How Jean-Georges Vongerichten gets it done
The New York Times profiled prolific chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, trying to get to the bottom of how he manages to open and manage so many restaurants. The current roster is 38 globally, with 14 here in NYC, two of which he opened this past spring. The process to get to that answer revealed some interesting details about the JGV empire:
- The group employs 5,000 people in 12 countries.
- Vongerichten rotates eating at his restaurants daily to keep quality control.
- He was only able to get into the kitchen of Paris Cafe at TWA Hotel two days before opening.
- Most of his restaurants are management deals, meaning Jean-Georges Management designs a restaurant and runs the kitchen for a percentage of gross revenue and a percentage of net profit, but a partner owns the space and handles payroll.
- Three-quarters of Vongerichten’s total revenue is through these management deals.
- Jean-Georges on Central Park pulls in $25 million a year in revenue, but it costs more than that to run.
- Vongerichten develops his recipes down to the gram to ensure consistency.
In other news
— Times critic Ligaya Mishan visits Dua Kafe this week, a “homey Albanian restaurant” in the East Village that puts out “a parade of dishes ... that celebrate creaminess, which is to say an enveloping, voluptuous richness that is as much an embrace of life as it is of food.”
— New Yorker critic Hannah Goldfield finds much to delight in at Golden Diner on the Lower East Side, especially the vegan grilled cheese with “buoyant ooze” and “exceptionally satisfying” vegan Caesar salad.
— New Nomad Middle Eastern restaurant Lamalo is now serving lunch with dishes such as harissa chicken wings and lamb kofta, a spokesperson tells Eater.
— Famed Hawaii chef — and former Eater video host — Sheldon Simeon is popping up for a Hawaiian tasting menu night at Contra. Reserve here for the $100 dinner on Monday, October 28 with dishes such as tuna poke with preserved lemon and sea beans as well as coconut milk-marinated hanger steak with a broken rice taré crust.
— To prep for his role as a chef in off-Broadway play Seared, actor Raúl Esparza shadowed at seafood restaurant Gloria.
— Musician Frank Ocean is hosting a regularly occurring, uber-exclusive queer club night.
— UWS Thai takeout workhorse Land Thai has new owners. David and Vanida Bank sold the restaurnat, which is keeping the same name, to their staff and are focusing solely on Pure Thai Cookhouse and Taladwat in Hell’s Kitchen.
— Famed gelato maker Meredith Kurtzman shares nostalgic recipes for her New York of yore.