The Wizard Retools His Lab

David Bouley dreams of engineering a whole different concept of a restaurant.

The famous chef’s eponymous restaurant opened at 165 Duane Street, Tribeca in 1987.  According to Bouley, the restaurant will be going “on sabbatical” and then reopening in a smaller space (planned for Tribeca) with a mission of healthful eating.  The new space will accommodate only 20-25 seats and open five days a week.  The Bouley that New Yorkers have come to know over the past thirty years will be gone in a few months.

In recent years, Mr. Bouley has become obsessed with health issues.  Towards the end of the year, he will engage in a deep study of the relationship between health and food.  He plans to take nutrition classes at New York University and consult with doctors and experts, internationally.

The new restaurant’s mission will be to optimize health.  Tasting menus will be developed to address a variety of dietary restrictions and medical concerns.  “Food should give you calories that you burn off, not calories that you store,” said Mr. Bouley.

David Bouley plans to rejuvenate his restaurants and projects (Bouley, brushstroke, Bouley Test Kitchen and Bouley Botanical) and himself.  He is quoted as saying “Gastronomy and science, meeting together.  I want to learn how to do that better”.

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Trending Now: Chef’s Table Netflix Debut

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Netflix’s newest original programming Chef’s Table debuts today and will showcase six notable chefs, giving viewers a look into their daily lives and their creative process. The series, produced by David Gelb, director of Jiro Dreams of Sushi, devotes an episode to each chef:

  • Ben Shewry – Attica, Australia
  • Magnus Nilsson – Fäviken, Sweden
  • Francis Mallmann – El Restaurante Patagonia Sur, Argentina
  • Niki Nakayama – N/Naka Restaurant, Los Angeles
  • Dan Barber – Blue Hill Restaurant, New York
  • Massimo Bottura – Osteria Francescana, Italy

Each episode is shot in the style of Jiro Dreams of Sushi but follows food from all over the world as Gelb wanted to show the “Planet Earth of Food”. Each chef chosen is very different from one another in hopes that seeing these chef’s stories will make viewers notice and change their perspective of the food currently in their lives.

Chef’s Table will premiere April 26 on Netflix. Watch the trailer below :

Openings: Dominique Ansel Kitchen

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 11.23.31 AMTomorrow, the much-anticipated Dominique Ansel Kitchen will open its doors to the West Village. The Cronut king has taken the industry by storm developing hybrid desserts and he plans to take things to the next level with his newest endeavor. Dominique Ansel Kitchen will be the first of its kind bringing bakery retail together with restaurant service. According to their newly launched website 70% of the menu will be made to order.

Dominique Ansel names time as an ingredient, placing importance on the care and process that goes into each pastry. The bakery vows to offer the “best and most genuine versions of pastries…at the perfect time for you to eat it”. Menu speculation includes chocolate mousse, baba au rhum, beignets, mille-feuille and very buttery lemon tarts that are all prepared a la minute with a one to two minute prep time. Additionally, the bakery will offer savory options including garlic bread croissants and béchamel filled squid ink toasts.

Ansel announced earlier this month that 26-year-old Karys Logue would be his Executive Chef overseeing both Dominique Ansel Kitchen as well as the original Dominique Ansel Bakery. Logue first crossed paths with Ansel when they worked together at Daniel and since she has perfected her skills as sous chef at Café Boulud as well as executive pastry chef at Sepia and Tessa.

Dominique Ansel Kitchen, 137 Seventh Avenue South (10th Street), 212-242-5111, dominiqueanselkitchen.com

Sweetgreen in New Tribeca Location

The second New York outpost of the hotspot Sweetgreen opened Thursday, May 15. The menu is virtually the same as the Nomad location with seasonal and locally sourced salads, rice bowls, and juices. The new space has a small amount of indoor and outdoor seating.

A third Sweetgreen is set to open in Williamsburg this fall.

Location: 413 Greenwich St.                                                                                                                                                                                             Phone: 646-922-8572                                                                                                                                                                                                         Hours:  10:30am – 10pm

Bobby Flay’s Gato to Open Next Month

Bobby Flay’s Spanish/Mediterranean restaurant Gato will open on 324 Lafayette Street in approximately one month. A cat that passed by the first time Flay saw the space inspired the restaurant’s name.

Fine Dining Chefs Joining the Fast Casual Market

Over the past decade, some of the most experienced chefs, who under typical circumstances would only work in fine dining establishments, have expanded their interests to the fast casual sector. Take Chef Bradford Kent, for example. The CIA grad opened Olio Pizzeria & Cafe in Los Angeles, a wood-fired pizza enterprise; however, the thought of serving high-quality pizza to the fortunate few who could afford it did not appeal to him. This triggered Kent to help launch Blaze Pizza, a fast-casual franchise that serves customizable pizzas in two minutes for less than $8. Blaze Pizza is an example of just one of several chef-driven fast-casual concepts to influence the restaurant industry.

Kent claims, “Every chef wants to make a difference and wants people to eat well. There’s nothing cooler for a chef than seeing tens of thousands of people eating their food and blogging about it. It’s way more exciting than making 30 plates per night. This is more important, and most chefs want to be a part of something like that.”

Darren Tristano of Technomic, the leading food-industry research and consulting firm, offers his theory behind the trend, “The reason chefs are going into fast casual is very simple. Opening full-service restaurants is too risky. Fast casual allows chefs the latitude to create better-quality food in an environment convenient to customers and less risky and costly than an upscale restaurant.”

As for franchising, “But while more chefs are making the leap into fast casual, only a few are dipping their toes into franchising. “I think the reason many of them don’t franchise is because they have the finances to grow their businesses independently,” according to Tristano. “They want to keep control over the quality and service. Those are very important to chefs.”

To learn more, visit the original Entrepreneur article.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Upcoming Ventures

Rumor has it that Chef Jean Georges will release a line of prepared food, including jams, under the ABC brand. That’s not all the restaurant magnate has in store— he plans to open a raw and vegan restaurant in the spring.