The Fine Sea Salt Daniel Boulud Uses For Every Dish

As professional and novice foodies understand in the kitchen and in the real world, the salt of life is actually just "salt." Beyond that, salt is a natural preservative, it dries, cures, promotes caramelization, counteracts bitterness, adds texture, and brings out the colors in certain foods. Basically, salt is nothing short of a Swiss army knife in the kitchen, and the type of salt you choose to work with makes a big difference.

Kosher salt is the most highly processed type of salt, an affordable and consistent factotum. Table salt is the stuff you'll find in a shaker, mainly used for seasoning. But, when world-famous French chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud is whipping up a knockout plate of blanquette de veau or chicken paillard, these aren't the types of salt that he's reaching for. The chef tells Reader's Digest that he uses La Baleine brand fine sea salt as a seasoning for all of his dishes. Sea salt, as its namesake implies, comes from evaporated seawater. Per the La Baleine website, its "[f]ine sea salt is produced by natural crystallization." 

La Baleine is Boulud's favorite for properly seasoned plates

To season with fine sea salt, the chef recommends using just a moderate pinch. One or two fingers' worth should do the trick for most dishes, says Boulud, via Reader's Digest. For larger batches and big cuts of meat, a full-handed four-finger pinch might be in order. Plus, eyeballing measurements minimizes dirty dishes and makes you look like a culinary cowboy — who needs teaspoons when you're a pro like Boulud? 

Despite the fact that, unlike most home cooks, Boulud is crafting dishes for multiple Michelin-starred establishments, he relies on tried-and-true, consistent, uncomplicated meals that foodies can be excited about over and over again. "For me," says Boulud, "the food I like to make is the food I can enjoy all the time anytime. It's not too calculated or technical." And fittingly, few tools are so versatile and utilitarian as sea salt to get the job done.