Jean-Georges Vongerichten

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Born (1957-03-16) March 16, 1957 (age 67)
EducationCulinary school in Perpignan, France
SpouseMarja Dominique Allen
Culinary career
Cooking styleContemporary French cuisine, Thai-inspired French fusion cuisine, American nouvelle cuisine
Current restaurant(s)
  • New York City and area: Jean-Georges, Nougatine at Jean-Georges, Terrace at Jean-Georges, ABC Cocina, ABC Kitchen, ABCV, JoJo, Perry St, Simply Chicken, The Inn at Pound Ridge, The Mark, The Mercer Kitchen, The Fulton;
    Chicago: Pump Room;
    Las Vegas: Prime Steakhouse, Jean-Georges Steakhouse;
    Miami Beach: Matador Room, Market at EDITION, Tropicale;
    Paradise Island: Dune, Café Martinique;
    : Jean-Georges, Nougatine at Jean-Georges, Mercato, Chi-Q;
    Paris: Market;
    Saint Barthélemy: Sand Bar, On the Rocks;
    Tokyo: JG Tokyo; and Jakarta
    Los Cabos: SEARED, Suviche;
    Dubai: Jean-Georges Dining Room, Jean-Georges Kitchen;
    Vancouver: Market by Jean-Georges;
    Doha: Market by Jean-Georges;
    Dublin: Jean-Georges at The Leinster;
Michael Wildes, Jean Georges, 2014
Jean-Georges Vongerichten at his flagship restaurant, Jean-Georges, 2007.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten (German: [ʒãːˈʒɔrʒ fɔnɡəˈrɪçtn̩]; French: [ʒɑ̃ʒɔʁʒ vɔŋɡəʁiʃtɛn]; born in Alsace, France, on March 16, 1957) is a French chef.[1][2] Vongerichten owns restaurants in Miami Beach, Las Vegas, London, Paris, Shanghai, and Tokyo, as well as New York's Jean-Georges restaurant and Tangará Jean Georges in São Paulo's Palácio Tangará, by Oetker Collection.[3] He is head chef of Eden Rock, St Barths. Vongerichten is the author of five cookbooks, two with Mark Bittman.

Early life and career[edit]

Born and raised on the outskirts of Strasbourg in Alsace, France,[4] Vongerichten had a family life centered around the kitchen, where each day his mother and grandmother prepared lunch for the almost 50 employees of their business. His love of food cemented his choice of career at the age of 16, when his parents brought him to the three-star Michelin-rated Auberge de l'Ill for a birthday dinner.[5]

Vongerichten began his training soon after in a work-study program at the Auberge de l'Ill as an apprentice to Chef Paul Haeberlin. He went on to work with France's top chefs, including Paul Bocuse and Louis Outhier at L'Oasis in the south of France.[citation needed]

Often working with Outhier, Vongerichten opened ten restaurants around the world from 1980 to 1985, including the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, the Meridien Hotel in Singapore, and the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong.[5]

Relocation to America[edit]

Vongerichten arrived in the United States in 1985 under the auspices of consulting chef Louis Outhier, opening the Le Marquis de Lafayette restaurant in Boston. A year later he arrived in New York to take over as executive chef at Lafayette in the Drake Swissôtel, earning four stars from The New York Times at the age of 29. There he met financiers Bob Giraldi and Phil Suarez.[6] Vongerichten, Giraldi and Suarez opened a bistro, JoJo, in 1991. JoJo was named Best New Restaurant of the Year, and earned three stars from The New York Times.[7]


United States

NEW YORK CITY (and area)
The Tin Building
The Paris Café
ABC Cocina
ABC Kitchen
Terrace at Nougatine
Perry St
Public Kitchen
Simply Chicken
The Mark
The Mercer Kitchen
The Fulton
Bridgehampton, New York
Jean-Georges at Topping Rose House
Pound Ridge, New York
The Inn at Pound Ridge
Greenwich, CT
Happy Monkey

Prime Steakhouse
Jean-Georges Steakhouse

Matador Room
Market at Edition

Jean-Georges Philadelphia

Jean-Georges Beverly Hills
The Rooftop by JG


BAHAMAS Paradise Island

BRAZIL São Paulo
Tangara Jean-Georges
CHINA Shanghai

Jean-Georges at the Connaught

Sand Bar
Vong Kitchen

JAPAN Tokyo JG Tokyo
Kyoto Jean-Georges at The Shinmonzen
MEXICO Los Cabos
Republic of Singapore Singapore
The Dempsey Cookhouse and Bar


Jean-Georges at The Leinster


Vongerichten's next venture, Vong, paid homage to his passion for the spices and flavors of the East, earning a three-star review from The New York Times for his "explosive flavorful food". In an adjacent space to Vong, Vongerichten opened The Lipstick Cafe, catering to the midtown business crowd and serving breakfast and lunch in a casual, upscale setting. The Lipstick Cafe has since closed. In November 2009 it was revealed that Vong was closing at its longtime location indefinitely after it decided not to renew the lease.[8]


In March 1997, Vongerichten opened Jean-Georges restaurant in the Trump International Hotel and Tower, earning a four-star review from The New York Times less than three months after opening and the "Chef of the Year Award" from John Mariani at Esquire. Jean-Georges Restaurant also received a three-star rating from the Michelin Guide, an accolade it held until 2017, when its rating was reduced to two stars.[9]

Three more Vongs[edit]

A year and a half later, Vongerichten opened a second Vong in the Knightsbridge area of London, earning a three-star review and the 1996 vote for the Evening Standard's "Newcomer of the Year." In September 1997, he opened Vong in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong, which the Robb Report awarded "Best Restaurant in the World" award in 1998. A fourth Vong opened in Chicago, partnering with restaurant corporation Lettuce Entertain You and Geoff Alexander, to become VTK (Vong's Thai Kitchen) in 2002. This change was to make the signature Jean-George style available to a wider audience at a more accessible price point. All three additional Vongs, including VTK, have since closed.

The Mercer Kitchen[edit]

Vongerichten followed the third Vong with The Mercer Kitchen, in July 1998, in the Mercer Hotel in SoHo. Featuring an American-Provincial menu and "communal" style tables in the open-kitchen area, the restaurant is set to close at the end of 2022.[needs update] The reason Vongerichten gave: "It's been 25 years, a great run."[10]


In 1998, Jean George's Prime steakhouse opened in the Bellagio resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.[11] The steakhouse serves dinner nightly and offers guests patio seating overlooking the Fountains of Bellagio. It is rated Four Diamonds by the American Automobile Association.[12][13]

Spice Market[edit]

In 2004, Vongerichten opened Spice Market, which centered its cuisine around Southeast Asian street food in New York City. It closed in September 2016 due to an increase in rent.[14]

Perry Street[edit]

Perry Street opened in 2005 (French-American) also in New York City.[citation needed]

Chambers Kitchen[edit]

Chambers Kitchen in Minneapolis opened in 2007.


In 2008, Vongerichten teamed up with the Matsushita Brothers from Tokyo to open Matsugen.

J&G Steakhouse (Scottsdale)[edit]

Vongerichten opened his newest[clarification needed] steakhouse in December 2008 atop The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. With fare consisting of steaks and seafood, the restaurant has received four stars from The Arizona Republic[15] and is regarded as one of the top-three steakhouses in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.[16]


In November 2009, Vongerichten opened Market in Boston's W Hotel, inspired by the casual, simple elegance of the setting, Jean-Georges has created a relaxed menu that emphasizes fresh, locally produced ingredients. Market closed in December 2013. Co-owner Culinary Concepts of New York stated through spokesman Max Buccini: "Due to the rising costs of labor in the hotel landscape in Boston, it became increasingly difficult to operate."[17]

Hotel Shangri-La[edit]

Vongerichten opened a restaurant at the Hotel Shangri-La Vancouver in 2009. "Market by Jean-Georges" is the first collaboration between Shangri-La and Vongerichten and is the chef's first involvement with Canadian or west coast dining.[18]

Jean-Georges Steakhouse[edit]

Vongerichten opened a namesake restaurant inside the Aria Resort and Casino,[19] a casino resort hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. The restaurant features A-5 grade Kobe beef from the Hyōgo Prefecture in Kobe City, Japan, which makes it one of the eight restaurants in the United States to feature the beef.[20] In May 2017, the Las Vegas steakhouse underwent a two-month renovation. The restaurant made its second debut in July 2017. In addition to an updated ambiance – table-side charcuterie service and new craft cocktails are now featured at Jean-Georges Steakhouse.[21]

The Paris Café[edit]

The Paris Café opened on May 15, 2019, along with the opening of the TWA Hotel at John F. Kennedy International Airport[22] serving retro type meals similar to meals served on TWA flights when Trans World Airlines was using the TWA Flight Center.[23]


Jean-Georges's first vegan restaurant is ABCV in Manhattan.[24] The Infatuation, a restaurant-recommendation website, rated it 8.5/10 and named it one of New York City's best new restaurants of 2017, writing that "they aren't out to make a vegetable into something else. There’s no cashew cheese, and nothing is labeled as a 'steak.' They just source great vegetables at the green market and make them into something delicious".[25]


In September 2008, Vongerichten agreed to settle a lawsuit for $2.2 million filed by staff who claimed tips from several of his restaurants had been redirected to managers.[26]


In 2005, New York magazine wrote that in the past two decades, no single chef has had more influence on the way New Yorkers dine out—or on the way other chefs cook and other restaurants look. "He invented America’s answer to nouvelle cuisine," says Mario Batali. "When I first came to New York, his book Simple Cuisine was the holy grail for young chefs, and JoJo was the hottest ticket in town."[27]

Vongerichten claims to have invented molten chocolate cake in New York City in 1987, but the French chef and chocolatier Jacques Torres has disputed that, arguing that such a dish already existed in France.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Vongerichten resides in New York City[1] with his wife, Marja, a Korean-American/African-American actress and model (née Marja Dominique Allen; born 1976).[28] The couple has a daughter.

Vongerichten also has two adult children, Cedric (who is the executive chef of Perry Street) and Louise (who recently opened a restaurant called Chefs Club in NY), from his first marriage. His daughter Louise is married to Hamdi Ulukaya.[1] Vongerichten has three grandchildren. He spends weekends at a house in Waccabuc, New York[29]

Community activism[edit]

Vongerichten serves on the Food Council at City Harvest, and runs his own foundation called Food Dreams.[30][31]


  • Home Cooking with Jean-Georges (co-authored with Genevieve Ko) (November 2011), ISBN 978-0-307-71795-5
  • Asian Flavorings of Jean-Georges (October 2007), ISBN 978-0-7679-1273-0
  • Simple to Spectacular (co-authored with Mark Bittman) (October 2000), ISBN 978-0-7679-0360-8
  • Jean-Georges: Cooking At Home with a Four-Star Chef (co-authored with Mark Bittman) (September 1998), ISBN 978-0-7679-0155-0
  • Simple Cuisine: The Easy, New Approach to Four-Star Cooking (1991), ISBN 978-0-13-195059-7


In 2011, Vongerichten and his wife, Marja, debuted a PBS television series, Kimchi Chronicles, a travel and cooking show set in South Korea and New York City.[32]


  1. ^ a b c "Profile: Jean-Georges Vongerichten" Archived October 31, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, CityFile New York
  2. ^ Sigal, Jane "Jean-Georges, Phone Home" Archived March 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Food & Wine magazine, July 2005.
  3. ^ Morrow, Fiona "Vancouver restaurant scene lands a star" The Globe and Mail, September 9, 2004
  4. ^ Fabricant, Florence (March 5, 1997). "In Vongerichten's New Venture, the Kitchen Is on Display". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Bittman, Mark. "Meet the Chefs" How to Cook Everything book series, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Archived May 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Grimes, William (2009). Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York. Macmillan. p. 302. ISBN 978-0-86547-692-9.
  7. ^ Reichl, Ruth (April 12, 1996). "Restaurants". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 15, 2020.
  8. ^ Amanda (November 3, 2009). "Jean-Georges to shutter Vong on Saturday".
  9. ^ Fabricant, Florence (October 30, 2017). "Michelin Drops Jean-Georges to Two Stars". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2018 – via
  10. ^ Rahmanan, Anna (August 8, 2022). "A Jean-Georges restaurant is closing after 25 years in NYC". TimeOut New York.
  11. ^ "Plating a Paradigm: Bellagio's Restaurant Collection Still Shines after 15 Years". October 17, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  12. ^ "From the Sommelier". Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  13. ^ "Prime Steakhouse Menu". Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  14. ^ Morabito, Greg (August 23, 2016). "Drink a Lychee Martini Muddled With Tears Because Spice Market Is Closing Next Month".
  15. ^ Seftel, Howard (April 7, 2009). "dining". Retrieved April 27, 2011.
  16. ^ Seftel, Howard (January 15, 2009). "". Retrieved April 27, 2011.
  17. ^ "Famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Market restaurant closes in Boston". Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  18. ^ Morrow, Fiona. "Internationally feted chef opening Vancouver restaurant". The Globe and Mail. September 9, 2008.
  19. ^ "Aria Las Vegas". Aria Las Vegas. Archived from the original on August 29, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2011.
  20. ^ "Las Vegas Restaurants – Jean Georges Steakhouse @ ARIA at CityCenter". Archived from the original on November 26, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
  21. ^ "A First Look Inside The Remodeled Jean Georges Steakhouse". July 14, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  22. ^ Petre, Holly (May 16, 2019). "A new kind of destination opens at JFK airport". Nations Restaurant News. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  23. ^ "Paris Café". Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  24. ^ Fabricant, Florence (February 13, 2017). "A Peek at ABCV, a Top Chef's First Vegetarian Restaurant". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  25. ^ "abcV - New York". The Infatuation. August 24, 2017. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  26. ^ "Waiters successfully sue celeb chef for tips". September 17, 2008. Retrieved September 17, 2008.
  27. ^ McInerney, Jay (June 18, 2005). "Jean-Georges Is Seeing Stars". New York.
  28. ^ "Celebrity Chef's Wife Returns to Ancestral Home", The Chosun Ilbo newspaper, South Korea, June 29, 2010
  29. ^ "Jean-Georges Goes Country". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  30. ^ "NYC: Geoffrey Zakarian Is The New Chairman Of City Harvest Food Council - Food Republic". Food Republic. January 27, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  31. ^ Studios, IdeaWork. "Philanthropy | Jean-Georges Restaurants". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  32. ^ Ong, Bao. (December 8, 2010).Kimchi Chronicles. The New York Times.

External links[edit]