Our team is comprised of more than 100 staff, representing 25 countries and a shared passion for hospitality. While you may not meet all of us face-to-face on your visit, know that we take pleasure in delivering the highest quality of service to you and ensuring that you enjoy your experience at Bar Boulud. We’re family and treat you like you are as well.

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Joe Stevens
General Manager

On New York’s Upper West Side, General Manager Joe Stevens brings his vast hospitality experience and strong work ethic to Chef Daniel Boulud’s casual French bistro.

The child of a Sicilian restaurateur, Joe started working at his family’s business since the age of 12. From dishwashing and bussing, to cooking and waiting tables, he learned every aspect of the restaurant industry. Having found his calling, Joe enrolled in the French Culinary Institute (known today as International Culinary Center) to learn the art of fine cuisine. Accustomed to a busy schedule, he worked throughout his studies in various high-end restaurants and continued to do so post-graduation.

Gaining exposure and experience, Joe spent five years as the dining room manager and beverage director at Beacon Restaurant in New York. Later moving on to join Colicchio & Sons, he began as a captain and climbed the ranks to bar and restaurant manager in the span of three years. In 2012, Joe landed at the exclusive Gary Danko in San Francisco, where he served as assistant general manager and helped the restaurant achieve the highest-rated service in the country.

Upon his return to the East Coast, Joe joined Daniel Boulud’s Restaurant Group in 2016. Ever adaptable, he started as operations manager at Café Boulud, followed by stints at Restaurant DANIEL and Boulud Sud before settling into his current role as general manager at Bar Boulud. Equipped with his tasting spoon, Joe often stops by the kitchen to taste Chef Dieter Samijn’s cuisine, ensuring both food and service are reaching the highest of standards.

Ultimately for Joe, “every meal is not just fuel for the body, it’s enjoyment.” In his off time, he enjoys visiting his parents, smoking meats and relaxing on the boat. Passionate about food, Joe is always planning what he’s going to cook next.

Dieter Samijn
Executive Chef

Dieter Samijn never knew he wanted to be a Chef growing up. Born and raised in Antwerp, Belgium, he began his career as an Electrician after graduating from The Technical School of Duffel in Belgium. He quickly realized this was not his destined path and decided to follow in his younger sister’s foot steps to Culinary school, Hotelschool Ter Duinen in Koksijde in Belgium, where he learned to become a diverse chef.

Following his training at Hotelschool Ter Duinen, where he won an award for Best Belgian Cheese Maître d`Hotel, Dieter worked with world-renowned Chef Alain Ducasse around Europe for two years, specifically at Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo, Commis at Plaza Athenee in Paris, Spoon des Neiges in Gstaad, Switzerland serving as Tournant, then finally returning to Le Louis XV as Commis de Cuisine.

After learning from one of the most respected French Chefs, Dieter moved back to Belgium and worked at Restaurant Hof Van Cleve for four years under, Chef Peter Goossens. There he served as Chef de Partie and moved his way up to Sous Chef. Throughout his time at Restaurant Hof Van Cleve, Dieter worked hand-in-hand with Chef Peter Goossens to develop exciting new menu items. He also oversaw all aspects of the kitchen, ran restaurant operations, and organized private parties. Restaurant Hof Van Cleve has a special place in Dieter’s heart as he feels it was the restaurant that made him a real Chef. This restaurant allowed him to develop his own culinary niches and experience a large amount of team spirit in the kitchen. Restaurant Hof Van Cleve also received three Michelin stars when he was on the team.

Dieter’s life took a professional turn when he entered the world of catering, working as the Executive Chef and General Manager for Delicious Catering in Oostkamp, Belgium. After catering high-end events for four years, Dieters decided he wanted to return to restaurants and move to the United States.

He served as the Executive Chef and General Manager at B Too in Washington D.C., a Belgian Inspired restaurant By Bart Vandaele, for four years. Dieter oversaw sales, menu design, staff training, payroll, special events, outside catering, and more. Bart taught Dieterall the facets to running a kitchen and restaurant in the United States, and for that, Dieter is extremely grateful.

Now Dieter spearheads the kitchen as the Executive Chef at Daniel Boulud’s Upper West Side French bistro, Bar Boulud. Dieterrespects traditional French cuisine and has a special love for Charcuterie. When he is not in the kitchen, he spends time with his wife and two young children, cycling in Central Park, or riding his motorcycle around town. Chef Dieter is fluent in Dutch, English and French.

Joe Robitaille
Head Sommelier

Raised in Buffalo and educated in Charleston, Joe initially moved to New York City to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at Brooklyn College. When a friend secured him a job in a West Village wine shop, he never suspected it would become a passion. In fact, Joe continued to pursue a second masters in Education, believing a career teaching English would be his calling. It wasn’t until he and his wife sought out a WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) placement in Plumas County, California, that lightning finally struck.

“In Northern California, I experienced wine as agriculture for the first time,” explains Joe. “Once I witnessed the magic of a southern exposed hill in a northern hemisphere or the smaller producers’ knowledge of the land, it all began to click.”

Returning from the trip, Joe approached his role in wine buying and sales with intensified interest. All in, he had earned more than six years’ experience – most notably at Montague Wine & Spirits in Brooklyn Heights – when he began considering a shift to a role as a sommelier.

As luck would have it, a wine team position had opened at beloved Manhattan eatery Il Buco. With his background in education and poetry (and no fine dining experience) Joe was an unconventional choice for the role; nevertheless, Beverage Director Paul Lang saw potential. Over the next six years, Joe would explore the diverse wine and food traditions of Italy under both Lang and longtime Wine Director Roberto Paris.

Resurfacing from his deep dive into the Italian peninsula, Joe’s desire to explore further wine regions began to grow. Joining the The Dinex Group in 2017, Joe has found the opportunity to both build on his deep knowledge of Mediterranean vintages at Boulud Sud, while intensifying his exposure to the legendary wine regions of France at Bar Boulud.

As Head Sommelier, Joe most often seeks a sense of typicity, locating the best representation of a specific grape from a specific region. He also looks forward to highlighting iconic food and wine pairings – notably, the regional French bottles and dishes that have been carefully calibrated alongside each other for hundreds of years.

Daniel Kleinhandler
Executive Pastry Chef

At Bar Boulud, Executive Pastry Chef Daniel Kleinhandler is excited to create new desserts that truly exude pride and passion in French culture. He will take inspiration from the original Bar Boulud dessert menu to emulate the original format and respect the classic dishes.

A native of Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, Chef Daniel Kleinhandler was raised in one of the country’s most culturally diverse neighborhoods and his international upbringing, combined with the influence of his artistic mother and scientist father have remained important influences on him throughout his career.

Pursuing pastry from the age of 14, Kleinhandler apprenticed at Jacques Torres, Restaurant Daniel and Saul’s in Brooklyn during high school. After completing his formal education at Johnson & Wales, he headed oversees to intern at the three-Michelin star Waterside Inn.

Upon returning to New York, Kleinhandler’s career was bookended by experiences within the Boulud empire, accepting pastry cook positions at both Café Boulud and Bar Boulud. From there, he tried his hand in other Michelin-starred empires, including Nougatine, Jean Georges, Gilt in the Palace Hotel, Picholine, and was a part of the opening team at Clocktower in 2015. Chef Kleinhandler developed his French technique fusing improvisational creativity and thus developed the dessert philosophy that largely guides his work to this day.

In April 2016, Kleinhandler rejoined the Dinex Group, spearheading the dessert program db Bistro Moderne as the Executive Pastry Chef and mastered the art of balancing classic flavors combinations with artful presentations. In January 2018, Kleinhandler moved within the group and accepted the role of Executive Pastry Chef at Boulud Sud and Bar Boulud. He is excited to perfect classical French desserts with exquisite and clean presentations.

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Daniel
Boulud

Chef / Owner

Daniel Boulud, a native of Lyon, France, is today considered one of America’s leading culinary authorities and one of the most revered French chefs in New York, the city he has called home since 1982. Daniel is chef-owner of db Bistro Moderne, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, Bar Boulud, Café Boulud, Boulud Sud and Épicerie Boulud. In all his restaurants you’ll find the warm welcome the chef is renowned for, combined with traces of the soulfully satisfying traditional cooking he grew up with on his family’s Rhône Valley farm. Yet Daniel Boulud is best known for New York’s exquisitely refined DANIEL, the three Michelin-star Relais & Châteaux restaurant. You’ll also discover the chef’s ingredient driven seasonal French-American cooking in Miami and Palm Beach, FL and internationally in London, Singapore, Beijing, Montréal and Toronto. Boulud is the author of seven cookbooks, the recipient of three James Beard Foundation awards, includingOutstanding Chef and Outstanding Restaurateur and was named a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government, as well as Chef of the Year 2011 by The Culinary Institute of America. He is a generous and energetic supporter of Citymeals-on-Wheels, serving on their board of directors since 2000 and is also co-founder and Chairman of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation.

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