Daniel Boulud (born March 25, 1955 in Saint-Pierre de Chandieu, France) is a French chef and restaurateur with restaurants in New York City, Palm Beach, and Las Vegas. A former executive chef at Le Cirque, he is best known for his Michelin two-star restaurant, Daniel.
At the tender age of fifteen, Boulud earned his first professional recognition: He was a finalist in France's competition for Best Culinary Apprentice. Boulud trained under Roger Vergé, Georges Blanc and Michel Guérard and worked in Copenhagen before becoming the private chef to the European Commission in Washington, D.C..
Moving to New York City, Boulud opened the Polo Lounge at The Westbury Hotel then Le Régence at the Hotel Plaza Athenée. From 1986 to 1992, he was Executive Chef at Le Cirque. During his tenure, the restaurant became one of the most highly rated in the country. In 1992, Boulud won the James Beard Award for Best Chef of New York City.
Boulud opened Daniel in 1993. It was rated one of the ten best restaurants in the world by the International Herald Tribune. He has been named Chef of the Year by Bon Appétit, and Daniel received Gourmet's Top Table Award, a four-star rating from he New York Times, Wine Spectator's Grand Award, and New York City's top ratings for cuisine, service and decor in the Zagat Survey. Five years later, he relocated the restaurant to larger premises at the former Mayfair Hotel—premises, in fact, which had once housed Le Cirque. The original Daniel was re-launched as Café Boulud. Subsequently, he opened a more casual restaurant in the theater district of Manhattan, dB Bistro Moderne, and a second Café Boulud in Palm Beach, Florida.
According to a front page New York Times Dining Section article (January 18, 2007), Daniel Boulud is defending a lawsuit filed by current and former workers for discriminatory labor practices at his namesake restaurant in Manhattan. Restaurant-worker advocates also show up outside Daniel with a 12- foot inflatable cockroach and sing "We Shall Overcome".