Jean George Vongerichten is a culinary powerhouse. With a career spanning decades and over 37 restaurants spread across the globe, Vongerichten has firmly cemented a reputation for himself as one of the best chefs in the world.
His world-class restaurants, including Jean-Georges, JoJo—which underwent a top to bottom renovation last year—and The Mark, have become some of the most celebrated in the New York culinary scene for their innovative dishes and stellar decor. But while the dishes at Vongerichten's restaurants are polished and refined, he keeps things a bit more casual when cooking for family.
"When I cook at home I try not to plate anything," Vongerichten said. Explaining that he prefers to spend more time with family than tediously plating dishes in his kitchen—especially since he does so for hours each day at his restaurants. "The food goes in the middle of the table and we eat family style."
Vongerichten takes a similar approach when cooking at home as well. Instead of concocting unique dishes and experimenting with flavors from far-flung locales, he sticks to the classics. His favorite? A simple roast chicken with Yukon Gold potatoes—he explained that Yukon Gold are the best variety to use because they have a soft, almost buttery texture when they come out of the oven—and served with a side salad.
He seasons the bird with salt and pepper, coats it with lots of butter and massages it in, places it on a roasting pan with the peeled potatoes and whole garlic cloves. Then cooks it in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour.
It's the type of dish that can be thrown together quickly and has great flavor, Vongerichten said. It allows him more time with his family and friends, instead of spending hours toiling away in front of the stove. "It's simple and delicious," he said. "It's a non-thinking dish for me."