Legendary Chef David Bouley Has Died at 70

David Bouley, a legendary chef who significantly influenced New York fine dining, has passed away at the age of 70. His wife, Nicole Bartelme, confirmed that the cause of death was a heart attack. The city’s restaurant community has been commemorating his life since the news broke on Tuesday. Bouley is a giant of New York restaurants, having coaxed French nouvelle cuisine toward a new direction for American fine dining and helped pave the way for the farm-to-table movement. His first spot was Montrachet in 1985 in Tribeca, which earned three stars from the New York Times. Bouley, which ran from the late 1980s to 2017, earned Best Restaurant and Best Chef awards from the James Beard Foundation.

Bouley’s embrace of Japanese cooking led him to transform his restaurant, Danube, into Brushstroke in 2011, in partnership with Osaka’s Tsuji Culinary Institute in Tribeca. Later, it became Ichimura, under the leadership of Eiji Ichimura. In 2017, Bouley opened Bouley at Home in the Flatiron district, his tasting menu restaurant that focused on health and nutrition. Other nutrition-focused projects include The Chef and The Doctor series on YouTube.

Bouley was renowned for his mentorship, with chefs from the Bouley kitchen going on to open Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Le Bernardin, Annisa, Milk Bar, and more. He has also inspired a new generation of chefs. Chef Nick Curtola of Brooklyn’s Four Horsemen moved to New York to be around chefs like Bouley who have shaped dining in America. Bouley was born in 1953 in Storrs, Connecticut, and his French heritage helped shape his appreciation for fine ingredients and cooking.

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