Fresh off another four-star review from the New York Times, Jean-Georges remains in the upper echelon of restaurants in not only New York City, but in the entire country. Jean-Georges Vongerichten celebrated the seventeenth anniversary of his flagship restaurant earlier this year. Seventeen years ago, Ruth Reichl said of Jean-Georges, “This is an entirely new kind of four-star restaurant.” Pete Wells, a month after the restaurant’s anniversary, wrote, “Jean-Georges is still a four-star restaurant. That is all. Thank you for your time.” They’re not just doing something right, they’re doing nearly everything right.
This includes what pastry chef Joseph Murphy is whipping up in the basement kitchen. His desserts come in quartets — four tastings with a similar theme. On the menu right now are chocolate, rhubarb, strawberry, and caramel. Murphy says, “We always start off with something light and finish with a dish that is richer. The inspiration comes from the products at the market. We always try to be seasonal.”
There’s beauty in the simplicity of Murphy’s desserts. The freshest ingredients offer genuine flavors without overcomplicating dishes. “I love the classics. I used to be interested in the more technical components to a plate, but now I prefer to do less to a fruit that is already beautiful to begin with,” Murphy explains. We visited him in the kitchen to see how the master pastry chef creates his quartets.
The signature dessert at Jean-Georges is the warm chocolate cake. It starts here with a drop of chocolate sauce.
Smoked Salt Meringue
Murphy places the meringue on the milk chocolate custard for one part of the chocolate dessert. It also includes candied orange and hazelnuts.
Jane Bruce is the Photo Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @janeebruce.