JGVA Life in 12 Recipes
with Michael Ruhlman
One of the most influential chef-restaurateurs of all time reflects on a career defined by surprising, delicious food.
From his first apprenticeship in France to his Michelin-starred restaurant empire, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s cuisine is inspired by the freshest ingredients, the simplest techniques, and the drive to make the ordinary perfect. It all started at home.
Jean-Georges was born in Alsace in Eastern France to a family in the coal business. He spent his childhood watching, mesmerized, as his mother served elaborate lunches each day at 12:30 p.m. sharp and exquisite dinners at exactly 7:30 p.m. From rich goose stew to tender roasted local vegetables, Vongerichten’s palate was forever transformed, and such were the origins of his culinary genius.
JGV is an invitation into the kitchen with a master chef. With humor and heart, Vongerichten looks back on success and failure, sharing stories of cooking with legendary chefs Paul Bocuse and Louis Outhier, traveling in search of new and revelatory flavors, and building menus of his own in New York City, London, Singapore, Sao Paolo, and back in France. Every story is full of wisdom, conveyed with the magnanimity and precision that has made this chef a household name.
Anchoring this remarkable memoir are twelve recipes that have defined Vongerichten’s career: an egg caviar still on his menu forty years after his mentor taught him the simple preparation; shrimp satay with a wine-oyster reduction from his landmark Lafayette restaurant; a pea guacamole that had President Obama Tweeting; and more.
Enlivened with old, handwritten menus and black-and-white photographs, JGVis a book for young chefs, as well as anyone who has ever stood at a stove and wondered what might be.
“A world-famous chef offers a remarkably down-to-earth take on his ascent to the upper echelons of the culinary world in this delightful memoir…Anyone curious about what drives an elite chef will want to pick this up.”-Publishers Weekly
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