Brett Traussi, Chef Boulud’s Former Right-Hand Man, Joins Lee NYC


Brett Traussi, chef Daniel Boulud’s former right-hand man who helped Boulud expand his empire from two restaurants to 17, joined Lee & Associates NYC as a hospitality specialist and retail associate in its retail leasing department, Commercial Observer has learned.

Traussi started at Lee NYC earlier this month, where he will help both restaurateurs and developers conceive, construct, brand and open eateries around the city, something that Lee NYC said will become a much more important service post-COVID-19.

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“New York simply cannot bounce back without a vibrant restaurant industry,” Peter Braus, the managing principal at Lee NYC, said in a statement. “Brett has developed and managed memorable restaurants like Restaurant Daniel, Café Boulud and Le Cirque 2000 and will be a significant addition to Lee NYC.”

For 21 years, Traussi worked as the chief operating officer of Boulud’s Dinex Group, which manages the chef’s restaurants and brands, and helped open spots including Bar Boulud in London and Boston, Maison Boulud in Beijing and Montreal, and the casual market and cafe chain Epicerie Boulud, according to Lee NYC. He left in 2019 to start his own food and beverage consulting firm foBT Hospitality.

Before working with Dinex, Traussi managed the food and beverage departments of the New York Palace Hotel and the Omni Park Central, and graduated from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

“The best projects are a true collaboration between the operator and developer,” Traussi said in a statement. “By strengthening that relationship and understanding each other’s goals, I can help shape the strongest possible outcome for each stakeholder. Adding Lee’s extensive resources will support and accelerate that process.”