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.
The world's great Asian chefs hail Jean-Georges: "I am Japanese so it's a given that I am good at arranging Asian food. Jean-Georges is not Asian but he is excellent at incorporating Asian influences into his own food, and coming up with ingenious combinations. Congratulations to Jean-Georges on the publication of this wonderful book with Asian flavors!"
-- Nobu Matsuhisa, chef and owner, Nobu & Matsuhisa restaurants worldwide
"Once again you have managed to give a very unique Jean-Georges twist to the Asian food traditions, safeguarding and respecting the very essence of them, which in my opinion is a harmony of sweet, sour, salty, and just the right amount of spiciness. It creates an explosion of flavors in your mouth and a culinary experience that clings to your taste buds long after you've left the dining table."
-- Norbert Kostner, executive chef, Bangkok's Oriental Hotel
"Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges, a savory chef d'oeuvre . . . This book of astonishing and imaginative recipes demonstrates that Jean-Georges, a fusion pioneer, remains as passionate a culinary explorer as he is a perfectionist of Asian-style cuisine. Anyone who prepares these fresh, aromatic, and seductive dishes will feel that they, too, have traveled the spice routes and street food markets of Southeast Asia. ASIAN FLAVORS presents a unique and nuanced palette of taste sensations by one of my favorite food artists."
-- Susur Lee, chef and owner, Toronto's restaurants Susur and Lee
"Reading Jean-Georges's latest book is a definite temptation to head straight to the kitchen right away. I draw tremendous inspiration from this respected chef and good friend's artistic creation of exotic Asian cuisines with magical doses of Western sophistication. This book is definitely a work of culinary art that will have a permanent place among my collection of favorite cookbooks."
-- Jereme Leung, founding chef and part owner, Shanghai's Whampoa Club