Revolutionizing the way we eat did not culminate overnight, nor did a culinary empire build itself in one sitting. Jean-Georges Vongerichten gained culinary stardom and worldwide recognition through years of hard work, innovation, and an undying passion for food.

This year, Jean-Georges’ legacies reach Philippine shores as Enderun Extension, in partnership with Placement International, opens the Jean-Georges Academy (JG Academy). The program extends the same opportunities that helped Jean-Georges rise to international culinary fame— internships at some of the best restaurants in New York, and working alongside some of the best culinary icons in the world.

The program is open to experienced chefs, culinary arts graduates, and food enthusiasts. A 1-week boot camp is awaiting experienced chefs, while enrollees with no prior culinary experience will go through an intensive 1-month training program. This training program will prepare enrollees for an internship in a global and diverse work environment.

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By the end of the program, Enderun Extension and Placement International assure every enrollee of a winning edge as they enter the career race, “For culinary students, an experience to work with any of Jean-George’s property bears great weight on their résumé because this provides any high-level employer proof of their international qualifications and competence. This will give them an edge in getting hired and penetrating the culinary industry,” said Victor Delfour of Placement International.

JG Academy’s enrollees will surely be inspired by Jean-Georges’ success story. Born and raised in Alsace, France, his childhood is filled with memories of food, but it was in his teens that he fully realized what it was he wanted to do. “On my 17th birthday, however, my parents took me to a 3-star Michelin restaurant and I thought, “This is what I want to do,” he shared during an interview with Japan Times. Years later, the 17-year old boy proceeds to become a world-renowned chef who owns 32 restaurants worldwide, four of which are Michelin-starred.

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Becoming the Jean-Georges he is today, however, was not an easy feat. The Michelin-starred chef had to go through a rigorous work-study program, as he trained as an apprentice to Chef Paul Haeberlin at the Auberge de l’Ill, worked at L’Oasis under Paul Bocuse and Master Chef Louis Outhier, traveled to Asia and trained at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, the Meridien Hotel in Singapore, and the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong. His time in Asia, where he fell in love with the exotic and aromatic flavors of the East, became the inspiration for his signature cuisine—abandoning the traditional use of meat stocks and creams to use and feature the intense flavors and textures from vegetable juices, fruit essences, light broths, and herbal vinaigrettes. In 1991, he finally opened his very first restaurant, Jo Jo—and the rest, as they say, is history.

His innovation of flavors built a culinary empire consisting of Jean-Georges’ properties across the globe. Not only is he a stellar chef, but he is also a savvy restaurateur—a title that cannot be questioned, as his chain of restaurants answers for themselves. Jean-Georges has also published four cookbooks under his name. One of his books, “Simple Cuisine” is considered ‘the holy grail for young chefs’ by many in the culinary industry. JG Academy will open at Enderun Colleges in McKinley Hill. For registrations, you may contact Enderun Extension at extensioncourses@enderuncolleges.com / (02) 856-5000 loc. 505.

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