July 15, 2011 10:09 pm

Power dressing: Jean-Georges Vongerichten

The chef dresses the way he cooks – by focusing on the essentials
Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, 54, is one of the world’s leading chefs, with 15 restaurants that span the globe, including his three-Michelin-starred Jean Georges in Manhattan, where he has lived since 1986. His newest restaurant, Spice Market London, has opened at W Hotel in Leicester Square, London.

. . .

Suit by Prada

I gravitate towards a grey, dark brown, charcoal and navy colour palette. I think things should be seasonless and timeless and it’s how I feel restaurants should be as well. You can’t go wrong with a dark suit and crisp white shirt. I like Prada suits because they’re cut more narrow; I’m also a shorter guy and their jackets are cut shorter. When I was younger, I dressed the way I cooked: with more colour. I would always put so many ingredients on the same plate but as I got older I really wanted to focus on just the essential flavours. I try not to put more than three things on a plate now. And this is also how I dress now. I don’t have time to try and co-ordinate in the morning. I lead a busy life in the restaurant business so what I wear has to be practical, comfortable and made from great fabric. For my chef jacket, which I wear three-quarters of my day, I use Egyptian cotton because everything else makes me itch. I also never wear a belt because when you tie on the apron it gets too bulky at the waist. As I tell all my cooks, “you cook the way you look”.

www.prada.com

. . .

Sweater by Prada

It’s wool and cashmere and I wear a simple T-shirt underneath. I like clean, simple lines. Sometimes when I’m rushing from meetings to the restaurant, I change in the cloakroom once I’ve arrived. It’s all about practicality. I need to be able to take off my jacket and put on my chef jacket quickly; it’s part of the fast pace of being a restaurateur. Speed is essential. I like to be neutral when I work with food. Food is colourful and vibrant so you don’t want to be distracted by wearing stripes. For me it’s all about being peaceful. While I wear a lot of Prada and Marc Jacobs, for casual occasions I also like Zadig & Voltaire.

www.prada.com

. . .

Bracelet by Power Balance

I started wearing it about eight months ago. I put it on in the morning and I feel like I have more energy and am less tired. I really only wear a watch on the weekends. I wash my hands 30 to 40 times a day so I always have water everywhere getting into everything. No matter how waterproof my watch is, it inevitably destroyed after all that exposure to moisture.

www.powerbalance.com

. . .

Shoes by Prada

I’m on my feet 16 hours a day and Prada makes the best shoes for standing up in. I’ve been wearing Prada shoes for 25 years now. They’re super comfortable.

www.prada.com

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