Last Saturday, chefs Daniel Boulud and Susur Lee were in the "Skybox" at Daniel, the wood-paneled enclave that oversees the restaurant's orderly and intense kitchen. They were there to discuss their collaboration for the Luckyrice Festival, a celebration of Asian food in New York City—the two were throwing a Fete Chinois, a dinner that pays homage to Chinese cookery. "I'm an honorary Chinese," said Boulud, who owns Maison Boulud in Beijing; Lee, meanwhile, was born and raised in Hong Kong. Tables were set with lazy susans for the occasion. The meal —dim sum, followed by three more courses, plus dessert—ran the gamut from the clever to the sublime: a lusciously creamy turnip cake from Lee's longtime collaborator Doron Wong; Boulud's scale-on fish scented with cucumber and young ginger; a clever orange wedge for dessert, with gelee in the place of the segments of fruit. It was just another Chinese dinner on the Upper East Side.
Photo: Richard Patterson