The French chefs discuss what it's like to stay true to your culinary tradition while embracing local products
French chefs Daniel Boulud and Cyril Lignac sat down with The Daily Meal’s Ali Rosen in the Skybox at Daniel in New York City to discuss how they prepare fantastic French cuisine while traveling around the world and enjoying local cuisine.
When they arrive at a new destination, be it New York City or Tokyo, the chefs study the recipe, make a list of what they need, and then adapt the recipe as needed based on the availability of local ingredients. Most of the time, whether making blue lobster or potato gnocchi, they can make it work.
"We really know how to adapt to a region and to a market," said Boulud, who notes that even making simple substitutions, like using American potatoes instead of French potatoes in potato gnocchi, will affect the taste.
"It’s two different countries, two different continents, but today the culture of French cuisine can go across the world," said Lignac. "Today with agriculture, there are slight differences from one place to another but you re-adapt the recipes."
"If you know how to make a beautiful lobster sauce, it doesn't matter if the lobster is from Australia, from Brittany, from Maine, or from the coast of Japan, I think you’re going to make that beautiful sauce. The cream might vary a little, but it still will be a beautiful dish," said Boulud.
Just don’t expect the exotic ingredients the duo discovers during their journeys to find their way into their classic French cuisine back home in France.
"My cuisine is of my origins. I work with the products that I know and that I love," said Lignac.