There are so many chefs around, but obviously, there are only a few who can take the job. And it’s not just taking this job that counts; it’s also doing the job right. Eric Ripert is precisely that someone.
He’s the type of guy that any chef worth his salt would look up to. He is without doubt one of the most respectable chefs in the world of high-class culinary cuisine. He made history in 1995 when, at the young age of only 29, he earned the distinction of four stars from The New York Times for his work in Le Bernardin, one of New York’s finest restaurants. And even after ten years, Ripert and his restaurant maintained this superior ranking, without ever having to lose one star. Even the Michelin Guide was impressed by the restaurant, giving it three stars, the highest rating they could give. This made Le Berdardin one of the only four restaurants in New York to gain such an honor.
Our official review of Le Bernadin (with pictures of each course).
Born in France, and then raised in Spain, Ripert was taught the art of cooking at an early age. His family has trained him well in the art of cooking. It was a strong upbringing, as he left home at the age of 15 in order for him to study cooking. Ripert also credits his past exposure to the cuisines of these two countries as a major influence in his cooking style.
Part of Ripert’s charm in cooking could be stemmed from the fact that he uses locally sourced ingredients. Seafood, particularly lobster and red snapper, came from local fisheries, and the vegetable used came from local farms. Even the salt he used came from the local seaside area, obtained through evaporation. It’s because of this that patrons find in his meals the essence of home-cooking.
Aside from cooking, Ripert is also involved in civic-oriented activities. He was among those who introduced special family meals at reduced prices for Americans who want to enjoy good food, but is held back by the past US financial crisis. Also, he chairs the City Harvest’s Food Council. His aim is to connect chefs, restaurateurs, and other interested individuals together in order to increase quality and quantity of food donations for the poor, as well as increased funding for their activities. He also works for other organizations that aim for the betterment of the poor and the unfortunate.
With a guy as nice as Ripert, it’s no surprise that a lot of people love him. Good-natured, and with a sense of good cooking, Ripert will always be in my list of greatest chefs.