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Vollrath Tomato Pro Cutter Straight Blades 1/4 - 0644N

Tablecraft Firm Grip Grater And Zester - E5615

40 Gallon Double Electric Mixer Steam Kettle

Bosch 800 5 Piece Kitchen Appliances Package with French Door Refrigerator and Dishwasher in Black Stainless Steel BORECOWODWRH12028

American Range Legacy 30 Double Gas Wall Oven AROFFG230N

Aero Stainless Steel Work Table w/ Gal. Steel Shelf

BlueStar 30 Double Electric Wall Oven BSDEWO30DDV2CC

AZWood 11 inch W x 22 inch D Unfinished Mount to Shelf

David Bouley Evolution

1669 Collins Avenue at the Ritz Carlton

South Beach, Miami

This past December, David Bouley finally threw open the doors to Evolution, the first restaurant he’s ever opened outside his normal three-block Tribeca culinary zone in New York. Located within the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Collins Street in the South Beach area of Miami, the art-deco interior was designed by renowned architect Jacques Garcia. The 7,000 square feet space can accommodate 200 guests within its 77-seat main dining room, and includes a 40-seat private dining room, a lounge, and a sushi bar. Hand-painted stained-glass swirling seascapes, designed and implemented by Gerard Coltat, line walls and the doors all around you in the plush, hushed and comfortable interior. The glass was painted by hand during a 90-day period by French artisians, Gerard Coltat and his son, Clement, from the town of Castagniers. Coltat calls the design “an homage to to the career of Chef Bouley; an aquatic world in movement guided by a sun rising to its zenith.”

Bouley, whose title at Evolution is executive consulting chef (the owner is Parisian-born hotelier Frederic Puren), mixes Japanese, Mediterranean, and American flavors in the menu, but is quick to point out that his menu is not “fusion.” Some of the team members Bouley has placed here in South Florida include Pierre-Philippe Saussy (chef de cuisine), Scott Harlan (pastry chef), and Yoann Bagar (wine director). Many of the menu’s items are from the North where Bouley is already used to sourcing some of the best ingredients on earth for the past 20+ years, while he takes his time discovering the best sources for fish, meat and poultry in the South Florida area. Some of the ingredients that showed up on the menu when I dined there included Chatham cod, Cape Cod baby squid and lobster, Nantucket Calamari, Cooperstown lamb, and Santa Barbara sea urchin. Chef Bouley is fast forging relationships with South Florida purveyors in search of regional products including Pompano, Mahi-Mahi, Red Snapper, B-liners, Escolar, Albacore and Fresh Gulf Shrimp.

The last time I spoke with Mr. Bouley he told me he was becoming tired of all his new projects and would be taking a break for a while. But now that Evolution is complete, he seems to have many other surprises in store for 2007 – he’ll soon be moving several of his Tribeca locations – including his flagship Bouley. This past August he closed the biggest deal of his life when he married Nicole Bartelme in a five-day summer celebration in France.

Nicole runs two non-profit charities, and wrote a guide book called “The Tribeca Guide”, and people who are familiar with the inside story credit her with being the originator and architect behind the Tribeca Film Festival before it was taken over by the current group of founders. Like many people in the restaurant business (and coincidentally the theme of another, similar story in this issue), Nicole and David met at the chef’s restaurant.

“I met Nicole when she came in during the last lunch at the original Bouley - it was the last lunch before we closed,” explained Bouley. “We were friends, and finally I went sailing with her three years ago. Alan Wheat was chairman of Credit Suisse, and when I was turning 50 years old he said ‘take my boat.’ It was a 70-foot sailboat and we sailed around the Mediterranean for a couple of weeks. I caught a tuna while we were there - I had just come from Japan three weeks before so I had everything with me – fresh wasabi, soy sauce, so I cut it up and cooked it. We had a great time, and we’ve been together ever since.”

Never one to do something run of the mill, Bouley and his fiancé decided to make their wedding a tad more extravagant than the average wedding, so they rented not one, but two chateaus in the Loire Valley of France - Château de l’Aubrière and Château de la Bourdaisière - for five consecutive days. They flew in friends, chefs, and staff for an amazing party that seemed to never end. “To get married in France is a little more difficult now, you have to be living there at least a month,” said Bouley, who seems to have overcome that problem. “We had our first lunch in a tomato garden with roses and a hundred people. That night we ate in a tent and we had only cheese, wine, and bread, and the guy that made the cheese, the guy that made the wine, and the guy who made the bread, came in and lectured, and explained why they married it together.” The “guy who made the cheese” was Jacques Mahou, a seventh-generation French baker, and wines included many from Nicole and David’s birth years. The next day was a Japanese lunch. “We brought in 5 chefs from Kyoto, and they brought all their perishable things in suitcases on the plane - that was unbelievable. That night we had a bistro night in a giant circus tent with a band playing Edith Piaf music from the 20’s and 30’s, outside we had roast lamb and veal; the whole animal roasting on the firewood.” Another highlight that evening was a long 100-foot long table lined with rows of candles and placed within a dried-out moat near the chateau; Barcelona chef Roger Martinez served a Spanish meal that included Bellota ham.”

Photography © 2007 Moris Mareno

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