Owner/ Executive Chef
David Bouley was born and raised near Storrs, Connecticut. Life on his grandparents’ farm made a lasting impression on him. Inspired by their French heritage, David developed an appreciation for cooking healthful meals using carefully prepared fresh ingredients.
David worked in restaurants from an early age, spending time in Cape Cod, Sante Fe, and eventually France and Switzerland. After studying at the Sorbonne, he had the opportunity to work with some of Europe’s most acclaimed chefs, including Roger Vergé, Paul Bocuse, Joel Robuchon, Gaston Lenôtre, and Frédy Giradet. Having gained that experience, David returned to work in some of New York’s leading restaurants of the time, such as Le Cirque, Le Périgord, and La Côte Basque. He also spent time working as sous chef in a San Francisco restaurant opened by Roger Vergé.
From there, David became chef of Montrachet restaurant when it opened in TriBeCa in 1985. The restaurant quickly drew attention and earned a three-star review in The New York Times.
The Original Bouley: 1987
In 1987 David opened his namesake restaurant in TriBeCa, lower Manhattan. Bouley quickly became known as the most notable dining experience in New York and set a new standard for fine dining in America. Among many accolades, Bouley earned a four-star review in The New York Times and received The James Beard Foundation awards for Best Restaurant and Best Chef. From 1991 through its close in 1996, Bouley received the number one ranking in both food and popularity in the Zagat Survey of New York City Restaurants. Bouley has the distinction of being the first restaurant in the Zagat Guide to achieve a food rating of 29 (out of a possible 30). Upon closing Bouley restaurant in 1996, David sought to realize his culinary vision of bringing high quality products to an expanded audience.
The opening of Bouley Bakery on the corner of West Broadway and Duane Streets opened in 1999 earning four stars by The New York Times and two Michelin stars before it changed locations in 2008 and was renamed Bouley restaurant. His other restaurant Danube also received two Michelin stars. The Danube location was transformed into a new entity, called Brushstroke restaurant in 2011.
BOULEY BAKERY AND MARKET, BOULEY FLAGSHIP RESTAURANT: 2008
The Bouley Bakery and Market at the corner of West Broadway and Duane Streets quickly became a community hot spot offering over 500 freshly prepared items to enjoy at home or in the café. Serving bread, pastries, and other baked goods, as well as meat fish and over 50 hot items created on premises. The bakery catered to over 5,000 guests daily.
In November 2008 Bouley shifted away from retail continuing a fine dining experience by moving entities to the Mohawk Building at Duane and Hudson Streets, opposite Bouley’s first namesake restaurant of 1987. Guest continued to be immersed in the scent of fresh apples upon entering the fine dining restaurant, a signature that originated with his first restaurant.
BOULEY CHEF’S PASS & BRUSHSTROKE LAUNCH: 2011
The Chef’s Pass, a private dining room seating 8-12 of Bouley Restaurant, allowed David to demonstrate firsthand how he assembles his dishes. The Chef’s Pass also provided him the opportunity to introduce his guests via Skype to purveyors and artisanal masters who share his inspiration for the highest standards of flavor for health.
Brushstroke, in collaboration with Tsuji Culinary Institute, opened in April of 2011. Awarded a Michelin Star in its first year and listed in GQ’s list of the ten best restaurants in America, the restaurant maintained the Bouley tradition of sharing, education, and creating dishes for better health. Ichimura at brushstroke 2012-2016, a sushi counter within the restaurant garnered two Michelin stars.
BOULEY BOTANICAL, THE CHEF & THE DOCTOR SERIES IS CREATED: 2013
Launched in 2013, The Chef & The Doctor series is a collaborative lecture and dinner series hosted by Chef Bouley and world renowned doctors and nutritionists. Alternative, preventive and functional medicine are at the core of each presentation. Nutrient dense dishes complement each lecture. Many of the doctors or deans of medical schools that have collaborated in the series, often present their own personal health challenges of which they have healed through whole foods.
Through their presentations, the gastroenterologists, cardiologists, neurologists, and nutritionists allow guests the ability to follow proven and successful blueprints to change their lives by leading with better whole food choices and applications. Lecturing doctors work with Chef Bouley to share and educate him on food choices that have accomplished positive results and success and specific medical practices. The series is ongoing and has drawn attention from the Wall Street Journal, celebrating NY Times Best Seller authors like Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. David Perlmutter.
In 2015, Chef David Bouley received the honorary title of “Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador,” a government award from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for exemplifying the spirit of “Washoku,” meaning “harmony of food” in Japanese. At that time, he was the first non-Japanese recipient of this award. Chef Bouley has intensively studied the health benefits of Japanese cuisine and culture and has tremendous success infusing Japanese cuisine in French technique. That same year, Bouley Restaurant was awarded the “Best Restaurant in the United States” from tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards and placed #14 in the world.
BOULEY New Direction 2017 – Present
In 2017, Chef Bouley received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, “honoris causa” from the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources at the University of Connecticut for his sustained and important accomplishments across his career and leadership in advancing the science and art of gastronomy as a vehicle for optimal health. He also won a lifetime achievement award from Dr. Peter Green, Director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University and a lifetime achievement award from Dr. Barry Smith, President of the Rogosin Institute and Professor of Clinical Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Bouley Test Kitchen & Bouley at Home: Flatiron District
Bouley at Home and Bouley Test Kitchen: 2017-2020
Located in the Flatiron District, Bouley at Home, was designed in collaboration with Bulthaup kitchen design. The comfort and familiarity of “kitchen counters” served as the dining space for Bouley’s signature dishes and expansive wine list. The space provided guests an open arena to learn and execute Chef Bouley’s “building blocks”, to discover which recipes are best for bioavailability.
On hands-on cooking classes with Chefs and Doctors, provided guests a professional experience while using Bulthaup “domestic kitchens”. Simple execution and the power of the Living Pantry were the focus.
Bouley at Home & Test Kitchen, formerly at 31 West 21 Street, close with New York State’s Covid-19/ pandemic mandate March 15th, 2020.
With the focus of research and development for the upcoming book, there are no Bouley venues in operation.
Chef Bouley continues to engage in a deep study of the relationship between health and food. His passion for nutrient dense flavors allow him to research from a palate of ingredients from varied countries. Since the inception of his first restaurant, Bouley has cultivated a direct relationship with farmers, fishermen and growers. He works with over 3,000 purveyors to receive the best seasonal ingredients for optimal health. His research spans to the blue zones of Japan, wild and forged items from the United States to Europe. Chef Bouley’s relentless capacity to explore the triggers of bioavailability in food have united him with renowned experts.
2023 In Progress: Bouley at Home: Living Pantry Book Launch 2024
Prior to the pandemic, Chef Bouley experienced a class within the Harvard Executive MBA program as a visitor and found it compelling. He believes that this environment will guide solutions to redefine the business machine that is our national food system.
Part of solving the solution to better health involves tailoring guests’ menus to their specific needs optimizing the healing power of food. Supreme culinary excellence through ingredients and techniques are the focus. The true value lies in educating the diner. Why and what one chooses to eat. How individuals can employ ‘Bouley’ choices into their lifestyle outside the restaurant to learn how to use ‘Building Blocks’ for unbreakable health. Chef Bouley looks forward to sharing his new book Bouley at Home Living Pantry via Flatiron Press 2024.