Daniel Boulud sits in his miniature office cantilevered over the kitchen at his restaurant Daniel. He calls it "the sky box," and we've mounted a steep, narrow metal ladder to get here. A window reveals the cooks at work below, but you can't hear a thing: the room is soundproof.
The restaurant is below street level: It’s noisy and hot. Sit in the windowless back room and you can feel for the chefs in the heat of the kitchen, especially the older guy, wearing spectacles and hard at work.
Boulud Sud, a Lincoln Center restaurant dedicated to the olive-infused fare of Southern France, serves one of New York’s finest Wagyu steaks, a Japanese-style cut of beef that has nothing to do with le Midi.
Chef Daniel Boulud still remembers the unique smokiness when he took his first sip of scotch at age 12. “Not many liquors are as interesting and complex as whisky,” he says, recalling the decadent, charming countess who gave him a taste when he delivered goat cheese from his family’s farm in France.