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Chats / Chef Daniel Rose of Le Coucou

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After opening two wildly successful restaurants in Paris and writing a cookbook, Chicago-native Chef Daniel Rose opened his first U.S. restaurant in Manhattan this year at 11 Howard. Partnering with restauranteur Stephen Starr, Chef Daniel’s new hot spot, Le Coucou, boasts upscale French cuisine in a stunning, chandelier-studded space. We chatted with Chef about Le Coucou, his global career, where he likes to eat and his insider guide to Paris.

New York Culinary Experience Private Dinner Featuring Chefs David Bouley, Daniel Rose, And David Waltuck Hosted By New York Magazine Culinary Editor Gillian Duffy

Chef Daniel Rose’s food melds the tradition of classic French cuisine with a contemporary, personal approach to seasonal ingredients. His first restaurant, SPRING, at which he is Chef and Owner, has been at the forefront of the Paris and international dining scene since opening its first 16-seat location in 2006. A Chicago-native, Daniel Rose landed in France to study at The American University of Paris. Rose cooked for some the world’s most esteemed Michelin 3-star restaurants and chefs. He traces his turning point from cook to chef to a life-changing year spent in Panajachel, Guatemala in 2003 – Rose’s first experience as a Head Chef, running a kitchen and managing a team. Following that experience, Rose moved back to Paris in 2004, joining the restaurant team at the five-star Hotel Meurice. In 2006, the first iteration of Spring was born.

By July 2010, Spring’s 5-month waiting list became the impetus for a move to a larger space near the Louvre in the lively Les Halles neighborhood. Hailed by food critics as a next-generation leader in French cuisine, Rose has created a restaurant that’s relaxed, welcoming and produces high caliber, careful French cooking. 

In September 2015, Rose opened La Bourse et La Vie, a traditional “Bistrot du Quartier,” to rave reviews domestically and abroad. Rose’s first foray into a la carte dining in the Paris market offers guests the epitome of French gourmandise – the highest quality ingredients, excellence in the kitchen, abundance, generosity, and of course, a respect for tradition.

In June 2016, Rose teamed up with Stephen Starr to open his first Manhattan restaurant, Le Coucou.

daniel rose- restaurant spring paris

You released a cookbook in 2013, named after your successful restaurant, SPRING. Tell us about it.

My first book gives readers a glimpse into the restaurant’s creative process–the ingredients, experiences, and nearly 200 recipes that have made Spring Restaurant and its classically trained American chef a sensation – in the kitchen and out. Up close and personal, the book is rich with humorous asides and anecdotes about [my] early years in France that launched [my] flavorful career as well as coworkers and customers that have fed his success as an entrepreneur and cook. Unpretentious and whimsical, the book is illustrated with [my] primitive drawings and features a “review” by [my] former sous-chef, now wife!

SPRING will give readers insight into the tools, tips, and tricks used at the restaurant to turn out tantalizing French dishes with confidence. Divided by season, SPRING is a sampling of [my] favorite recipes: Scallops, Browned Cabbage, Smoked Chestnut and Buttered Chicken Broth for winter; Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder, Almond Puree for spring; Bouillabaisse for a Crowd for summer; and Duckling with Dried Apricots Stuffed with Duckling Confit for autumn. The also book offers basic recipes for stocks, sauces and vinaigrettes as well as some of Spring Restaurant’s seasonal classics including the Lobster Roll and Goose-Fat French Fries.

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What made you want to open a restaurant in NYC?

It was time for a new challenge.  I have always thrived when I am challenged the most!  I really wanted to share a new experience with my family as well.

What’s the most exciting part about opening?

Seeing our New York customers in their home city, and creating a new team and a new menu in a new city.

What should we order at Le Coucou?

There is no perfect order at Le Coucou. We have guests who come to celebrate a major occasion and for a quick bite after work. We like to think that we can satisfy each of these types of diners equally well. Many guests share a few hors d’oeuvres for the table, split a few gourmandizes, each have an entrée, share a cheese plate and then some desserts but one can also get a few small plates and a glass of wine for a lighter meal.

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Name your 3 favorite restaurants in NYC.

Porter House New York, Great New York Noodle Town and Raoul’s.

…and cocktail bars?

I don’t go to bars often and I usually go to restaurants with bars so that I can get a delicious bite. My favorites are Upland and Ed’s Lobster Bar. However, I recently went to Amor y Amargo and liked it a lot.

Do you have a go-to drink?

Yes, an Archangel [muddled cucumber, gin, and Aperol].

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What does your favorite day in NYC look like?

Visiting the Museum of Natural History and a picnic in Central Park with my wife and children.

What are your favorite destinations to travel to?

Vézelay, France and the villages surrounding: I love visiting for peace and quiet and for quality time with my family.

Chicago: my childhood home, my family, the city’s wonderful people, incredible restaurants and old friends.

Berlin: Its close proximity to Paris. There is a completely different energy in the city ranging from the architecture, to the art to the food culture.

Any cities you’re dying to go?

Melbourne, Australia: I’ve heard it is a very European city on a continent far away, and I find that intriguing. All the people I’ve met from there are wonderful.

Cape Town, South Africa: I have always been intrigued by cities by the ocean at the end of the earth, and this is one very foreign to me.

If you weren’t a chef, you’d be what?

An architect.
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Daniel’s Guide to Paris:

FAVORITE UPSCALE RESTAURANT:

Pierre Gagnaire. It is classic, eccentric, joyful.

FAVORITE UPSCALE RESTAURANT:

Chez Denise. It is eccentric and delicious.

FAVORITE COCKTAIL BAR:

Le Bristol. It is elegant, intimate, and has excellent service. Perfect in every way.

FAVORITE weekend GETAWAY:

Burgundy. It is peaceful and a place where I get to spend quality time with my family.

FAVORITE CULTURAL ACTIVITY:

Musee des Arts Decoratifs. Off the beaten path and a nostalgic look at Paris’ hidden treasures

FAVORITE PARISIAN NEIGHBORHOOD:

Sentier 2e. Culture and commerce coming together. A mix of history in a very central Paris location.

FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP:

Telescope. Excellent coffee, intimate setting without a creepy coffee obsession.

FAVORITE HOTEL:

Le Meurice. Amazing proximity and view of the Tuileries. Fantastic people watching. Close to everything in Paris. Love the bar, Dali and the fact that my kids get to enjoy Angelina right downstairs.

Le Coucou - Poireaux [Leeks] 01

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Contact your lifestyle curator for reservations at Le Coucou.