The first thing you should know about me is that I'm a country boy at heart. I grew up on a farm in Alsace where my mother and grandmother taught me to eat and cook according to the seasons. It was there I fell in love with food--fresh herbs and vegetables and the warmth of our local Franco-German flavors. Though I've been living an urban life since 1973, I'm still most at home in the country.
Since my departure from Alsace, I've lived, trained, and cooked all over France, in Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Boston, and New York. Now, I'm rooted in New York, in my little Perry Street neighborhood and in the hills of Westchester County. But I also feel at home in my other restaurants around the world.
Wherever I go, I always want to cook both globally and locally. If you've been to my restaurants, you've probably guessed that I love Asian flavors. My first trip to the open-air market in Bangkok remains one of my most influential culinary experiences, and I've since adopted those herbs and spices as my own. Everything I cook has to have a little heat. (Even at home, my wife, who's Korean-American, keeps our fridge stocked with kimchi.)
As for life outside the kitchen, I enjoy relaxing with my family. In the country, I often go fishing in my little pond and, while the weather's still nice, chop wood for the fireplace. In the city, I take my chefs out to eat after work and catch up with friends when we're cooking together for charity events. The greenmarket is one of my favorite places to stroll. I guess you can see that I love food. It's my passion. It's my life.