Q&A with Chef Eric Ripert discussion

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message 1: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Lin (natalielin) | 4 comments Take a behind-the-scenes peek into Le Bernardin. Here's your chance to ask Eric what's new at the restaurant, and about restaurant life in general!


message 2: by Gregg (new)

Gregg (greggmpls) Chef-how long does it usually take, and how many people are involved in the process of developing a new dish/recipe, or a new interpretation of an old classic dish?


message 3: by Lacey (new)

Lacey zustiak (cookinglvr) | 8 comments What's your absolute favorite dish at Le Bernardain?

Do you come out in the dining room and meet and greet your customers at Le Bernardain?

What's your favorite thing to do on your down time?


message 4: by vanessa (new)

vanessa (nonfamousamos) | 1 comments What's it like on your line? Loud? Quiet? To be fair, I haven't seen your show (yet) or read the book (also, yet), but am curious nonetheless. Do you think females are safe on the line? Or do they have to be a certain type of person?


message 5: by Eric (new)

Eric Ripert (ericripert) | 37 comments Mod
Gregg wrote: "Chef-how long does it usually take, and how many people are involved in the process of developing a new dish/recipe, or a new interpretation of an old classic dish?"


So as everybody knows creativity cannot be controlled. It comes and goes. Personally I take notes when I have ideas, which can sometimes be in the middle of the night. We then discuss my ideas and the ones of our sous chefs before we start to work on the dishes. We also have someone in our team whose time is dedicated to research and creativity, 5 days a week. We meet on a daily basis in our library/conference (which you can see in my welcome video). Sometimes we are lucky and the first idea becomes a dish, sometimes it’s a much longer process. And you are correct Iliana—we did show this process on Avec Eric. You check out the episode here: http://aveceric.com/wp/gallery/videos...


message 6: by Eric (new)

Eric Ripert (ericripert) | 37 comments Mod
Lacey wrote: "What's your absolute favorite dish at Le Bernardain?

Do you come out in the dining room and meet and greet your customers at Le Bernardain?

What's your favorite thing to do on your down time?"


I do not necessarily have an absolute favorite dish. We like to change our menu very often and the fact that we print in house allows us to change as frequently as we wish, as soon as we have new ideas.

I always go to the dining to greet our regulars and to say hello to new visitors as well. But I spend most of my time in the kitchen where I believe I belong.

I definitely love visiting other restaurants but very often I’m looking to just do nothing. Which I find very difficult while living in a big city like New York. I love music and I love to smoke cigars. Naps in the hammock are a bonus. In the summer on the weekends I love to take a bottle of wine and go celebrate the day watching the sunset. A pure luxury for a city dweller.


message 7: by Eric (last edited Feb 21, 2011 12:56PM) (new)

Eric Ripert (ericripert) | 37 comments Mod
Vanessa wrote: "What's it like on your line? Loud? Quiet? To be fair, I haven't seen your show (yet) or read the book (also, yet), but am curious nonetheless. Do you think females are safe on the line? Or do ..."

The atmosphere is fairly quiet considering considering how busy the line can become. You basically hear the Chef calling the orders and the line cooks answering “yes chef”. We heavily promote a peaceful environment during prep and service – it’s still a challenge and a work in progress but I believe our environment is very good. We obviously don’t differentiate between men and women on the line. We still see less women than men applying for positions. I don’t really have an explanation for that.


message 8: by Gregg (new)

Gregg (greggmpls) Thank you so much, Chef Eric. It really is a fascinating process.

If I may ask another question- Is the American high end restaurant at a crossroads? I think that we are all aware that it can be very difficult to make money in the restaurant business, and so many familiar restaurants have closed their doors due to a variety of reasons. Will we see more tasting menus, molecular gastronomy,dishes featuring lesser known, less popular cuts/ingredients?


message 9: by Christian (new)

Christian | 1 comments Chef- Thanks for doing this. I was interested in your tweet about Gordon Ramsey. We are seeing more and more Latinos in kitchens across America, but I see few moving into management. I was wondering your feelings on immigration. I also worked with a Chef from Lyon (Orsi then Bocouse) who said that it was standard to be abused in French kitchens. Was that your experience as well if so how has that informed your leadership style. Thanks, Christian Hattemer


message 10: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown | 5 comments Chef Ripert,
In your video, you mentioned that you'd let us know where you like to go after a night on the line. So let's hear it -- what are your go-to post-work spots in New York? And what are you most frequently eating after a long day at work?


message 11: by Lacey (new)

Lacey zustiak (cookinglvr) | 8 comments Hello Chef Eric,

You say you love to enjoy a cigar, what cigars do you prefer?

What kind of music do you enjoy? My guess would be something off the wall.


message 12: by Eric (new)

Eric Ripert (ericripert) | 37 comments Mod
Gregg wrote: "Thank you so much, Chef Eric. It really is a fascinating process.

If I may ask another question- Is the American high end restaurant at a crossroads? I think that we are all aware that it can be ..."


Speaking only in regards to high-end restaurants in NYC I can tell you that they are doing very well and are very healthy. In 2009, the year of the great recession, we decided to donate $1 for each guest who dined with us that year, to City Harvest, a local food rescue organization. At the end of the year we gave close to $100,000 which is remarkable.

We see more and more people coming to Le Bernardin to have a special experience and very often they select the tasting menu and also the wine pairing that goes with it. As a trend I see molecular gastronomy being absorbed in a more classical way of cooking that will enhance the quality of the ingredients. Therefore I envision more organic sustainable high quality products on the market.


message 13: by Eric (new)

Eric Ripert (ericripert) | 37 comments Mod
Christian wrote: "Chef- Thanks for doing this. I was interested in your tweet about Gordon Ramsey. We are seeing more and more Latinos in kitchens across America, but I see few moving into management. I was wonder..."

At Le Bernardin we have a tradition of promoting employees that have potential from very basic positions like dishwasher to more prestigious positions in our kitchen and dining room. We have a good mix of nationalities and obviously treat everyone equally.

During my education in many kitchens in France, verbal and even physical abuse was part of the training. The chefs thought that through humiliation they would create very strong individuals in their kitchen. I believe the contrary and think that someone who is under stress, scared and humiliated will not cook at his best. To the contrary, he will be very challenged to create a good dish. Very often, in those kitchens, I have seen cooks shaking so much they couldn’t even plate the ingredients properly.


message 14: by Eric (new)

Eric Ripert (ericripert) | 37 comments Mod
Patrick wrote: "Chef Ripert,
In your video, you mentioned that you'd let us know where you like to go after a night on the line. So let's hear it -- what are your go-to post-work spots in New York? And what are yo..."


Very often during the week I don’t eat after work. I have the tendency to go out on the weekend. NY is constantly changing and has new places opening and closing. On a weekly basis I choose a new trendy spot or very often I go back to an old favorite, like Balthazar, Yakitori Toto, Baraonda and Serafina Pizza


message 15: by Eric (new)

Eric Ripert (ericripert) | 37 comments Mod
Lacey wrote: "Hello Chef Eric,

You say you love to enjoy a cigar, what cigars do you prefer?

What kind of music do you enjoy? My guess would be something off the wall."


My favorite cigar in Trinidad Fundador—it’s Cuban therefore I don’t smoke it in the US of course. Lately I’m discovering Padron and like them very much. I also love the double corona from Cohiba.

As for music, you’ll be very disappointed – nothing off the wall. For a few years I’m very intrigued and fascinated by Jazz. However last weekend I was watching and listening to Pink Floyd in concert. Once in a blue moon I like to go dance to techno music to release stress.


message 16: by Jason (new)

Jason | 2 comments Hi Chef!
I work with a small culinary training program, 13 weeks of the basics for unemployed people so that they can be trained enough to find employment in a kitchen. What would you say is your most important single piece of advice to people just starting out in the industry? Thank you in advance, these types of things are great motivators for people starting off on new careers.
PS Can't wait for my visit to your restaurant.

Jason


message 17: by Heather (last edited Feb 22, 2011 09:31PM) (new)

Heather | 1 comments Thank you so much for doing this, Mr Ripert!
I was wondering what your thoughts were on vegetarianism in this current age, specifically in relation to the work of Michael Pollan, Jonathan Safran Foer, and the like.


message 18: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle I heard some interesting comments on vegetarians, especially about when they visit foreign countries, from Anthony Bourdain when I went to his live show last night!

Chef, I would like to visit Le Bernardin in April when I am in NY. However, I just cannot eat fish the way that great chefs like yourself prepare it (barely warm, etc.). I do love fish and eat it often in some wonderful and highly regarded restaurants at the Delaware beaches. But I need it less rare.

Any suggestions for what I could do at your restaurant? I am sure you would be appalled at the thought of cooking fish the way I like to eat it. (I would not want to order beef at Le B!)


message 19: by Eric (new)

Eric Ripert (ericripert) | 37 comments Mod
Jason wrote: "Hi Chef!
I work with a small culinary training program, 13 weeks of the basics for unemployed people so that they can be trained enough to find employment in a kitchen. What would you say is your ..."


To me the most challenging technique to learn in the beginning is to have good knife skills. I highly recommend anyone working in the kitchen to master that skill. Even if in the beginning it’s frustrating and often painful.


message 20: by Eric (new)

Eric Ripert (ericripert) | 37 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "Thank you so much for doing this, Mr Ripert!
I was wondering what your thoughts were on vegetarianism in this current age, specifically in relation to the work of Michael Pollan, [a..."


I am not a vegetarian. However I find that I tend to eat more vegetables than meat protein. A lot of people cannot properly sustain their health on a vegetarian-only diet. But for the ones who can and if they have the will and pleasure of being vegetarians I have no problem with that of course!


message 21: by Eric (new)

Eric Ripert (ericripert) | 37 comments Mod
JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "I heard some interesting comments on vegetarians, especially about when they visit foreign countries, from Anthony Bourdain when I went to his live show last night!

Chef, I would like to visit Le ..."


On the contrary, we will be more than happy to cook the fish to your liking when you join us at Le Bernardin. Just let us know and we'll take care of it...


message 22: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Smith (Csmithcpa) | 3 comments Chef, you are more my favorite than before. Thanks for doing this


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