Jean-Georges - Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef By Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman Jean-Georges Vongerichten is from Alsace, France, but was greatly influenced by the cuisines of Asia - Thailand, in particular - before moving to New York. He was one of the first chefs to explore fusion, back when haute cuisine was limited to European dishes. The use of soy sauce, fish sauce and ginger hardly rates a mention on today's haute-cuisine menus, but back in the 1980s, these were considered new and exciting ingredients. The book's promise to "turn your kitchen into a four star restaurant" (four stars being the highest ranking given by The New York Times ) is a bit of a stretch; after all, it's not just the food that gets the stars. The recipes, however, are straightforward, not too involved, and use ingredients that - for the most part - are easy to find and not that expensive. They include grilled eggplant with nam pla and basil; chicken soup with coconut milk and lemongrass; green gazpacho; warm potato salad with caramelised shallots and watercress; veal chops with pineapple juice and pine nuts; crispy rice crepes with raspberries and coconut; and five-spice ice cream.