You'll Never See Daniel Boulud Skipping Dessert

Quoth designer Charles Eames: "Take your pleasure seriously." Even the founder of business-focused Forbes magazine aptly noted, "Work is the meat of life, pleasure the dessert." That's why helps to have a roundup of dessert recipes in your life. The magnanimity of a good time is no laughing matter (unless, of course, you're laughing all the way), and "dessert" dictates its own cookbook section for a reason: It isn't optional — at least, according to fine-dining superstar Daniel Boulud.

From his Boulud's famous roast chicken to tomato tartare, the chef has a tip for elevating any meal to the next level. But, he appreciates the non-food aspects of the dining experience, as well. He even turns his restaurants into galleries of curated paintings that Boulud selects himself. In short, the chef recognizes the importance of pleasure, and you'll never see him skipping dessert.

As he tells Reader's Digest, "It's not a real celebration unless it's capped with a sinful combination of chocolate and whipped cream." The chef waxes poetic in an interview with PBS: "A meal is a crescendo. A crescendo would not be complete without dessert. The last impression, I think you want to leave a long, lingering, sort of dreamy feel of the end of a meal." In fact, to Boulud, dessert isn't just a sweet treat or a digestif: It's music.

Time to taste the music, says Boulud

If food is music to Daniel Boulud's ears, dessert might sound like a sweet symphony. The chef tells PBS. "In cooking, yes, it's a little bit more like jazz ... you can be spontaneous. With pastry, it, I think, goes a little bit more like classical music. The repertoire is set, and it's a question of just creating the layers of intensity." Indeed, even for a chef of Boulud's caliber, there are specific techniques that must be followed in order to achieve a successful dessert.

Even so, Boulud discourages foodies from getting hung up on any sort of rule-following. Ultimately, the joy of food is about pleasure, especially when it comes to dessert. "You have to eat dessert with moderation, but I think it's important to continue to keep yourself and your soul happy with a bit of sweetness. And I'm having chocolate every night at home," says the chef.

When Daniel Boulud makes dessert, he's often whipping up French-inspired treats like traditional baba au rhum with pistachio whipped cream. The chef is also a fan of plum clafoutis and classic tarte tatin. Take a cue from Boulud and go all-out with your dessert. Enjoy it with a glass of complementary wine like Sauternes or Eiswein. For more savory palettes: Chenin Blanc and a slice of aged gouda or Rogue River Blue cheese.