Café Boulud | New York, New York
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, chef Aaron Bludorn developed a passion for food and service early on, which led him to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Upon graduating in 2006, Bludorn moved to Napa where he spent three years at Cyrus Restaurant working under Michelin-starred Chef Douglas Keene, who taught him about cooking with quality, integrity and finesse.
When New York City began to beckon, Bludorn researched his next move by opening the Michelin Guide. Chef and mentor Keene encouraged him to seek out Chef Daniel Boulud, stressing that his kitchens offered all of the foundations Bludorn was seeking: a culture of excellence, high-quality cuisine, opportunity for growth and mentorship. After four days of trailing, observing and interacting with the group’s chefs, he’d found a new home at Café Boulud.
Bludorn arrived to Café Boulud in 2009 and was introduced to recently appointed Executive Chef Gavin Kaysen, who was in the midst of building a team of dynamic, young chefs. In five years, he learned the importance of tradition and dedication, and worked his way up from Chef de Partie to Executive Chef in 2014, joining the ranks of Andrew Carmellini, Bertrand Chemel, and Gavin Kaysen.
As Executive Chef, and as a leader within Boulud’s empire, Bludorn is devoted to mentoring the next generation of culinary leaders and is deeply involved with the non-profit Careers Through Culinary Arts Programs (C-CAP) as a board member. He regularly welcomes the program’s students and graduates into his kitchen, and judges the organization’s annual scholarship-granting competition. With the restaurant’s four “muses” as his guide - La Tradition, La Saison, Le Potager, Le Voyage - Bludorn’s cooking is an exploration of the traditional French roots, combined with modern, seasonal and international influences. In 2018, he competed on Netflix’s blockbuster culinary competition show The Final Table.