Though Jean-Georges Vongerichten is one of the world’s most famous chefs, his skills extend far beyond the kitchen. A savvy businessman and restaurateur, Jean-Georges is responsible for the operation and success of a constellation of three- and four-star restaurants worldwide.
Born and raised on the outskirts of Strasbourg in Alsace, France, Jean-Georges' earliest family memories are about food. He trained in a work-study program at the Auberge de l'Ill and as an apprentice to Chef Paul Haeberlin. He went on to work under Paul Bocuse and Master Chef Louis Outhier at L'Oasis in southern France. With this impressive three-star Michelin training, Jean-Georges traveled to Asia and took positions at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, the Meridien Hotel in Singapore, and the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong.
It was during this time spent working and traveling throughout Asia that Jean-Georges developed his love for the exotic and aromatic flavors of the East. His signature cuisine abandons the traditional use of meat stocks and creams and instead features the intense flavors and textures from vegetable juices, fruit essences, light broths, and herbal vinaigrettes. Jean-Georges’ culinary vision has redefined industry standards and revolutionized the way we eat.
Jean-Georges has published several cookbooks reflecting his influential style of cooking, including Simple Cuisine (Wiley, 1990); Cooking at Home with a Four Star Chef (Broadway Books, 1998), for which he won the Best Cookbook Award from the James Beard Foundation in 1999; and Simple to Spectacular (Broadway Books, 2000). In October 2007, he released Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges, featuring beloved recipes from his restaurants Spice Market, Vong, and 66.
Involved in every aspect of his restaurants, from concept, to menu, to architectural design, staff selection and all the finishing touches, Jean-Georges and partner Phil Suarez have worked together for over 17 years to create restaurants that are both timely and enduring. Inspired by his travels, Jean-Georges is constantly developing fresh concepts and evolving as a chef and restaurateur, both adapting to and impacting the global culinary landscape.
In 2007, Jean-Georges and Suarez partnered with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and private equity firm Catterton Partners to create Culinary Concepts by Jean-Georges. This new venture develops international, multi-concept restaurant and licensing businesses for Starwood’s luxury hotel brands (including W, Westin, Le Meridien, Sheraton’s Luxury Collection, and the St. Regis) and for freestanding locations throughout the world. Existing properties include Spice Markets in New York and at The W Hotel Atlanta Midtown, the W Istanbul, and the W Qatar; Lagoon at the St. Regis Resort in Bora Bora; Market by Jean Georges at the W Doha; J&G Steakhouse at the Phoenecian in Scottsdale, Arizona and the W Washington DC.
In 2008, Jean-Georges and Suarez partnered with the Matsushita brothers to open a Japanese Soba restaurant, Matsugen, in New York City. Bucking convention, Jean-Georges stepped out of the kitchen to leave the cooking to the Matsushitas and their hand-picked team of Japanese chefs.
2009 was a whirlwind for Chef Vongerichten and his seasoned team. They opened 7 restaurants in cities across the United States, and one in Vancouver, Canada. Today, Jean-Georges is working on two projects in New York – the Mark by Jean-Georges, at the Mark Hotel, and ABC Kitchen, at ABC Carpet & Home. The latter is another pioneering step for Chef Vongerichten, where he will be cooking local, sustainable food in an equally local and sustainable space.
Jean-Georges is the Master Cook for Food & Wine magazine. He has appeared on Live! With Regis and Kelly, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart Show, The Early Show on CBS, Top Chef, the Food Network, and in the 1995 PBS series In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs.
Jean-Georges has made culinary history and developed a reputation as remarkable as his food by tapping his deep understanding of the restaurant world and pairing it with his forward-thinking vision. Yet, after years of success, Jean-Georges’ favorite retreat is still the kitchen and his favorite meals dished from a street cart in Thailand.