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.