ARIA - Jean Georges Steakhouse - Chef and Creator Jean-Georges Vongerichten Biography
Jean Georges Steakhouse
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.
Vong, Vongerichten’s next venture, paid homage to his passion for the Orient with a unique take on Thai-inspired French cuisine. In November 1995, Vongerichten opened a second Vong in London, with subsequent locations in Hong Kong and Chicago.
Vongerichten’s namesake restaurant Jean Georges in the Trump International Hotel and Tower opened in March 1997, earning two four-star reviews from The New York Times and a coveted three stars from the Michelin Guide (now known as Forbes Travel Guide). He also received the unprecedented Best New Restaurant and Outstanding Chef awards from the James Beard Foundation in 1998.
In October 1998, Vongerichten made his Las Vegas debut with Prime inside Bellagio, creating a decadent steakhouse experience overlooking the resort’s magnificent fountains.
Vongerichten then went on to open numerous restaurants around the world including 66, Market and Perry Street, all located in New York City; Bank in Houston; Jean-Georges in Shanghai; and V and Rama in London.
In December 2009, Vongerichten opened Jean Georges Steakhouse inside ARIA Resort & Casino, further pushing the boundaries of traditional steakhouse expectations with a decidedly fresh, contemporary reinterpretation.
Vongerichten 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, Vongerichten’s favorite retreat is still the kitchen and his favorite meals dished from a street cart in Thailand.
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