Portrait of the Daniel Chef As a Young Man

Photo: Burlington Free Press

Michael Clauss, a former Daniel sous-chef who became executive chef of Boulud’s catering arm, is now working in Vermont, and an article in the Burlington Free Press offers a glimpse into the grueling conditions in Daniel’s kitchen:

At Daniel, where 15 to 18 chefs worked each night, the intensity level and attention to detail was phenomenal, and Clauss’ working day — including the commute from Jersey City — was typically 17 hours, six days a week, Clauss said. “Every night almost felt like your first night in the kitchen,” he said. “Everything is perfect, or it does not go out. It needs to be 100-percent perfect.” For example, executive chef Jean-Francois Bruel will note if a plate that should have 20 or so components is missing a garnish, Clauss said. “In the middle of Saturday night service, with 20 to 30 plates at one time, he’ll know if one is missing a strand of micro-green,” he said.

Top chef returns to Vt., debuts new menu [Burlington Free Press]