Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Chef
I'm a New Yorker now, but I was born and raised in Strasbourg. I get back two or three times a year to visit my family. There are great hotels in the area, but on this trip I stayed at my parents' house — the best hotel in town. It's four-star lodging with four-star food. I love taking an afternoon stroll through Petite France, the neighborhood where this photo was taken. It's simply a beautiful place. All the houses are from medieval times, and no cars are allowed. The Maison Kammerzell is a terrific restaurant there; it was built in the 15th century. That's the first place I would take a friend who had never been to Strasbourg before. For a special night out, I always go to the Restaurant Buerehiesel. It's on a magnificent farm outside the city, and the food is delicious — mostly Alsatian, using only Alsatian products. If I'm cooking, I go to Frick Lutz for all the charcuterie. I buy the rest — fresh vegetables, fruits — in the city market. Pâtisserie Christian Meyer sells excellent pastries and wonderful brioche (an Alsatian specialty). My mother remains the queen of the kugelhopf, though.
--Interviewed by H. Scott Jolley