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, Vongerichten 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, Vongerichten’s 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, Vongerichten traveled to Asia to work at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, the Meridien Hotel in Singapore and the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong.
It was during this time working and traveling throughout Asia that Vongerichten 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. Vongerichten’s culinary vision has redefined industry standards and revolutionized the way we eat.
In 1986, Vongerichten dazzled diners with his innovative interpretation of classic French cuisine at the Lafayette in the Drake Swissôtel, where he garnered a four-star review from The New York Times at the age of 29.
In the first of many bold moves that established him as a culinary trendsetter, Vongerichten traded in this formal dining room for paper-clothed tables, opening his charming bistro JoJo in 1991. JoJo was named Best New Restaurant of the Year by John Mariani in Esquire and earned three stars from The New York Times.