Season is in full swing in lovely Palm Beach and yes, this means taking full advantage of the culinary delights that will be on full display for the next several months. However, for those of us who are here, in and out of season, we’ve come to appreciate and ingratiate ourselves with those who know service and who adhere to a certain level of commitment as shown by the quintessential maître d’.
When I reflect on service, that of the refined, and the benchmark of excellent service, I go to my experiences when dining in Michelin Starred restaurants as no expense is spared and everyone knows to keep the experience at a high-end elevated level. Fortunately, I recently returned from a week long culinary eternal recurrence in Paris where I took it upon myself to revisit the “Art of Service” from my Parisian friends. This desire is always at the forefront of my endeavors as we all make a critical choice as to how we operate in “The Service of Others.” With my palate poised for an epicurean adventure – – I dove head first and never looked back, well not until I remembered my dear friend Mr. Vincent Bodiou, a talented Frenchmen living in Palm Beach and providing the kind of service I seek out when I’m not in Europe. Before I take you on that epicurean Parisian experience, I felt the need to introduce you to Vincent and give you a small taste of his world at Café Boulud.
As a culinary experience designer at Café Boulud, Vincent has for the past five years shared his passion for service and diplomacy in a manner that has elevated the dining experience and has kept guests filled with anticipation of the return. Not only does he maintain a level of service that’s top notch, he’s also gifted in the art of designing mix cocktails and garnering fine wine. As a frequent guest, these two gifts are treasured as I’m most certain you’ll become a fan as well.
I had the pleasure of spending time with Vincent on one of those picturesque, relaxing and carefree afternoons where he treated me to several tastings including two delicious cocktails, a Sazerac (Cognac, Sazerac rye whisky, Absinthe, Organic brown Sugar, Peychaud’s and Angostura Aromatic Bitters,) and a Vieux Carre (Cognac, Sazerac rye whisky, Mix of Carpano Antica and french sweet vermouth, Cynar, Benedictine, Organic Brown Sugar) and aged 2 months in an highly charred American oak barrel (Sazerac and Vieux Carre Presentation at Café Boulud.) Both cocktails were exquisite. I’m confident your enjoyment of either, if not both will only be enhanced as you take in hints of blue sky as it gives way to those unforgettable burnt-orange, dark pink and pomegranate colored sunsets we all stop in our tracks to become one with, especially when it’s mid-January and the beach is only steps away. And for those of you who desire that perfect pour of vino, Vincent has that covered as well. Do allow him to get to know your palate as the treats to follow will be memorable and make for fantastic pairings with every bite of indulgence. Take notice of the upright bottles, as the numerous wine requests leave little time for sediments to settle. There’s something to be said for timing and proper sediment preparation.