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Aurelien DufourChef Charcutier
Daniel Boulud Restaurants
Aurelien Dufour distinctly remembers the day famed Parisian Charcutier Gilles Verot called him out of the blue with an opportunity many young chefs in Paris dream of. Dufour was working under Meilleurs Ouvriers de France-distinguished Charcutier Berranger Gérard when Verot, on behalf of NYC-based Chef-Restaurateur Daniel Boulud, asked him to move to New York City to run their collaborative charcuterie program. Aurelien had three days to make the life-changing decision. It took him only an hour.
Born amidst the rich food and wine culture of Bordeaux to a father with a food obsession, cooking was all Aurelien ever wanted to do. His family split time between Bordeaux, where he relished in the fresh produce of the family garden and poultry of neighbors’ farms, and Germany where he was introduced to the Alsatian charcuterie tradition. Knowing that he was “happiest when in the kitchen,” he wasted no time and enrolled in cook’s school at 16, catered internationally staged events for Mont Blanc at 18, and won the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France Best Young Chef in Charcuterie award at 19. Aurelien’s natural talent for charcuterie was apparent, and landed him a job in Paris with Berranger Gérard.
While working under Gérard, Aurelien learned the technique and tradition of French charcuterie, steeped in history with recipes passed down over generations. He mastered pâtés, terrines, galantines, ballotines, and crèpinettes, and in the process caught the eye of Gilles Verot. Boulud has enlisted Verot to introduce a French style charcuterie program at his newest Manhattan restaurant, Bar Boulud, and sought a young chef with the know-how to run the day-to-day operations. Aurelien was the perfect candidate, and jumped at the opportunity.
Dufour arrived in New York City in 2010 and began his tenure in the basement kitchen of Bar Boulud, producing items for its charcuterie-centric menu, along with terrines, pâtés, and sausages for the newly opened Épicerie Boulud. Shortly after Daniel Boulud opened DBGB, a casual downtown bistro with an international sausage program, for which Dufour would oversee the production of 20 housemade signature sausages. Now, at just 26 years old, Aurelien manages the charcuterie for all New York City restaurants, from the Boulud commissary, which processes 4,000 to 7,000 pounds of protein a week for eight restaurants. “When I started with the group I was making mostly traditional recipes – Pate en Croute, Fromage de Tete, Boeuf Pot Au Feu – for Bar Boulud,” said Aurelien. “Now I am overseeing eight restaurants, creating new recipes and discovering ways to produce more for the restaurants artisanally, from bacon, to vitello to turkey. I am constantly challenged, growing, and inspired.” Aurelien was named a StarChefs.com 2013 Rising Star in the Artisan Category.