Why He’s Amazing: Because he has talent for amplifying natural flavors in simple yet striking combinations, as in a dish that combines creamy morels with Meyer lemon glaze on sourdough toast.
Culinary School: The Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY)
Background: Per Se, Perry St., Jean-Georges, Tocqueville (New York City)
Quintessential Dish: Arctic char carpaccio with crispy skin, dill and chile oil
Born into the Business: “My mom owned a restaurant in Haddonfield, New Jersey. The bus stopped right in front of it and I’d go there after school. That’s where my childhood took place.”
What He Learned from Jean-Georges Vongerichten: Take “the most direct route to delicious. I think all of his restaurants kind of encompass that. [At Vernick Food & Drink] we don’t try to go too far in any direction.”
Dream Job: For a year, Vernick flew between Vancouver, Doha (Qatar), Dubai and Tokyo, hiring and training crews at new Jean-Georges restaurants.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.