Bertrand Chemel, the chef recently praised in Frank Bruni’s three-star review of Café Boulud for deftly filling Andrew Carmellini’s shoes, is leaving the restaurant in mid-December. A source says he made his announcement three days after the Times rave and will be starting his own restaurant in the Washington D.C. area. Boulud spokesperson Georgette Farkas confirms, “Bertrand is spreading his wings. He’s made an amazing contribution. Daniel has chosen a new chef, but he’s not prepared to announce it.” Daniel is, however, ready to name the head chef at his soon-to-open Bar Boulud, and that will be Damien Sansonetti, a sous-chef at Daniel for almost five years. So did media outlets jump the gun when they said Ed Cotton would be exec chef there? “He was someone Daniel had considered but decided it wasn’t his choice,” Farkas tells us. Not that Daniel left him in the cold — we hear he’s the one who scored Cotton the interview at Veritas, his new home.