-Carlton about his upcoming restaurant, slated to open in March, 2012 at the hotel.

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