Jean-Georges Vongerichten: ‘Thai Food Changed My Life’
Sautéed foie gras with mango and ginger pretty much only sounds delicious if it’s a concoction conceptualized by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The father of Asian-French fusion began his love affair with Asian flavors when he found himself the sous chef of a French restaurant in Bangkok at the age of 23. While bringing his French background to work on a daily basis, Jean-Georges was at home figuring out how to incorporate Thai influences into his repertoire (see fois gras experiment above).
“Thai food changed my life, ” Jean-Georges told The Daily Meal, “because everything starts with a pot of water, lemongrass, some shrimp, some mushrooms, fish sauce, and you’ve got the best soup in the world.”
After his time spent in Asia, he moved to New York, and naturally, the only place he felt comfortable amidst the skyscrapers in a new American city was Chinatown. “I came from Hong Kong and I didn’t know where to shop,” he lamented.
If Spice Market was the product of an unholy ginger and foie union and a lot of time spent in Chinatown, we guess being constantly harassed by Asian women shilling knockoff designer handbags was worth it.