Nouvelle cuisine is pretty much the norm these days in upscale restaurants around the world; France, England and even Japan. During the rise of this trend, we were not sure on how to adapt it to American culinary culture. Sure the concept was there, but how were we to make it our own? This is where Jean Georges Vongerichten came in. He invented America’s reply to nouvelle cooking. And he has the badges to prove it.
At a young age, Vongerichten has been fascinated by the art of cooking. From watching his mother and grandmother prepare food to feed the employees of their family business, Vongerichten learned to appreciate large-scale cooking operations. This has led him to a career in the culinary arts. After preparatory culinary education and apprenticeship, he then worked under some of the biggest names in France, among them Paul Bocuse and Louise Outhier. From this experience, Vongerichten was able to build up the skills needed to strike out on his own and make a name for himself. And make a name for himself he did, given the brisk expansion of his culinary empire all over the world.
A true culinary artist, Vongerichten has succeeded in fusing the explosive flavors of Thai cuisine with the high-class styles of French cooking. The results of this merger are dishes that are not just unique but, as one critic had claimed, enough to take her breath away. His way of cooking is enough to convince people that he deserves the accolades that have been showered on him. Among these awards are the four stars from by The New York Times, Chef of the Year by John Mariani of Esquire, three stars from London’s Evening Standard, and the three stars from the Michelin Red Guide. The last recognition makes his Jean Georges Restaurant one of the only five restaurants in New York to have such an award.
Vongerichten has also written several cookbooks, two of these with Mark Bittman. These books are Asian Flavorings of Jean-Georges (October, 2007), Simple to Spectacular (co-authored with Mark Bittman) (2000), Jean-Georges: Cooking At Home with a Four-Star Chef (co-authored with Mark Bittman) (1998), and Simple Cuisine: The Easy, New Approach to Four-Star Cooking (1991). These books are noted for introducing to the readers the beauty and simplicity of French cooking. It also includes helpful tips as well as recipes for excellent Thai-French fusion dishes.