2016 South Florida Rising Star Chef Rick Mace of Cafe Boulud Palm Beach

2016 South Florida Rising Star Chef Rick Mace of Cafe Boulud Palm Beach
April 2016

Cafe Boulud Palm Beach
301 Australian Avenue
Palm Beach, FL 33480



Growing up on a hundred-acre, family- owned farm in Ohio, Rick Mace understood fresh ingredients and sustainability from the start. This homegrown knowledge combined with leisure activities, such has hunting and fishing, gave Mace a first- hand, holistic view of food. Mace is also from a military family and was enriched with a multicultural education as his family moved around the globe.

Graduating from the New England Culinary Institute in 2005, Mace worked at Butler’s Restaurant at The Inn at Essex in Vermont, as well as at San Diego’s Barona Valley Resort.

In 2007, Mace joined the Dinex Group as executive sous chef of Daniel Boulud Brasserie at The Wynn Resort Las Vegas, where he developed the brasserie’s menu and led the restaurant’s charcuterie program. Mace left the group in 2010 to take on the position of executive chef at the RT Lodge in Maryville, Tennessee.

He returned to the Dinex group in 2013 as executive chef of CafĂ© Boulud in Palm Beach, Florida. Mace is in charge of all dining and catering at the historic Brazilian Court Hotel, and through his creative cooking and unimpeachable technique, he’s pushing diners and teaching the next generation of chefs what it means to be exceptional and original.

Interview with South Florida Rising Star Hotel Chef Rick Mace of Cafe Boulud at Brazilian Court Hotel

Caroline Hatchett: How did you get your start?
I took an interest in cooking because of fishing and hunting, really. My granddad taught us to fish and hunt when we were really young on his farm, and cooking was a part of that. They had a huge garden, too, which was a big part of our summers. My great grandparents had a root cellar under thir house. When I was older, my Dad came back from assignment in Greece, and he was really fired up about the food that he had eaten there. The first time I smelled olive oil was probably when I started cooking with the intention of making it a career.

CH: Who’s your mentor?
I have been blessed by being around some great chefs throughout my career. I definitely count Daniel [Boulud] as the primary one. I’ve worked for him longer than anyone.

CH: What’s the biggest challenge facing your restaurant?
Talent. The greater the talent we can collect and cultivate here within the restaurant, the greater the cuisine we are able to produce. I have been very fortunate with the team here at Cafe Boulud, but we are always looking forward to the next person who can add to our efforts. Nothing else seems as significant as this one object. 

CH: What’s your favorite tool?
Forscher knives. I use them every day. They’re durable and affordable.

CH: What tool do you wish you had?
A Stagionello curing chamber. We have one at Cafe Boulud in Toronto. They allow for easy control of the precise environment for house-made salumi.

CH: What’s your favorite dish you’ve ever made?
My grandmother’s meatballs. They remind me of her, and when I started cooking.

CH: Where would you most like to visit for culinary travel?
My great grandfather was a cheesemaker from Switzerland, and was the first generation to settle here in the United States. I love the mountains, as well. 

CH: What's your five year plan? 
I’m happy working for Daniel. I’ve been in his kitchen for 20 years—it’s the pinnacle of my career. And Palm Beach is the best of both worlds. It’s two restaurants: romantic in the summer and busy in the winter. It’s the only restaurant on the hotel premises. 

CH: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Be yourself, no matter what.