Seeing Michelin Stars in Vancouver: Dinner at Market

Photo Credit: knightbefore_99 on Flickr

They’re not all like Gordon Ramsay.  Celebrity chefs, partly due to the success of Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, have earned a reputation as incendiary, dictatorial and ego-crazed.  Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who runs the three-Michelin-starred Jean Georges in Manhattan, the Vong franchise and a host of other acclaimed restaurants, is none of those things.  He is demure, self-effacing and polite almost to a fault.  He also happens to be among the planet’s preeminent living chefs, less pop-culture icon – all bark and no bite – than true culinary powerhouse.

I had a chance to eat recently at Market, one of Jean-Georges’ newest ventures.  Located on the second floor of Vancouver’s year-old Shangri-La hotel, Market straddles a difficult line between minimalist chic and traditional elegance.  The gracious service, the crisp white tablecloths and the sumptuous chairs all reflect an Old World charm.  But mix in the chill music playing ever so softly in the background and the gentle cosmopolitan hum of Vancouver banter – an exotic mélange of Chinese, Farsi, English, etc – and you get something decidedly more contemporary and original.

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Seeing Michelin Stars in Vancouver: Dinner at Market