Cult of Ketchup

America's favorite condiment is also the secret weapon at some of New York City's best restaurants. Here, four-star chefs prove their devotion.

If you were to find a bottle of ketchup at a four-star restaurant, you might think its for children who insist on having burgers while their parents eat foie gras. Surprise: the chefs at some of Manhattan's best restaurants see ketchup as their secret weapon. Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Jean Georges combines it with soy sauce, vinegar and plenty of butter to make a silky sauce for cod. At Lespinasse, Christian Delouvrier sauces pork with a blend of ketchup, soy sauce and honey because he likes the complex sweet and tangy flavors. When the very Gallic Delouvrier first came to the U.S., he swore he'd never even dip a French fry in ketchup. But after his kids made him try it a few years back, he became a fan: "I guess after almost 30 years in the United States you have to learn to love ketchup."

PUBLISHED March 2000

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