Chef Daniel Boulud’s renowned restaurant delights the senses with elegant ambiance, gracious service and delectable menus in the heart of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. This Relais & Châteaux member’s award winning contemporary French cuisine is inspired by the seasons and accompanied by world class wines. The distinctive setting boasts contemporary furnishings and finishes atop the restaurant’s grand neo classical architecture. DANIEL offers the Bellecour Room for private dining and a warm and welcoming Bar & Lounge where guests enjoy creative cocktails, à la carte dining and sumptuous late night desserts. The restaurant is also a distinctive destination for weddings and rehearsal dinners, and is one of the few Manhattan restaurants to have a coveted two-star Michelin rating.
Raj Vaidya, Head Sommelier
“Rajeev Vaidya is young, knowledgeable and highly motivated to excel as a chef sommelier at DANIEL” says Wine Director Daniel Johnnes, who is responsible for overseeing the wine departments in all the restaurants that make up Bouluds Dinex Group. “Raj’s background and experience have given him the tools to succeed and lead our team of sommeliers at DANIEL. I am excited to welcome him to the Dinex Group family and to work closely with him towards maintaining our wine program as one of the leading programs in the country”.
Raj Vaidya joined DANIEL in the spring of 2009 with an impressive history of experience in fine dining restaurants that boast some of this country’s most celebrated wine lists and wine service. His stellar resume includes positions at restaurants such as New York’s Cru and Per Se, as well as Gary Danko in San Francisco and Seeger’s in Atlanta. In addition, Raj has earned some of the wine worlds most respected diplomas including the Certificate Course of The Sommelier Society of America (2004), the Wine and Spirits Education Trusts Advanced Certificate (2004) and Diploma (2009). Raj also has spent time in California, working with Robert Sinskey Vineyards, a biodynamic estate in Napa. Raj is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and philosophy. He was born in New Jersey but grew up in his family’s native Bombay and in Singapore
Raj attributes his early passion for fine cuisine to his family and their obsession with food and drink. While he began learning about wine well before he was legally permitted to drink in this country, he truly started to refine his knowledge at what he calls his first serious restaurant job, working at New Jersey’s Ryland Inn with a chef who had a natural affinity for pairing food and wine. That early experience has evolved into a particular love of Burgundy and the Rhône Valley, making him right at home working with Chef Daniel Boulud, a Rhône valley native with a love of that region’s wines.
For Karim, the art of conversation comprises more than just a friendly chat. He’s found that stepping back can prove equally helpful in learning about people – a skill that proves invaluable in his role as DANIEL’s Service Director. “Listen more than you speak, and you’ll quickly have a definition of an individual,” Karim says of his ability to discern patrons’ needs.
It is, ironically, his gregarious side that has played a major part in his career path. Following his graduation from the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France, Karim was serving at the Bocuse d’Or international culinary competition when one of his guests turned out to be Chef Jean-Pierre Dubray of the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco. He immediately introduced himself and handed Chef Dubray his resume. A long shot, he thought, but within a couple of months, Karim was on a plane to California to join the Ritz-Carlton team in opening its new location in Half Moon Bay.
The journey marked the Monaco native’s first ever trip to the United States, and Karim’s English proficiency grew as quickly as his restaurants skills. During his four-year tenure at the Ritz-Carlton, Karim moved from the pastry kitchen to management, and by 2005 was General Manager of the stately hotel’s elegant restaurant Navio, working closely with Executive Chef Xavier Salomon. He was then tapped for the GM role at AQUA restaurant in San Francisco with Michelin Starred Chef Laurent Manrique. In 2009, Karim was named general manager of Adour Alain Ducasse at The St. Regis New York with Executive Chef Didier Elena, before moving to London to work at the three Michelin star Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. In 2012 Karim moved back to the world’s culinary epicenter to lead Daniel Boulud’s newest NYC restaurant, the Mediterranean Boulud Sud, as General Manager. In 2014 he moved within the group to Boulud’s three-Michelin star flagship, DANIEL, to assume the position of Service Director.
Pierre Siue, General Manager
In his role at DANIEL, and simply by virtue of his talent for taking care of people, Pierre Siue is the very personification of the gracious host. Youthful good looks and impeccably elegant style are merely the external trappings of a young man imbued with professionalism and polish beyond his years, not to mention a rigor that makes him the master of countless details and a staff of 130 employees.
Born and raised in Paris, Pierre has been an adopted New Yorker since 2001, a year before joining the team at DANIEL. The distinguished restaurateur first trained at illustrious Parisian palace hotels such as Le Bristol and The Ritz. Early on in his career, he also spent a year as Maitre d’ at the Hotel Matignon, the French Prime Minister’s Cabinet, an experience that imbued Pierre with an eye for detail and discretion that would prepare him for his current role.
Pierre’s first home was Paris’s culturally diverse 19th arrondissement, where he lived with his family of French, Vietnamese and Chinese origins. In fact, his Vietnamese grandmother’s restaurant in Paris provided his very first exposure to the world of hospitality – and a talent for making spring rolls, a skill he developed from the age of 8. Years later he would take his first restaurant job at an uncle’s Parisian bistro where he held every position, working his way from the bottom up, from dish washer to waiter, bartender, and eventually manager. But the backyard tree house to which Pierre added a Bar and Lounge may have been the earliest indication that he was headed for a career in restaurants. Pierre began his training officially at the Ecole de Paris des Métiers de la Table and the Lycée Hotelier Auguste Escoffier. Yet he credits his mother’s example when it comes to his work ethic. “As a single mother, she worked tirelessly to raise two children on her own, while holding down two jobs. Yet always found the time to care for others,” explains Pierre, who clearly shares his mother’s selflessness and generosity of spirit.
When Pierre first came to work at DANIEL in New York in June 2001, he knew he had found his new home. He was barely age 23 and would begin as a runner, simply carrying trays from the kitchen. Yet from the start, Daniel Boulud recognized the young man’s refinement and determination, quickly promoting him as he became fluent in English. Pierre became General Manager in 2007 and today sees his work more as a calling than as a job. Despite the many demands of his profession, not to mention a staff who looks to him for his leadership and clients who rely upon his service, Pierre somehow finds time to train for the New York City Marathon and even to raise funds for Camfed, a charity that supports women’s education in Africa. Yet what he finds most rewarding is training young people and watching them grow through the satisfaction that comes with taking pride in being a restaurateur. “DANIEL is far more than a restaurant, and certainly more than just a business. It is a place where we share, inspire and lead,” explains Pierre.
Any great pastry chef knows that baking is as much an accurate science as it is a creative endeavor. Fortunately, DANIEL Executive Pastry Chef Ghaya F. Oliveira has talent to spare in both areas. Ghaya’s first career was not in the kitchen, but as a stock trader in her native Tunisia, but after moving to the United States in 1998, she chose to pursue creative challenges in the kitchen rather than on the trading floor.
Upon graduating from the Culinary Academy and then earning a degree in Restaurant Management from the French Culinary Institute, Ghaya joined Café Boulud in New York in 2001. As a pastry commis, under Executive Pastry Chef Remy Funfrock, Ghaya learned the importance of precision and refined her technique. At Café Boulud, Ghaya was promoted on several occasions, first to Pastry Cook, then to Pastry Sous Chef. She continued to learn from Chef Funfrock, as well as Daniel Boulud’s Corporate Pastry Chef Eric Bertoia. She credits the former with teaching her to cook fruit with delicacy, care and respect for their natural flavors. “I slowly worked my way up,” says Ghaya. “Time didn’t matter because I was so hungry to learn.”
When Chef Daniel Boulud opened Bar Boulud in 2007, he called upon Ghaya to become Executive Pastry Chef. Being responsible for menu development and sourcing ingredients, citing the local farmers’ markets as inspiration. When neighboring Boulud Sud opened in May 2011, Ghaya’s sheer talent and ambition led Boulud to make her the Executive Pastry Chef there, too. At Boulud Sud she debuted her Grapefruit Givré – a whimsical dessert composed of a frozen grapefruit filled with grapefruit sorbet, fresh grapefruit jam, sesame crumble, sesame foam and rose water loukoum, topped with halva ‘hair’– which has received countless press accolades and praises from diners.
In July 2013, Boulud named Ghaya Executive Pastry at his flagship DANIEL. She brings traditional French pastry training, a refined palate, and unexpected flavor combinations, juxtaposed with a sense of playfulness; but above all, she brings an unwavering desire to delight! Her professional approach and talent were recognized by the James Beard Foundation with a 2012 nomination for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” and again in 2015. “Working for Daniel means always reaching for the best,” she says. “It’s knowing how to be classic and modern at the same time.”
Eddy Leroux, Chef de Cuisine
Eddy Leroux’s passion for food began as a schoolboy. Raised in the town of Douai, in northern France close to the Belgian border, he grew up in a diverse neighborhood and attended school with Moroccans, Poles, and other Eastern Europeans. At lunch time, curious about the dishes his classmates brought from home, Eddy began to trade his own meals for theirs, growing to love their more exotically seasoned and spiced cuisines.
At the age of 14, Eddy began formal culinary training and at 18 was a finalist in the national competition for best French apprentice. By 23, Eddy was rapidly working his way up in the kitchens of Paris’s Michelin 3-star restaurant, Lucas Carton. There under chef Alain Senderens, one of the founding fathers of la nouvelle cuisine, Eddy honed his technique and opened his palate to the array of luxurious ingredients at his fingertips. During his five year tenure with Senderens. Eddy took a four-month assignment in Thailand, working as Chef de Cuisine of the renowned Le Normandie in the Oriental Hotel, Bangkok. At Le Normandie. Eddy cooked alongside a visiting cadre of international Michelin-starred chefs, all the while exploring the flavors, spices and produce of Thai cuisine on his days off. Curious to discover more of Asia, Eddy traveled around South Korea and Myanmar before returning once again to Paris and Lucas Carton.
Soon, Eddy’s appetite for adventure enticed him to New York City, where he took the post of Chef de Cuisine under Laurent Gras at the Waldorf Astorles legendary Peacock Alley He spent four years there until one evening in 2002 he cooked for Daniel Boulud’s annual Citymeals-on-Wheels charity gala, assisting an incredible roster of chefs: Guy Savoy, Gordon Ramsey, Eric Ripert and of course Daniel Boulud. Before long, Boulud invited Eddy to join him at DANIEL as Executive Sous Chef. In June 2005, Eddy was promoted to Chef de Cuisine of DANIEL.
Today, Eddy delights in collaborating with Executive Chef Jean-François Bruel and Daniel Boulud on DANIEL’S contemporary, season-driven cuisine. Eddy also collaborated with DANIEL foraging vendor, Tama Matsuoka Wong on the cookbook, Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer’s Market, with 88 Recipes (Clarkson Potter, June 2012).
Jean François Bruel, Executive Chef
Raised on a farm In a small village outside of Lyon, trained under French Master Chefs including Georges Blanc, Paul Haeberlin and Michel Guérard, named Chef at a noteworthy Manhattan restaurant at age 28 – the journey is that of Jean François Bruel, named Executive Chef at DANIEL in 2003. Like his mentor. Daniel Boulud, Jean François has a talent for combining the best of French and American cooking – fusing traditional techniques learned in France with fine international and American ingredients and the open-minded approach and spectrum of tastes New York City inspires.
Jean Françols joined Daniel Boulud in New York in 1996. first spending two years as a “Chef de Partie” at DANIEL. From 1998, He went on to work for three years as first Sous Chef at Café Boulud. In his own words, this taught him to think more “à l’Amércaine” while still preserving his French roots. Next, he was made Executive Chef for the 2001 opening of Daniel Boulud’s Midtown Manhattan db Bistro Moderne, where he became known as equal parts daring New Yorker and Rhóne Valley culinary whiz-kid, not to mention winner of the James Beard Foundations prestigious Rising Star Chef award in 2002.
This pedigree places the Jean François Bruel firmly at the helm of the kitchen of DANIEL, where he leads a team of over 30 cooks and sources the finest ingredients from around the world at a restaurant that has earned four stars from The New York Times, two stars in the Michelin Guide, named #8 on Restaurant Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” and recognized with a prestigious James Beard Award for ‘Outstanding Restaurant’. Each year the latter goes to only one restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard bearer for consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere and service.
Daniel Boulud is Chef-Owner of several award-winning restaurants and the Feast & Fêtes catering company. While he hails from Lyon, France, it is in New York that he has truly mastered the dining scene and is today considered one of America’s leading culinary authorities. Raised on his family’s farm in the village of Saint-Pierre-de-Chandieu, the chef remains inspired by the rhythm of the seasons and menus driven by fine ingredients. Since arriving in the US in 1982, Boulud has become renowned for the contemporary appeal he adds to soulful cooking rooted in French tradition.
Daniel Boulud’s New York City restaurants include his flagship DANIEL (1993), a Michelin starred Relais & Châteaux member; the elegant one Michelin star Café Boulud (1998) with its adjacent cocktail bar, Bar Pleiades; his contemporary Parisian bistro, db bistro moderne (2001); two Upper West Siderestaurant including the charcuterie-centric Bar Boulud (2008) and the Mediterranean themed Boulud Sud (2011). DBGB Kitchen and Bar (2009), situated downtown on the corner of Bowery and Houston, is chef’s relaxed restaurant where the French brasserie meets the American Tavern. Épicerie Boulud (2011), with locations across from Lincoln Center and within The Plaza Food Halls, is an eat-in and take-out market and café, with exquisite homemade and gourmet items from around the world.
Beyond Manhattan the chef has created Café Boulud in Palm Beach (2003) and db bistro moderne in downtown Miami, Florida (2010). Boulud has extended his culinary reach internationally with db bistro moderne at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands (2010), Bar Boulud London (2010) at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Café Boulud at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto (2012), and Maison Boulud at the Ritz-Carlton Montréal (2012). In spring 2014 the Chef returned to Las Vegas and opened db Brasserie in partnership with The Venetian® Las Vegas. Additionally, in September 2014 he opened a second DBGB at downtown Washington D.C.’s CityCenterDC, and Bar Boulud at Boston’s Mandarin Oriental.
Boulud’s culinary accolades include James Beard Foundation awards for “Outstanding Restaurant,” “Outstanding Restaurateur,” “Best Chef, New York City” and “Outstanding Chef of the Year.” He has been named “Chef of the Year” by the Culinary Institute of America and Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government. Restaurant DANIEL has been cited as “one of the ten best restaurants in the world” by the International Herald Tribune, has earned multiple Michelin stars and Wine Spectator’s “Grand Award”. In 2015 the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awarded Boulud its Lifetime Achievement Award for his success as a restaurateur, businessman, and ‘chef who is revered as one of the world’s finest.’ Boulud’s culinary style is reflected in nine cookbooks, including the definitive DANIEL: My French Cuisine (Grand Central Publishing, 2013) and his most recent My Best: Daniel Boulud (Ducasse Books, 2014).
Fabio Raffaelli has traveled the world bartending at Michelin-starred establishments, from Monaco to Mallorca, London, and ultimately New York, the city he now calls home.
After completing hotel school in Milan, where he hails from, Fabio began his professional trajectory with an apprenticeship at Alain Ducasse’s Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. In the years that followed he immersed himself in the trade, traveling to London to work with Salvatore Calabrese at The Lanesborough Hotel’s The Library Bar, to Catalonia to apprentice at the famed El Bulli, and back to London, where he settled at Gordon Ramsay’s at Claridge’s. Throughout he networked and staged tirelessly, learning and perfecting his technique, service style, and approach each step of the way.
In 2009, after four years at Mallorca’s two-Michelin star Tristan Restaurant, Fabio arrived to New York to serve as Head Mixologist at Del Posto. During his time there, Del Post received four stars from The New York Times. In 2013 Fabio joined the bar team at DANIEL, Chef Daniel Boulud’s flagship restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
“There is no better place in the world to be a bartender than in New York,” says Fabio. “The craft is more respected here than anywhere else.” At DANIEL Fabio draws on the foundation of traditional European hospitality, providing the same level of service and excellence to guests at the bar as to those in the dining room. His cocktails are globally inspired, meticulously executed.
Fabio is passionate about art and photography. His photos can be seen @ThePeopleofNewYork.