Jean-Georges Vongerichten, chef and owner of 18 restaurants around the world, pioneered Asian-fusion cuisine and cooks this food better than anyone on the planet. In Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges, he presents dozens of recipes for reproducing the dishes that have made his restaurants--Vong, Spice Market, and 66--the hottest dining destinations in New York City.
Jean-Georges began his love affair with Asian food when he became the chef de cuisine at the renowned Oriental Hotel in Bangkok at the age of twenty-three. His trips to the markets of Bangkok sparked a lifelong obsession with ingredients like ginger, lemongrass, curry pastes and powders, and all kinds of exotic fruits and vegetables. In 1992, when he came to New York to cook at Lafayette in the Drake Hotel, he was the first to combine the flavors of Thailand with French technique. The restaurant was a sensation, immediately earning four stars from the New York Times, and launching his dazzling career in the United States.
In 1997, he opened an outpost of Vong in Hong Kong and discovered the world of authentic and refined Chinese cooking and ingredients. As he says, “Every meal in Hong Kong contain[s] a thousand flavors.” He opened 66 in New York to showcase his newfound passion for the Chinese kitchen.
And then in 2003 he opened Spice Market, his homage to Asian street food, after five years of research and extensive travels through Southeast Asia (documented in the photos in this book). Once again, he translated Asian cuisine through a French sensibility for American diners. Spice Market instantly became his most popular restaurant and remains one of New York’s most sought-after reservations.
Now Jean-Georges has brought together the best of his pan-Asian recipes in one exciting cookbook. The recipes reflect Jean-Georges’s extraordinary talent for creating intensely flavorful dishes inspired by simple home cooking and street food. The secret is his subtle and surprising combinations, which, as in his restaurants, introduce Asian flavors to traditional Western-style dishes and cooking techniques. His special approach comes deliciously to life in such main courses as Grilled Chicken with Kumquat Lemongrass Dressing, Black Pepper Shrimp with “Sun-Dried” Pineapple, Cod with Malaysian Chili Sauce, and Lamb Shank Braised with Green Curry and Vegetables. Unusual side dishes include Steamed Spicy Eggplant and Coconut Sticky Rice. For dessert, there are treats like Chocolate and Vietnamese Coffee Tart or a Seasonal Fruit Plate with Lime-Spiced Salt. Each recipe is laid out in a clear, easy-to-follow style, and throughout the book invaluable tips are offered for streamlining preparation and cooking.
From taste-tempting appetizers, soups, and salads, to irresistible fish, meat, poultry, and vegetable dishes, to special sauces and one-of-a-kind sweets, the recipes in Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges promise to make dining at home as exciting as an evening out at one of Jean-Georges's fabulous restaurants.
Excerpted from Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Copyright © 2007 by Jean Georges Vongerichten. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
JEAN-GEORGES VONGERICHTEN became a culinary star when he first began cooking at Lafayette in New York City. He went on to establish the charming bistro JoJo in New York; introduced “fusion” cooking at Vong (three stars from the New York Times), which now has an outpost in Chicago; created the four-star Jean-Georges and hugely successful Spice Market and 66 in New York; opened Rama (Spice Market meets Vong) in London; and opened several acclaimed restaurants in cities from Shanghai to Las Vegas. He lives in New York City, when he is not traveling to oversee his existing restaurants or open a new one.