August 19, 2011 | Short Order

Jean-Georges is MIA in Wine Spectator’s September ode to America’s French Chefs.

Wine Spectator can’t see the forest for the trees. Photo Copyright: Steven Richter

Wine Spectator can’t see the forest for the trees. Photo Copyright: Steven Richter


       It took only a minute to see that Jean-Georges Vongerichten was inexplicably missing from Wine Spectator’s ode to America’s great French chefs on the September cover. Daniel Boulud is crowned king. Eric Ripert gets his due along with Alain Ducasse, Hubert Keller and Joël Robuchon. Pierre Gagnaire and Guy Savoy rate a salute as occasional Parisien transients in Las Vegas
       Even veteran survivers like Jean Joho and Georges Perrier get a nod and David Féau from the kitchen of the Royce at the Langham in Pasadena. Hello! Opps, I almost forgot to mention George Mavrothalassitis from Honolulu. creator of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine, according to the Spectator. I never heard of him. And no Jean-Georges.

       Spectator Executive editor Thomas Matthews, agreed at first: “That's a good point,” he began. “We considered a large number of chefs in trying for a geographical reach and diversity of approach.  We felt with Féau and Mavrothalassitis we had covered fusion.”  

       I couldn't help myself. I gasped.

      “I hope he won't take it as an insult,” Matthews said.

       Reached onboard a bus bound for his weekend home, the great chef Vongerichten said he had received other surprised calls before mine. “Maybe they don’t think I’m French because of my name.”

       “Maybe they didn’t know Alsace is French now since World War 11 ended,” I suggested,

       “But there is Keller and Joho…we all three came from l’Auberge de l’Ille in Illhausern,” he noted. “And to think Marvin Shanken lives just next door on Central Park West. Maybe we were just so close, he forgot about us.”
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