With restaurants from New York to Doha—including J&G Grill in The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort—French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is a commanding force in the international culinary scene. Here he shares his favorite restaurants, sartorial preferences and where he turns for inspiration.
What are your favorite restaurants in Paris, New York and London?
“L’Arpege in Paris, Masa in New York and The River Café in London.”
When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
“My parents took me to L'Auberge de l'Ill a three Michelin-starred restaurant, to celebrate my sixteenth birthday. I was blown away by my experience and it was that meal that changed my life. My mom convinced chef Paul Haeberlin to take me on as an apprentice. After my first day at work I knew I no longer wanted to work in the family business; I wanted to become a chef.”
Do you have any go-to fashion labels?
“Prada, Marc Jacobs, Helmut Lang.”
How do you typically spend your weekend?
“Visit my country home, cook for friends and family, fish, kayak and ice skate in the winter.”
Do you see a relationship between food and fashion?
“Food and fashion are very similar. They are both made up of layers, colors and texture. In both food and fashion there is first a physical attraction followed by an emotional reaction.”
What inspires you?
“I find inspiration in my travels and experiences. I travel approximately once a month to both familiar and new places. I find that visiting a new restaurant, store or place in New York is also inspiring.”
What is your favorite thing about Bal Harbour?
“I am particularly fond of Bal Harbour’s great beaches, shopping and local restaurants. I love that you are able to get a taste of Miami without having to deal with the scene. I love the St. Regis for its pool and accommodations.”
Which young chef do you have your eye on?
“There is so much young fresh talent here in NYC and worldwide. But, to name a few: my son Cedric Vongerichten, who is the chef de cuisine at Perry Street and chef César Ramirez of Brooklyn Fare.”