Birthday Indulgence With Chef Daniel Boulud

I’m terribly far behind my backlog of blog entries with the madness at the factory, but had one of the best birthdays I could ask for.

BJ Foodies, one of my best friends here in Beijing organised a surprise jiaozi (dumplings) making party for me. All I really wanted was to have humble, honest to goodness jiaozi with no frills. She gathered my friends and put us in a Chinese cooking class that began with a Chinese powerpoint slide of the history of jiaozi!

Here’s evidence of the fun we had making dumplings from scratch! Brent, my professional dumpling maker friend also turned up and wowed us away with his skills, the rest of us started making jiaozi foetuses (me) and BJ Foodies made me a birthday calzone of a jiaozi.



Click here for more photos.

I also had the most awesome chocolate cake ever—a gift from executive chef Bernhard of Shangri la—all chocolate and ganache with giant honey coated strawberries. I’m sure you can imagine how great it tasted just by looking at this… a giant log cake for the occasion.. just like Christmas.

The day after, I went to Maison Boulud, spoilt by chef Daniel Boulud himself behind the stove and got offered a wonderful glass of 1962 vintage dessert wine that tasted completely out of this world.


Sweetest gift ever, a present handmade by chef Jordi of Agua Beijing. I suppose that’s what I looked like when I donned chef whites and a hat when I was helping out in his kitchen, cleaning king scallops and learning how to roast a sucking pig…

I’m going to stop here because I’ll start to sound annoyingly self indulgent. Possibly the best birthday ever. It’s nice being 28 and I haven’t been this happy in a long time. No more advertising bullshit, no more wankers and no more lies.

So, here is part of the six course tasting menu we did at Maison Boulud… my camera battery died halfway through dinner.



These locally made paté was great, but I found the presentation a little uninspiring, even depressing.

Smoked with Red Lentils and Spiced Yogurt
Lettuce Wrapped Tartare with Meyer Lemon

This was the only course I wasn’t sure about. I am pretty sure the spice was cumin and my palate couldn’t reconcile cumin with yellowtail.

Served with a Variation of Cauliflower and Saffron Mussel Cream

My absolute favourite dish—it was a combination of all textures and elements, from land to air to sea.


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