Boulud Sud is Chef Daniel Boulud’s vibrant Mediterranean-inspired restaurant featuring flavors that travel the entire Mediterranean region from the shores of Southern France to the coast of North Africa and beyond. There is an emphasis on fish and an abundance of vegetables, as well as regional spices and seasonings. The Mid-Century Modern interior, including a spacious bar and lounge, is decorated in tones of sunflower yellow and slate grey. The light-filled space is framed by floor-to-ceiling windows, vaulted ceilings, pear wood paneling and terrazzo floors, as well as works by famed artist Vik Muniz. The restaurant, with an entrance on West 64th Street, is just steps from Manhattan’s Lincoln Center and is adjacent to Bar Boulud and Épicerie Boulud.
TRAVIS SWIKARD, Executive Chef
Travis Swikard can remember the exact moment he knew he would be a chef—he was four-years-old and his father deglazed a pan with cognac, flames erupted into the air, and “It was like magic,” says Swikard. In fact, he can remember every culinary experience he’s ever had with photographic precision: the first time he had duck at eight-years-old while out to dinner with his great grandparents; waking up on the beach in Mexico during a family surfing trip and paddling into the ocean to catch fresh lobster to cook with scrambled eggs for breakfast; unwrapping presents on Christmas morning and discovering the cookbooks of Chef Daniel Boulud. It was clear his interest in the kitchen far superseded others’ his age—while his four brothers and two sisters preferred to play outside, Travis preferred to help his father, an entrepreneur by profession and passionate cook by hobby, prepare dinner for the family. “For me, cooking has always been about making family and friends happy. Creating a reason to gather around the table. That foundation has always kept me grounded, and continues to push me to be the best chef I can be.” Knowing ‘Chef’ was in his DNA, he wasted no time getting to work and building his culinary caliber.
At age 15 and still in school, Travis took his first food job, running a sushi bar inside a San Diego grocery store. He treated the business as his own and quickly learned the dedication needed to succeed. He arrived to the store at 6am every morning before school to cook rice, cut fish, fill the display and set up for the day. He returned immediately after school at 3:30pm and worked until the store closed at 9pm. During high school career week he had to shadow a professional of interest and approached one of the top chefs in San Diego, Deborah Scott, who agreed to take him on. A one week stage turned into a four year job and his first high-end, service-oriented restaurant experience. At Island Prime Travis met other young chefs and became entrenched in the chef community and culture. A fellow young chef had recently come to town, 24-year-old Gavin Kaysen, to be Executive Chef of San Diego’s El Bizcocho. Travis sought him out and the two met at a culinary competition hosted by Alton Brown at the local mall in which Kaysen was competing. At the time neither knew they would eventually be peers, both as Executive Chefs at Chef Daniel Boulud’s lauded New York City restaurants.
Ready to experience cuisine outside of San Diego, Travis enrolled in the New England Culinary Institute (NECI). There he not only learned French technique, how to raise pigs and slaughter chickens, how to work on a farm and respect the integrity of ingredients, but also the importance of establishing systems in a kitchen and how to manage a team. Upon completing NECI’s culinary arts program Travis headed to England to join the team at Chef Phil Thompson’s renowned Auberge du Lac. The six month stint was an invaluable experience which shaped him as a chef and person. “Being around Chef Phil Thompson showed me the type of chef I wanted to be. I respected his skill and his sensibility. The key to being a great chef is being a great leader, and at Auberge that light bulb went off.” Travis was laser focused and intent on taking away as much as possible, pushing himself harder than ever before. In fact one day Chef Thompson felt he was too focused, and reminded Travis that, “you’re a person, cooking for people”—those simple yet powerful words are ones that he now lives by and reminds his team of that every day.
In 2008 Travis returned to the States and was serendipitously contacted by Gavin Kaysen, who had moved from San Diego to New York City to run Chef Daniel Boulud’s upscale Café Boulud. Kaysen was building his team and solicited Travis to be a part of it. Having regarded Boulud as a culinary icon since childhood, he immediately headed to NYC to stage and got the job (also serendipitous, that same night while out celebrating he met his wife, Mia). The kitchen at Café was filled with talent and Travis thrived, working his way up the line from Garde Manger, Chef de Partie, to Tournant
In 2011, when Chef Boulud announced a new project, a contemporary Mediterranean restaurant that would open across from Lincoln Center, Travis was hand-picked to be Executive Sous Chef. Before the kitchen was constructed and the bar was built, Travis, with Executive Chef Aaron Chambers, researched dishes and flavors, tested recipes after restaurant hours in the kitchen at DANIEL, and met with Boulud to turn his vision into a reality.
In November 2013 Travis’ childhood aspiration became a reality as he was named Executive Chef of Boulud Sud. Travis draws on his diverse culinary background to create dishes inspired by the vibrant region, executed with technique, and driven by ingredients. “Boulud Sud is about elegant and inspired Mediterranean cuisine. It’s about taste, texture, and aroma first and foremost, but also about fun.” As Executive Chef he plans to pay it forward, mentoring and molding young chefs the way many did for him, and continuing to feed friends and family, the reason he’s always cooked.
Anna McGorman began working in professional kitchens in her hometown of Philadelphia; she spent three years at the James Beard-nominated Fork restaurant before earning her Bachelor degree from the Culinary Institute of America, with honors in Baking and Pastry Arts Management. During her studies she spent time in London where she spent time at the Michelin-starred and only female-run Gordon Ramsay restaurant, Angela Hartnett at the Connaught. In 2008 she joined the pastry team at Chef Daniel Boulud’s flagship restaurant DANIEL, under the leadership of Dominique Ansel. At DANIEL Anna rose in the pastry kitchen ranks, from cook to sous chef, and developed the high-level skills found only in a fine dining restaurant. When Ansel opened his namesake bakery in 2011 he recruited Anna as his Executive Sous Chef. Eager to further develop her pastry acumen, she worked at DA Bakery for three years and was responsible for creating seasonal pastries and viennoieseries, overseeing production, acting as food stylist for media opportunities, and managing staff. During this time (‘BC’ = before cronut, ‘AC’ = after cronut), sales and production quadrupled, and the bakery won countless accolades including Zagat’s ‘Best Bakery in NYC.’
In December 2014 Anna rejoined Daniel Boulud’s group of restaurants as Executive Pastry Chef at db Bistro Moderne, and in 2015 she moved to Boulud’s Upper West Side restaurants, where she oversees the pastry programs of both Boulud Sud and Bar Boulud.
Raised in Buffalo and educated in Charleston, Joe initially moved to New York City to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at Brooklyn College. When a friend secured him a job in a West Village wine shop, he never suspected it would become a passion. In fact, Joe continued to pursue a second masters in Education, believing a career teaching English would be his calling. It wasn’t until he and his wife sought out a WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) placement in Plumas County, California, that lightning finally struck.
“In Northern California, I experienced wine as agriculture for the first time,” explains Joe. “Once I witnessed the magic of a southern exposed hill in a northern hemisphere or the smaller producers’ knowledge of the land, it all began to click.”
Returning from the trip, Joe approached his role in wine buying and sales with intensified interest. All in, he had earned more than six years’ experience – most notably at Montague Wine & Spirits in Brooklyn Heights – when he began considering a shift to a role as a sommelier.
As luck would have it, a wine team position had opened at beloved Manhattan eatery Il Buco. With his background in education and poetry (and no fine dining experience) Joe was an unconventional choice for the role; nevertheless, Beverage Director Paul Lang saw potential. Over the next six years, Joe would explore the diverse wine and food traditions of Italy under both Lang and longtime Wine Director Roberto Paris.
Resurfacing from his deep dive into the Italian peninsula, Joe’s desire to explore further wine regions began to grow. Joining the The Dinex Group in 2017, Joe has found the opportunity to both build on his deep knowledge of Mediterranean vintages at Boulud Sud, while intensifying his exposure to the legendary wine regions of France at Bar Boulud.
As Head Sommelier, Joe most often seeks a sense of typicity, locating the best representation of a specific grape from a specific region. He also looks forward to highlighting iconic food and wine pairings – notably, the regional French bottles and dishes that have been carefully calibrated alongside each other for hundreds of years.