Our team is comprised of more than 100 staff, representing 25 countries, with a shared passion for hospitality. We strive to deliver 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.

Vincent Cortese
Executive Chef

Vincent Cortese grew up in Edison, New Jersey and began working in the restaurant industry after high school. After working as a host, server and bartender, he made his way to the back-of-house, where he “immediately fell in love with the energy of the kitchen,” marking the start of Vincent’s culinary journey.

Vincent went on to graduate from the Art Institute of New York with a diploma in Professional Culinary Arts. Upon graduation, he worked at two restaurants in New Jersey where he was first exposed to fine-dining. In 2011, Vincent ventured to the “Big Apple” where he landed his first job as junior sous chef at New York’s renowned Italian restaurant, Del Posto, learning the importance of regional Italian cooking. Vincent was eager to take fine-dining to the next level, which led him to the acclaimed kitchen of Chef Daniel Boulud in 2012. As a tournant at DANIEL, Vincent had the opportunity to work his way through the entire kitchen, learning each station, under executive chef Jean François Bruel – who remains one of his mentors to this day.

After a few years, Vincent went on to help open celebrity chef Bryan Voltaggoi’s restaurant, Aggio, in Baltimore, and then returned to the team at Del Posto. As executive sous chef, and then chef de cuisine under Chef Melissa Rodriguez, Vincent earned the freedom to be creative and innovative, while simultaneously managing the culinary team and creating a positive kitchen culture.

In September, 2020, Vincent was reacquainted with the Boulud family at Bar Boulud, Chef Daniel’s French bistro on the Upper West Side. As executive chef, he is excited to dive into the history of French cooking, while still putting his creative touch on dishes with unique, seasonal ingredients. Vincent’s ultimate goal is to push Bar Boulud to be the best French bistro in New York through his approach in hospitality: “to bring the passion and love to work every day; not just in what goes into the food, but how we treat each other in the restaurant…that positive energy is contagious and the guests can feel it.”

Elvir Dzananovic
Regional Manager

Elvir Dzananovic has been a member of the Daniel Boulud family for more than 20 years. Originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Elvir started as a Server Assistant at Restaurant DANIEL in 2000, and since, has risen to the positions of Service Director at DANIEL followed by General Manager at Bar Boulud, and now Regional Manager for the Upper West Side.

After leaving war-torn Bosnia, Elvir and his family had been living in the Czech Republic since he was fifteen years old. In an effort to support his family, Elvir worked at his uncle’s local bar and deli. Foreign to the Czech language, he worked behind the scenes, and quickly progressed to the front-of-house. Elvir and his family were not able to go back to Bosnia. Instead, Elvir moved to America through the International Rescue Committee, where he met Chef Daniel and got his first job. Over the years he learned the intricacies of fine-dining and steadily progressed, moving up to food runner, lounge server, assistant captain, captain, and eventually one of the floor maître d’s in 2010. During his eight years in that capacity, Elvir worked tirelessly with the team to ensure a polished and efficient service infused with a warm sense of hospitality at every turn.

In 2018, Chef Daniel asked Elvir to oversee the dining room staff at Café Boulud. He was a familiar face to the clientele there and was a mentor to the team. But his heart remained at DANIEL and he returned in July 2019 as the Service Director. “Elvir is family to me and the rest of the Dinex family,” says Daniel, “It has been my privilege to work with him and see him grow as a person, a husband and father, and my friend.”

In 2021, Elvir accepted the position of General Manager at Bar Boulud, Chef Daniel’s French brasserie, and eventually became the regional manager for the Upper West Side, overseeing Bar Boulud, Boulud Sud, and Épicerie Boulud. In his newest position, Elvir is very excited for the opportunity to guide the service team and partner up with the culinary team to ensure an excellent guest experience. On the daily, he reminds his team, “every guest that walks through the front door deserves to have that ‘home away from home meal experience.’” Ultimately, Elvir’s goal is to position the restaurant in the heart of the community – “I want Bar Boulud to reflect the essence and spirit of the Upper West Side through our staff, the physical product and the guest experience.”

When he is not leading the service team and the restaurant, Elvir can be found spending quality time with his wife and two young boys watching as much sports as possible.

Johana Langi
Executive Pastry Chef

As long as she can remember, Johana Langi yearned to be a pastry chef. Growing up in Queens, she found a passion in baking at a young age and started baking for friends, with friends, for school bake sales, or any other excuse to whip up something sweet. No one in Johana’s family baked, it was something special that set her apart from the rest. Her passion continued to grow, but her parents viewed pastry more as a hobby and encouraged her to get a traditional degree.

She studied English Literature at Baruch College, and during her senior year interned for the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen. Originally just an editorial internship, Johana turned the role into an opportunity to test recipes and kitchen appliances for the magazine. She has fond memories of testing cookies, baking them in five different ovens, and reporting back which performed best.

Johana finally convinced herself to pursue pastry as a career. She cold-called restaurants until securing a pastry internship at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, where she rotated through all the stations. Johana then went on to bake at some of New York City’s acclaimed restaurants, including Eleven Madison Park, Saul Restaurant at the Brooklyn Museum, The Lambs Club, Ciano, and Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Junoon. As her responsibilities grew, Johana mastered her technique and learned how to transform the best seasonal ingredients into something more than the sum of their parts.

In April 2019, Johana landed the job as Executive Pastry Chef at Chef Daniel Boulud’s Lincoln Center restaurants: Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud. There she manages two distinct teams and is charged with developing completely different menus: Mediterranean-inspired at Boulud Sud, and classic French bistro at Bar Boulud.

One of Johana’s creations at Boulud Sud is the “Mousse de Chocolate Oscuro,” a frozen aerated chocolate mousse dotted with chocolate crémeux and crunchy chocolate “pebbles,” finished with Maldon sea salt gelato, lemon-infused olive oil and crowned with mint leaves. Inspired by a sweet-and-savory Catalonian snack that Johana enjoyed in northeastern Spain, it’s a perfect addition to Sud’s Mediterranean menu, complementing the signature Grapefruit Givré.

At Bar Boulud, the emphasis is on the classics, highlighted by her “Gateau Basque,” a fragrant custard-based tart from the Pyrenees in the south of France. In both restaurants Johana looks forward to contributing to Chef Daniel’s spirit of French pride, passion and culture through her pastry.

Ian Smedley
Head Sommelier

Ian Smedley fell in love with wine while majoring in Comparative Literature at Bard College. As a writer, Ian focused on universal interconnectivity, drawing connections between seemingly disparate things. This became a foundation for his thoughts on wine and how a wine could evoke an emotion or a memory of people and places. How coincidental that Ian, with his self-diagnosed “Proustian” interest, would end up working with Daniel Boulud and his signature madeleines.

During college, Ian juggled shifts at the Hudson Valley’s Tousey Vineyards. Upon graduation in 2013 he moved to New York City, and got his foot in the door as a backwaiter at Boulud Sud. During the day, Ian also worked at Flatiron Wines helping cellar and manage bottles in the Rare Wines department. As Ian grew with the team at Boulud Sud, he caught the eye of former Chef Sommelier, Michael Madrigale, who promoted him to the bar team at both Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud.

In 2016, Ian was appointed as Sommelier at DBGB in the East Village. There he learned how to purchase and manage a large program and was instrumental in expanding the wine and beer list to include interesting labels from all over the world. One year later, he shaved his beard and headed uptown. His career took a sophisticated turn working as a sommelier at Restaurant DANIEL under Raj Vaiyda, where he was trusted to open legendary wines almost every night.

Ian likes to recommend wines by telling a story. “Trying to explain the sense perception of fermented grain or grape juice is a challenge. But finding those descriptors – and delving into that space where taste can stop time for a little – that’s what I love about both good drink and great literature.”

In June 2019 he returned to Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud as Chef Sommelier of Daniel’s two Lincoln Center restaurants. In that capacity, Ian offers sincere hospitality and a passion for wine as well as for his guests and coworkers. He enjoys mentoring and looks forward to working with such a large team of professionals, presenting a memorable and diverse wine experience to all guests and growing the impressive wine program to an even more exceptional one. But what keeps Ian most interested is the element of service – and metaphor. “It is easy to lose sense of this, but at the heart of everything is the joyous gift of life, and the beauty of what human hands can craft. To subtly control the chemical process a fruit undergoes, to transform sugar into alcohol that flows so purely through us, is an art.”

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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, including Outstanding 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.