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Just in time for the hullabaloo over whether Vong deserves a Michelin star, Jean-Georges Vongerichten has released a cookbook from Broadway Books entitled Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges, with recipes from Vong, Spice Market and the now-shuttered 66. Though the timing might be awkward, the book is in fact a delight for A) its travel photos, and B) the remarkable timelessness of Jean-Georges’s cooking.
A) The photos are mesmerizing, many of street-food displays in Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand. But what's incredible is that they were taken by Daniel Del Vecchio, Jean-Georges’s right-hand man. Without Danny to keep it organized, the 17+ JGV restaurant empire would crumble like ancient Rome. In a normal universe, Daniel would not have time to smile, let alone snap a picture. Yet he’s one of the nicest people I know. And now there’s proof he’s talented at photography as well as cooking (Daniel was once the chef at the London Vong).
B) Vong opened in New York 1992, when Boyz II Men were on top of the Billboard charts. Do you even remember Cooleyhighharmony, let alone still listen to it? Yet Boston Lettuce Salad with Lemon-Licorice Dressing, and Sirloin Steaks with Garlic Soy Butter and Pickled Bell Peppers still sound delicious and appealing. I can’t say as much about the Spice Girls’ reunion tour.