What Daniel Boulud Loves About Lyon's Food Scene

Since arriving in New York City in the 1980s, chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud has made a name for himself as one of America's leading culinary voices (via Star Chefs). In addition to receiving numerous accolades – Michelin recognition, James Beard Foundation awards, Culinary Institute of America's Chef of the Year — Boulud owns restaurants all over the world (per Maison Boulud). Most of his restaurants, including Manhattan-based Daniel, simmer in the French tradition, delighting visitors with exquisitely prepared meals and top-notch service.

Boulud has been described as one who "embodies, for many North Americans, French gastronomy, or even gastronomy, period" (via France24). Yet though he made his name in America, his roots are still in France — specifically, his hometown Lyon.

"When I was young, I used to help my father sell what we were producing at the farmers' market along [Lyon's] river Rhone," Boulud told the New York Post.

The taste of hometown flavor

Lyon is one of France's most underrated places and is a city known for food, according to Frommer's. Dubbed the "Gastronomic Capital of th World," the culinary scene in Lyon is famous for good reason: fruit-forward wines to start meals, reductions of white wine and vinegar, soft-ripened cheeses, onions sautéed in butter, and meats perfectly cured and seasoned (per Cellar Tours). In My Lyon, Boulud describes Lyon's cuisine as "hearty, satisfying and created to pair exceedingly well with the region's many wonderful wines." It's enough to make anyone nostalgic.

In an interview with Departures Boulud said, "In Paris there is a lot of talent ... But in Lyon, there is a lot of soul. There's a very soulful thing about the food in Lyon, which I think is captured there better than in other cities." But perhaps, as indicated on his website, Lyon reminds Boulud of his first kitchen experiences, when as a 14-year-old boy, he began working under the watchful eye of Chef Gerard Nandron. Some memories are destined to stay.