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Daniel Boulud Announces Jim Leiken as New Chef of Cafe Boulud

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On his way out to the annual Aspen Food and Wine Fest, Daniel Boulud flew to Palm Beach to announce chef Zach Bell's replacement at Cafe Boulud.

Chef James "Jim" Leiken of DBGB, Boulud's burger bar in Manhattan, will take over the stoves at Cafe Boulud on July 4.

Word

got around last month that Bell was leaving the restaurant he helped

Boulud open in 2003 in the Brazilian Court Hotel. He'll be taking over

the dining operations at Addison Reserve Country Club in Delray Beach in

August. "I have a chance to completely change the way people think of country club cuisine," he said. He'll also help his spouse, Jennifer, with her Sugar Monkey Bakery over the summer.

Some changes at Cafe Boulud
Boulud says classics (the duo of beef that's so popular) will remain on the menu, but other dishes may change. "I'll be down often to help Jim settle in," he said.

During

a farewell luncheon/news conference, he credited Bell with bringing a

Florida feel to his cuisine while maintaining his standards. "What can I

say? Zach has been great. A successful kitchen is because of a good

leader; Zach has inspired the people who work with him."

Along with menu changes, some refurbishing and bar additions are planned over the summer to Cafe Boulud, he said.

After Aspen, Boulud said he'll undertake a chef-humanitarian mission, flying to Japan for the Fourth of July. He's taking seven New York chefs with him to cook for victims of the tsunami. He and the team will cook in Tokyo and transport the food 150 miles away to be served to 1,000-plus people with help from the rugby team of the village, the Kamishi Seawaves.

"The people need a bright spot; a comfort meal is a good thing," he said. "They have been hurt by tourists and tours canceling, and they're trying to rebuild and recover. A hot meal is a goodwill effort."


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