Reality Bites: Behind the Scenes With Chef Eric Ripert

A new tome serves up a behind-the-scenes look at Chef Eric Ripert¿s famed kitchen at Le Bernardin.

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Scoop issue 09/29/2008
WWDScoop: Since this is not a traditional cookbook, though there are a few recipes, how do you see it being used?
E.R.: It’s a documentary, so you can look at some information and be like, wow, they bought 600 pounds of lobster in one day. Or you can read an essay on the maître’d, or the rules that [co-founder] Maguy [Le Coze] has for the dining room….

WWDScoop: Yeah, those are pretty intense. No rattling pocket change, no pointing in the dining room….
E.R.: Actually I didn’t know they existed. I went to the guys and was like, “Did we make them up?” They were like, “No, I follow all of them.”

WWDScoop: The lease on Le Bernardin’s 55th Street location is up in 2011. Do you know what’s next?
E.R.: Right now I’m really not sure if Le Bernardin is going to go for 30 more years, or if we’re going to be like, well, that was it, and this is the end of the show. We have to decide as a team.

WWDScoop: Do you have any aspirations for the commercial side of the business?
E.R.: It’s tempting, obviously, to stay home, watch TV and sell pots at Macy’s. But if I was doing something, it would be something meaningful to me, and bringing something different to the consumer. I don’t know if you have seen our blog, We basically in three minutes teach you how to use a toaster oven to cook anything.

With videos?
E.R: I think anyone can cook fish at home. You’re going to be amazed by the results. It’s essentially one, two, three. No blender, no knowledge, just do it.

WWDScoop: What about your signature “egg” dessert [chocolate pots de crème with caramel foam, maple syrup and sea salt served in an egg shell]. Do you think home cooks will attempt that?
E.R.: The recipes are there, and they represent what we do. I’m sure some people will try it, and I’m sure some people will be like, “I’ll just go to Le Bernardin.”
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