Aaron Bludorn

Aaron Bludorn

Aaron Bludorn, Executive Chef at Café Boulud in New York, shares his career timeline and advice for up-and-coming professionals.

I truly feel that to be successful in this industry we must look to those who have come before us and learn from the restaurants and dishes they have created. To build the restaurants and create dishes of the future, we must first have a strong foundation in the classics.

Have passion for what you do, integrity in what you create, and the knowledge to be able to explain it to others.

Each job I have had has impacted my life in a very specific way; from washing dishes as a high school student and becoming addicted to restaurant life and the push of service, to working in a Michelin starred kitchen for the first time at Cyrus and learning how quality, integrity and finesse are everyday practices in a kitchen at that level. The first time I stepped into Daniel Boulud’s kitchen I was able to understand the importance of tradition and dedication and what that really means to every cook he employs. Each step in my career has made me into the chef I am today.

Shortcuts always take longer at the end of the day. Always ask yourself, "am I doing this correctly?" If not, start over and do it again.

In order to keep my team inspired and motivated, I keep a large library in the kitchen and consistently add to it, both old classics and exciting new cookbooks. It is important to have this close by to keep us inspired by what is going on elsewhere in the world of food.

My mentors are Daniel Boulud, Gavin Kaysen, and Douglas Keene, chefs who I have worked for and who continue to inspire me. For creativity, I am reminded of Chef Daniel telling me, “every dish must tell a story, something that the guest can relate to.” For running a kitchen, I am reminded of Gavin telling me that he is constantly training the next generation, so always look to your cooks as the future of the industry. Douglas showed me immense integrity when it comes to managing the quality of each dish that leaves the kitchen, always asking, "would you put your name on that dish? If not, why are you serving it?"

To continue to educate myself, I read, eat, cook, visit the farmers market, and constantly ask questions about anything I don’t know the answers to. I recommend 'Letters to a Young Chef' by Daniel Boulud to aspiring culinary professionals - it is a book that continues to inspire me.

I chose this industry because I love the team work that exists in the kitchen. Through that I developed an intense passion for food and the history of serving guests. I am proud to be a part of the next generation of chefs who will leave their marks on the future of dining out.

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