TORONTO — A week after news leaked that Daniel Boulud will be helming Four Seasons’ new restaurant, Cafe Boulud, when it opens next July, the luxury chain held a cocktail reception to introduce the iconic chef to the Toronto community.“There is no better way to celebrate Four Seasons 50th anniversary than by building a new hotel to serve as the company’s flagship,” said Guy Rigby, vice-president, F&B, the Americas, Four Seasons, upon welcoming the renowned toque to Toronto.
“Hotel dining has typically been high-end,” Rigby continued, “but it began changing a few years ago. Hotel restaurants now have to be fun and casual but still offer great food.”
The idea to partner with Boulud was born about three years ago during a trip to New York. “I really thought we needed something unique and special in our flagship hotel. I drew inspiration from New York, where I’ve dined in every one of chef Boulud’s restaurants. His food is unbelievable,” said Rigby. “His restaurants feature fantastic food, great vibe and servers who are unbelievably knowledgeable. It just seemed very natural that we would do a partnership with Daniel Boulud’s company.”
Echoing Rigby’s comments, Dimitrios Zarikos, regional vice-president and GM of the Four Seasons, called Boulud “the master of New York City.” With the Four Seasons headquartered in Toronto, Zaritos said the construction of the new hotel is momentous. “For us to open a hotel in Toronto is not like opening any other hotel,” he said. The 259-room property, on Scollard, near Bay and Yorkville, will feature 210 residences as well as a spa, an all-day restaurant and a casual lounge/bar, also helmed by Boulud, called D Bar.
For the Lyon, France-born chef, partnering with Four Seasons made sense. “Toronto is as urban and vibrant as New York,” Boulud told the crowd. “Cafe Boulud will be a local bistro where people will spend time and gather.” The affable Boulud wants to create a casual restaurant that marries his French background with other cuisines. “It’s a great opportunity to motivate and stimulate my chefs,” he said.