A meal to remember: Daniel Boulud

Asked what meals they love the most, three renowned chefs -- each known for their sophisticated cuisine -- all pick the food their mothers and grandmothers used to make for them. Charles Osgood reports:

The renowned French chef says the food he cannot live without (like this soup in a puff pastry) is what takes him back to his childhood. CBS News
Followers make pilgrimages here, to Daniel, New York's culinary temple for updated traditional French cuisine.

Renowned chef Daniel Boulud has been divining its "meals to die for" for 20 years.

But what four-course meal would the chef say he couldn't live without?

"For me, it has a lot to do with connecting with me as a kid," he said, "what I grew up with, and what made me choose to be a chef.

At heart, Boulud is a boy near Lyon, France, on a farm, raising animals and growing vegetables.

His grandmother was in charge of the salad. "And she always made that first," Boulud said. "We were growing wonderful garlic on the farm."

Add to that fresh goat cheese, warm fingerling potatoes, Boston lettuce and garlic mustard vinaigrette.

Grand Central
"This is a very humble dish," the chef said. "That's sometimes what makes me the most happy. I love the sophisticated food we make here, but I like home cooking, too."

"That's very human," said Osgood.

"Very much. As a child growing up, it's going to be what you're going to remember most. What you liked or not liked then, is going to define who you are at the table!" he laughed.

Of course, Boulud has some elaborate dishes on his menu, too, like a soup in a puff pastry he learned from a mentor in France; and a traditional duck recipe, which includes a rich marrow sauce.

To top off the meal, Boulud loves his mother's cookies most -- special, for more than sentimental reasons.

"What makes the je ne sais quoi in the recipe is a little bit of rum," he said, to the clinking of wine glasses. "I think we should do this party more often."

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