TORONTO — A week after news leaked that Daniel Boulud will be helming Four Seasons’ new restaurant when it opens next July, the luxury chain held a cocktail reception Oct. 27 to introduce the iconic chef to the Toronto community.
In welcoming the renowned toque to Toronto, Guy Rigby, vice-president, F&B, the Americas, Four Seasons, said “There is no better way to celebrate Four Seasons 50th anniversary than by building a new hotel to serve as the company’s flagship.
“Hotel dining has typically been high-end,” said Rigby, “but it began changing a few years ago, to become more fun and casual. Hotel restaurants now have to be fun and casual but still offer great food. They have to be relevant, fun, and busy so it can connect to the community.”
Rigby told the audience of special guests and media that the idea to partner with Boulud was born about three years ago during one of his many visits to New York. “I really thought we needed something unique and special in our flagship hotel. I drew inspiration from New York, where I’ve dined in every one of chef Boulud’s restaurants. His food is unbelievable. His restaurants feature fantastic food, great vibe, and servers who are unbelievably knowledgeable. It just seemed very natural that we would do a partnership with Daniel Boulud’s company.”
Echoing Rigby’s comments, Dimitrios Zarikos, Regional V.P and GM of the Four Seasons called Boulud “the master of New York City.” With the Four Seasons headquartered in Toronto, Zarikos said the construction of the new hotel, which is scheduled to open next July, is momentous. “For us to open a hotel in Toronto is not like opening any other hotels,” he said, referring to the company being headquartered in the city. The 259-room hotel, located on Scollard, near Bay and Yorkville, will also feature 210 residences, as well as a spa, an all-day restaurant and a casual lounge/bar, also directed by Boulud, called D Bar.
For the Lyon-born chef, partnering with Four Seasons was an opportunity to be involved with one of the world’s best-known brands. “Toronto is as urban and vibrant as New York,” said Boulud to the crowd. “Cafe Boulud will be a local bistro where people will spend time and gather.” The affable Boulud says he wants to “create a restaurant that is casual and marries his French background, while still inspired by other cuisines. “It’s a great opportunity to motivate and stimulate my chefs with this menu,” said Boulud.