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Chef Daniel Boulud built empire for the future

By Suzette Laboy

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Feb. 22 2014 8:16 p.m. MST

Chef Daniel Boulud holds a copy of his latest book while speaking to guests at an exclusive lunch and book signing during the South Beach Wine and Food Festival at the db Bistro Moderne restaurant, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Miami. Boulud has an international food empire that includes more than a dozen restaurants and nearly as many cookbooks.

Lynne Sladky, Associated Press

MIAMI — Daniel Boulud's newest venture isn't likely to win him any more Michelin stars. But he doesn't much mind.

That's because his latest project is a baby. The 58-year-old chef and his wife, Kathleen, are expecting their first child, a boy, this spring. Which doesn't mean he won't also be chasing those coveted stars. Because as though a newborn on top of an existing global empire of restaurants isn't enough, he'll also be opening three new eateries this year, and launching a new cookbook, "Daniel: My French Cuisine."

All of which should keep him "motivated for the next 30 years," he said Saturday during an interview at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.

Boulud, one of the world's most respected chefs, has written numerous cookbooks and presides over a fleet of restaurants stretching from New York and Miami to London and Asia. His New York City restaurant Daniel, now 20 years old, holds a coveted three Michelin stars. Which probably isn't the sort of cooking in his near future.

"I might be making baby food soon," he joked, but added that his soon-to-open restaurants mean he won't get much time off after his son's birth. "But that's my life and I think every chef deserves to have a good life. They (chefs) spend all their lives making other people happy and they got to find a way to keep themselves happy, too."

As for the drive to continue opening new restaurants, Boulud says that it is for his family, of course (which also includes a child with a former wife). But it's also for the people who have worked with and for him along the way, "for people who are taking the journey with me and who will continue this journey."

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