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Exclusive Interview: French Chef Daniel Boulud Unveils Culinary Delights at Maison Boulud, Singapore

Dive into the culinary world of Maison Boulud with So Chic as we present an exclusive interview with the celebrated Chef Daniel Boulud. Conducted in conjunction with the grand opening of Maison Boulud at Marina Bay Sands, this insightful conversation offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the internationally acclaimed chef’s vision for bringing soulful French cuisine to the heart of Singapore. Explore the synergy of French and Singaporean flavors, Chef Boulud’s culinary influences, and the exquisite artistry that defines his creations. Join us on this gastronomic journey as we celebrate the unique dining experience Maison Boulud Singapore brings to the iconic Marina Bay Sands

Bonjour Chef Daniel, nice to meet you. To begin with, could you tell us a little more about how you started out as a chef?

Hello, it’s a pleasure to be here. Originally I am from Lyon, which is very important to me. I grew up in Lyon and started working in Michelin-starred restaurants at the age of thirteen, first in Lyon, then outside. I was lucky enough to work with big names like Bocuse, Georges Blanc, Roger Vergé and Michel Guérard, the stars of the time with two and three stars. I then broadened my horizons by living in Denmark before moving to the United States almost 40 years ago.
When I arrived in New York, it took me about ten years to make a name for myself and gather the resources I needed to open my first restaurant. And today, I’m lucky enough to have opened 22 of them, mainly in New York, but also in other places.

You chose to go abroad. Why did you take this decision?

I’ve always loved travelling, and as a young chef, I was told that this extraordinary profession would allow me to travel the world while working. This is a natural opportunity for me. But to be a successful traveler, I think it’s essential to bring something new to every place you visit. You have to be well trained and have something to offer. These days, it’s easy to find French cuisine anywhere in the world, so you have to bring something extra.

I’ve been told that this is an extraordinary job, one that would allow me to travel the world while working.
Chef Daniel Boulud

Why did you choose Singapore to open one of your restaurants?

I’d already had the opportunity to visit Singapore some fifteen years ago during a trip. I had already explored other regions in Asia, such as China and Japan, but Singapore was less well known to me. At the same time, I had a restaurant in Las Vegas with a company called Las Vegas Sands. When they started building the Marina Bay Sands here in Singapore, I thought it was the perfect opportunity. So when the Marina Bay Sands was being built, they suggested I open a brasserie, and we decided to add bistros to our offer. That’s how DB Bistrot was born.
On top of that, Singapore has always been a hub for French chefs, attracting talent for decades. Some of the chef I worked with or trained are working here since years ! There are also a lot of French Chefs from other countries that keep coming for festivals or events around French cuisine.

As you said, you first opened DB Bistro, so why did you change it to Maison Boulud?

DB Bistro was doing really well, we had a regular clientele and the restaurant was often full. But we felt that we needed to do something new : renovate, change everything? We weren’t sure. And then we had to move to another location and we found this superb place and we said to ourselves that we were going to do something new. I recruited Chef Remy, who knows Singapore very well and whose cuisine fits in perfectly with my world. And we set about creating this Maison.

Can you tell us about the inspirations behind your restaurant and the creation of your menu. Your cuisine is very French, but are there also specific Singaporean elements in your cooking?

Absolutely. When we created the menu, we were of course inspired by the history of French cuisine, but we also incorporated Singaporean elements. For example, with chef Rémy, who has been here for twelve years, we created a dish with sea bass accompanied by a pepper sauce, which is something we find a lot here. We’ve also worked on crab with squid ink and pepper, which we hope will make for an intense and interesting experience.
What’s more, Chef Remy has a more Mediterranean style of cooking, so we’re also creating flavours that subtly marry Sicily and France with Singapore. The menu is constantly evolving, which is important to me. Certain dishes will remain on the menu for the long term but the aim is also to have a menu that moves and innovates.

Is there a dish on the current menu that you consider to be your favourite?

Personally, I’m particularly fond of soups, salads and simple, tasty dishes. I like fresh food with a balance of flavours and combinations. Right now, I’m particularly fond of our dish of raw marinated fish with Provençal notes, tapenade, pistou and a touch of anchovy, creating a light and refreshing contrast of flavours. I’m always inspired by simple but well-balanced flavours. I like to create dishes that are a pleasure to return to. That’s what I’m trying to achieve here, by offering a cuisine that’s recognisable, balanced and enjoyable.

What are your plans for the future?

If someone told me I could open another restaurant, why not? Maybe yes, but for the moment, we’re very satisfied. We need to launch this new house and that’s always hard work. Because even if we know what we’re doing, we have to get everything up and running and really create this coordination and complicity between the service and the kitchen. It also has to be very functional and the staff have to feel comfortable in it. And it always takes a bit of time to get things working properly.

The entire So Chic team would like to thank Chef Daniel Boulud, Chef Remy and the entire Maison Boulud team for their kindness, their welcome and the wonderful discussion we had with the Chef.

French Shopping, Dining & Lifestyle guide in Singapore