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FunnyJohn

Vongerichten's Next Move

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Wonder how this new venture will fare in the current economy?
More than that, how will it launch when JGV takes most every weekend off?

Last Friday's WSJ had a profile of JGV at home in Waccubuc (Westchester Co) NY:

This is Mr. Vongerichten's weekend home, which introduced something new into the chef's life: a weekend. For 35 years, he worked six days a week. But since buying this traditional house about two years ago, Mr. Vongerichten says he spends most weekends here, arriving Saturday morning and returning to the city Sunday night.

<snip>

Professionally, Mr. Vongerichten isn't slowing down. In addition to running eight restaurants in New York, including his Michelin three-star-rated flagship Jean Georges, he and Mr. Suarez have opened six restaurants in recent years. Despite the economy, they plan to open 10 more next year. "Some things have been put on hold, but overall what we have in the pipeline now is happening," Mr. Suarez says.

The story also has a video of lunch preparation.

ETA: In the NYT and WSJ during the same week? Somebody's publicist is earning their bacon.

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Does a clear distinction any longer exist between someone like Vongerichten on the one hand and Rachael Ray on the other?

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Does a clear distinction any longer exist between someone like Vongerichten on the one hand and Rachael Ray on the other?
IMO, yes. Jean-Georges can become Rachel Ray. Conversely, Rachel Ray could not become Jean-Georges, she just doesn't have the chops. I'll write up a meal from Jean-Georges later today, but it goes without saying that before being a one man corporation, JGV was one of the most talented chefs in the United States, and has worked in / ran Michelin starred restaurants on multiple continents.

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Does a clear distinction any longer exist between someone like Vongerichten on the one hand and Rachael Ray on the other?

Yes, I can think of two things...... :rolleyes:

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I think his empire is great if it subsidizes the flag ship restaurant. Their lunch menu has to be one of the greatest deals in the restaurant world, and whether or not its deserves its stars its definitely a great deal. I've had some pretty good meals at Perry Street too.

One thing that I like about his is he's said in interviews that he knows his other restaurants can't be Jean Georges.

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In the early to mid '90's my wife and I had three meals in one week at Emeril's on Tschoupoulitas (sp?) street in New Orleans. One of these was sitting at the "food bar" in the rear where Emeril served you personally. Another dinner had ten of us at a round table and a 12 course blow out dinner. The third was my wife and myself for lunch the afternoon after the blowout dinner.

All three were incredible.

We went back the next year. And the next. And the next. Even flying to New Orleans ONLY to eat there.

At some point Emeril started with the TV Food Network and commuted to New York for his show. At some point he also started opening other restaurants. Today there are many of these. None have anything in common with his original when he was in the kitchen, behind the "food bar." That restaurant, then-to this day-is still one of the absolute best restaurants to ever open in the United States. It was THAT good. It is also, today, not the same. He is no longer on the other side of the counter, no longer in the kitchen. No longer caring about every single dish that is sent out. Emeril's today is an industry that has little in common with the NOLA original that he sweated his life for.

I expect Jean Georges to be the same.

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At some point Emeril started with the TV Food Network and commuted to New York for his show. At some point he also started opening other restaurants. Today there are many of these. None have anything in common with his original when he was in the kitchen, behind the "food bar." That restaurant, then-to this day-is still one of the absolute best restaurants to ever open in the United States. It was THAT good. It is also, today, not the same. He is no longer on the other side of the counter, no longer in the kitchen. No longer caring about every single dish that is sent out. Emeril's today is an industry that has little in common with the NOLA original that he sweated his life for.

I expect Jean Georges to be the same.

I hope you are wrong, but fear you are right -- everyone has to know their limits (didn't Dirty Harry say that?). Anyway, even if this venture results in a watering down of the Vongerichten product, it still might be a plus for the food world.

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I can't help bu thing of the depressingly mediocre meals I had PuckDonald's in Denver. Perfectly competent meals but the fact that there might be a Chef-God involved with the operation was evident only from the liberal use of Wolfgang's surname.

And, not to be a snob or anything, but the rubes in the secondary markets don't know the difference (he sniffed).

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I can sum this entire discussion up by recalling something I heard about ten years ago on Car Talk. One of the Tappet brothers (not sure if it was Click or Clack) wondered aloud when "all the SUV drivers are going to wake up and realize that they're riding around in minivans." <Insert cackling laughter here.>

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I can't help bu thing of the depressingly mediocre meals I had PuckDonald's in Denver. Perfectly competent meals but the fact that there might be a Chef-God involved with the operation was evident only from the liberal use of Wolfgang's surname.

And, not to be a snob or anything, but the rubes in the secondary markets don't know the difference (he sniffed).

I've said the same about The Source - above average Asian food but nothing to get excited over, add in the inflated price, they can kiss my little yellow ass. After looking over Spice Market's menu I get the same feeling.

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I've said the same about The Source - above average Asian food but nothing to get excited over, add in the inflated price, they can kiss my little yellow ass.

The Source's own website says this: "Upstairs, guests can enjoy a menu that features modern interpretations of Asian dishes."

And this: "The upstairs, Asian-influenced menu includes dishes such as Crispy Suckling Pig with black plum puree; Steamed Wild King Salmon “Hong Kong” style with baby bok choy; and Lacquered Chinese Duckling with wild huckleberries and chow fun."

So what, exactly, about a decidedly upscale restaurant claiming to offer an "Asian-influenced menu" with "modern interpretations of Asian dishes" ruffles your feathers enough to say what you said? I find your ire misdirected and your comment unfair.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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The Source's own website says this: "Upstairs, guests can enjoy a menu that features modern interpretations of Asian dishes."

And this: "The upstairs, Asian-influenced menu includes dishes such as Crispy Suckling Pig with black plum puree; Steamed Wild King Salmon “Hong Kong” style with baby bok choy; and Lacquered Chinese Duckling with wild huckleberries and chow fun."

So what, exactly, about a decidedly upscale restaurant claiming to offer an "Asian-influenced menu" with "modern interpretations of Asian dishes" ruffles your feathers enough to say what you said? I find your ire misdirected and your comment unfair.

Cheers,

Rocks.

I don't think Asian food needs modern interpretation. From my standpoint, it's dumbing down the food for people who don't know anything about Asian food to feel better about themselves. If you believe what you said, why bother going to Present, Nava Thai or Hong Kong Palace? What's the difference between The Source and PF Chang?

What part about a $40 over-fried fish should I applaud? At Present, that same $40 bought us a fish that fed 7. At The Source, I didn't bother finishing the fish.

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I don't think Asian food needs modern interpretation. From my standpoint, it's dumbing down the food for people who don't know anything about Asian food to feel better about themselves. If you believe what you said, why bother going to Present, Nava Thai or Hong Kong Palace? What's the difference between The Source and PF Chang?

---> X <---

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I don't think Asian food needs modern interpretation. ...

Huh? Do you feel the same way about French, Italian, German, American, Cajun, Creole, etc.? :rolleyes: From your other posts I would say no...

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I don't think Asian food needs modern interpretation. From my standpoint, it's dumbing down the food for people who don't know anything about Asian food to feel better about themselves. If you believe what you said, why bother going to Present, Nava Thai or Hong Kong Palace? What's the difference between The Source and PF Chang?

Yep, if it wasn't done in the Ming Dynasty (the Manchus are soooo nouveau) it's clearly "dumbing down." Cause that's how Wolfie (and J-G) bones -- dumbing shit down for American diners.

On the other hand, the self-esteem surge I experience after dinner at the Source is better than junk and cheaper than therapy (while dinner at Nava Thai makes me feel sad and lost).

(Thinks me: I see a false dichotomy.)

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Huh? Do you feel the same way about French, Italian, German, American, Cajun, Creole, etc.? :rolleyes: From your other posts I would say no...

When someone has mastered a cuisine, then maybe he/she could start reinterpreting it. The best analogy I have is in the art world. Picasso was a great painter and then he pioneered cubism. If Puck can make great Asian food, then he can go hog wild in reinterpreting it. Unfortunately I haven't had Puck's personal cooking but I've tried his restaurants and they're not great.

I like great food, it could be authentic or it can be creative, but it has to achieve greatness. If you think Puck and his empire or JG and his empre can create great food, you should go eat there. In my opinion, they're just above the average Asian you can find here in DC.

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If you think Puck and his empire or JG and his empre can create great food, you should go eat there. In my opinion, they're just above the average Asian you can find here in DC.
Have you eaten at a JG restaurant?

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Have you eaten at a JG restaurant?

[i'm sure he has. Nobody's questioning Eric's dining credentials]; it's his sanity that's in doubt. :rolleyes: I have various issues with his arguments, not the least of which is his broad brushstroke of "Asian food," but I have to choose my battles and I'm not choosing this one. At least not yet.

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