Family Traditions: Sunday Rituals

August 8, 2018 Updated: October 8, 2018

Belgium-born and raised Dieter Samijn, executive chef at Bar Boulud NYC, spends his mornings off with freshly baked bread and family time.

My Family Tradition: In my family, we have the tradition of going to the bakery on Sunday mornings, to get pastries and fresh baked rolls (something we call a pistolet in Belgium and France). We also go to a butcher or fine foods store to get charcuterie and prepared salads. The bread has to be fresh, if not then I prefer to skip it. It turns my wife crazy sometimes because finding fresh baked bread can be hard.

It has been a tradition from my grandparents that my parents took over, and now I have passed it down to my family. I mostly work on Sundays, so it happens that we do it on Mondays or on my day off. Coming from Belgium, finding a good bakery that bakes bread on the spot is rare, but we would never mind if the bakery is a 25-minute drive [away]. In addition to Epicerie Boulud, of course, I like Balthazar Bakery and Mille-Feuille.

Back home in Belgium, we also have butchers and charcutiers where you can buy the prepared meats and salads. In New York, we have to make it ourselves, but I often do that a little upfront.

It’s kind of one of the only moments where I can eat and make food at home with my family. It’s also a chance to spend a little more time with my son, because on other days I’m often already out the door when he wakes up.

Dieter Samijn, executive chef, Bar Boulud NYC. (Courtesy of The Dinex Group)