David Bouley was born and raised near Storrs, Connecticut. From early on he was strongly influenced by life on his grandparents’ farm, drawing upon their French heritage which instilled a love of the land, an appreciation for fresh products, care in preparation, and the inspiration to cook and enjoy healthful meals.
David studied at the Sorbonne and worked with some of Europe’s most acclaimed chefs, including Roger Vergé, Paul Bocuse, Joel Robuchon, Gaston Lenôtre, and Frédy Girardet. He returned to New York, working in the leading restaurants at the time – Le Cirque, Le Périgord, and La Côte Basque. In 1985, he became chef of Montrachet restaurant and in 1987, David opened his own restaurant, Bouley, in TriBeCa. Bouley quickly became known as the most notable dining experience in New York and set a new standard for fine dining in America. Among the many accolades earned was a four-star review in The New York Times and the James Beard Foundation awards for best restaurant and best chef.
In 1997, Bouley Bakery opened as a wholesale and retail bakery as well as a café and restaurant. The bakery immediately became enormously popular, earning another four-star review in The New York Times. In September 1999, David opened Danube, a Viennese-inspired restaurant, located on Hudson Street, and authored his first book East of Paris: The New Cuisines of Austria and the Danube.
Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Bouley Bakery served as the base of operations to prepare over one million meals for Ground Zero relief workers in conjunction with the Red Cross. It re-opened as Bouley Restaurant in 2002, and Bouley Bakery and Market opened in a new location on West Broadway in TriBeCa. David opened the Bouley Test Kitchen at 88 West Broadway, which is a location for cooking classes and for visiting chefs to collaborate and discover new recipes.
At his namesake Bouley Restaurant now located at 163 Duane Street, Chef Bouley personalizes each meal to his customers’ likes and desires.
In 2011 Bouley opened Brushstroke, a Japanese restaurant owned in collaboration with the Tsuji Culinary Institute of Osaka and housed in the former Danube space at 30 Hudson Street. Brushstroke adheres to the traditions of kaiseki dining, which hails from Kyoto and started as a tea ceremony. Chefs in Japan are trained specifically for this style of dining which encompasses the use of seasonal items presented in small elaborate courses taking health and well-being in consideration along with flavor and presentation. Brushstroke gave birth to Ichimura at Brushstroke, an intimate eight-seat sushi bar.
Chef Bouley opened Bouley Botanical at 281 Church Street. Botanical is an event space, learning center, and commissary kitchen. At Bouley Botanical guests are surrounded by over 400 edible plants and herbs which are used for specific dishes in each Bouley restaurant. Bouley’s desire is to inspire everyone to have a living pantry in their own home. In his illustrious career of almost 30 years, Chef Bouley has cooked for everyone from kings and queens, to the average Joe, and each and every person has left his dining room or event having had a meal they remember for the rest of their lives.