Destination Golf - August 2017 * - Page 43

Sebonack Clubhouse under the great Chef Alain Ducasse at Le Louis XV for a year. He was very intimidating and, as a stagiaire, I never talked to him much. Even as well-known a Chef as he is, he would walk through the kitchen to see if everything was going well with each chef, and we had to speak to him in French. Everything was done meticulously perfect. It was an eye-opening experience as the Europeans respect the culinary industry better than the Americans. When you work at a place like Le Louis XV, you are certainly well respected. The community respects the business and the man who owns it, which also turns into respect for everyone who works in the restaurant. I also met Chefs Vincent Maillard and Tony Esnault at Le Louis XV. Tony kept to himself a lot, but we hung out after work often. He was a perfectionist and would yell at me if something was too big or too small, but he was a great mentor. It was an exciting time in my career. I learned a lot despite our language challenges because cooking was the common thread. Just to work in a place like that, and see it how it’s meant to be, was incredible. Tell us about your time at Restaurant Daniel. Towards the end of 1998, Chef Daniel Boulud was in Monaco having dinner in our restaurant and came into the kitchen. As he walked through the kitchen, he recognized me. I did my externship for school at the original restaurant Daniel where Café Boulud is today. During my externship, I had the opportunity to experience my first New York Times review. While in school, I was doing countless hours of prep work and was given a job to prepare canapés. So as the final night came for the review, the New York Times reviewers came in and sat down. Chef Daniel was alerted to their arrival, and he ran off to get his notebook, as he kept track of what they had in the past, and he never wanted to repeat himself. He is that dedicated a chef! As he ran up to his office, I received the ticket for VIP canapés. Not giving too much thought, I quickly started filling the ticket. Just as the waiter walked out of the kitchen, Chef Daniel comes ripping out of his office yelling, “OK, WHAT TYPE OF CANAPES WILL WE SEND?” My heart sank as I told him that they went out to their table already. Needless to say, Chef Daniel was not very happy (He said it in the only way a Chef can say it). To my saving grace, he was awarded four stars from the New York Times, and there was even a mention of the tasty canapés that arrived swiftly and hot! Later that day in Monaco, he came up to me and offered me a position at his new restaurant in New York. I was ecstatic! I headed back to New York to work with Daniel Boulud at the new restaurant Daniel. I was part of the opening crew and was actually prepping for mock services while construction wheelbarrows were coming through. During my time there I was able to work on the first induction unit installed in a kitchen. It was really difficult to get the hang of it since it heated up pans in seconds and boiled water in mere minutes. I learned how to cook fast, and I honed in on my pasta rolling skills, as the different pasta shapes and kinds of ravioli were made from scratch. I fell in love with that art, and I worked at Daniel for a little over two years until after the millennium. It sounds like your Dad is an interesting man and was a big influence in your life. My dad Joseph lives in Garden City, New York in the same house I grew up in with my two sisters. My father worked in the hotel industry for over 30 years and was the CEO of Leading Hotels of the World before he retired. Without him, I would not have had Volume 3 • Issue 40 43