Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s love for food arrived on the day he was born in 1956. His mother and grandmother prepared lunch each day for the 50 employees of the family business. They lived in Strasbourg in French Alsace and Jean-Georges was asked early about his opinion about his family’s cooking. Once a year the family used to visit one of the surrounding fine dining restaurants and when Jean-Georges was 16 years old the family celebrated his birthday at the legendary L’Auberge de L’Ill. Chef Patron Paul Haeberlin asked if Jean-Georges could be his apprentice and so he became, for three years.
Jean-Georges continued to work with some of the best chefs in France, like Louis Outhier and his restaurant L’Oasis at Côte d’Azur and Paul Bocuse in Lyon. After years of training and working in France, Jean-Georges moved to Bangkok in 1980 for a key position at Oriental Hotel. The next years were mostly spent in Asia, opening up ten restaurants of which several together with Louis Outhier who also was the reason why Jean-Georges moved to USA in 1985 to open up a new restaurant in Boston. One year later Jean-Georges moved to New York, which also is the city most people today recognize as the hometown of the grand chef. Jean-Georges was only 29 years old when he received the highest accolade from New York Times for his work as the Executive Chef at Lafayette and after that many new successful restaurants were founded, such as JoJo and Vong. Jean-Georges is today both a super chef and a super restaurateur with 28 restaurants around the world.
In 1997 Jean-Georges opened up his eponymous restaurant just next to Central Park on the lobby level of the Trump International Hotel and Tower. The restaurant is a culinary temple and the French cuisine with many Asian influences is not just one of the best meals you can have in New York, it is one of the best in the world.
Chef Patron Jean-Georges is not in the kitchen every day, but therestaurant is in safe hands of Executive Chef Mark Lapico who cooks the cuisine to perfection. The Head Sommelier makes a fine job of high quality and interesting wine pairings and Jean-Georges’ brother Philippe Vongerichten works impeccably as the General Manager. The whole team at Jean Georges makes sure to give you an experience far beyond the standard.
There have been several famous dishes over the years, but pray for the egg toast which is divine or the yellowfin tuna ribbons with avocado, spicy radish and ginger marinade which is unusually spicy for a dish at an establishment such as this, but none the less delicious. The lemongrass was one of many ingredients which influenced Jean-Georges during his time in Asia and the fantastic black sea bass, steamed with kaffir lime, herbal lemongrass sauce and bok choy is a good example of that.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten might not work as much as he used to do (read 24/7), but he is not even close to rest on previous victories and accolades – the chef is doubtless one of the foremost in the world and his cuisine takes your taste buds for a phenomenal and memorable journey. Never miss to make a reservation at Jean Georges when you are in New York.
Written by Andy