One of the most esteemed chefs in New York, Boulud is the chef and owner of the four-star haute French restaurant Daniel. He owns seven other restaurants in New York and five others globally.

Boulud grew up on a farm in Lyon, France, and spent the 1970s bouncing between the kitchens of uber-chefs like Georges Blanc, Michel Guérard, and Roger Vergé. After arriving stateside in the '80s, he spent a few years at two fussy Manhattan restaurants-the Polo in the Hotel Westbury and Le Regence in the Plaza Athénée-but drew wider notice in 1986, when Sirio Maccioni hired him to take over the reigns at Le Cirque. Boulud escorted the restaurant to its golden age: he landed it its first four-star Times review in 1987, and its second one five years later.

Boulud left Le Cirque in 1992 and opened his own Upper East Side restaurant, Daniel. Things started off rough-Marian Burros of the Times handed down a near-fatal two-star verdict-but by 1994, the restaurant had hit its stride, and new Times' food critic Ruth Reichl issued a four-star review. By 1997, Boulud relocated Daniel to the Mayfair Hotel, and opened the slightly more casual Café Boulud in Daniel's former space. Since then, Boulud has opened six other award-winning restaurants in New York, and others in London, Beijing, Miami, Singapore, and Palm Beach.

Never too far from his kitchen, Boulud, his wife Micky, and daughter Alix live in an apartment above Daniel. [Image via Getty]