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 two-Michelin star flagship, DANIEL, to assume the position of Service Director.