This page is from 1998. Here's an updated Chef Eric Ripert Bio
Born in Antibes, France in 1965, Le Bernardin Chef Eric Ripert began his relationship with food in the most formative of all kitchens; his grandmother's. Tasting, watching and learning at his grandmother's elbow, Ripert developed the Mediterranean palate that informs his cooking today. When the young chefs family moved to Andorra, just over the Spanish border, he expanded his repertoire to include Spanish flavors and ingredients, from fish to saffron. Even outside the home, he was a foodie. On holidays and birthdays, Ripert insisted his family travel to the very best restaurants so he could sample their menus. When the Riperts visited the legendary Cafe de Paris in Biarritz, Eric polished off an entire tasting menu, a half dozen a la carte items and a sampling of each of the Cafe's thirty-odd desserts.
With encouragement from his parents, Ripert attended culinary school in Perpignan, and in 1982 moved to Paris to work at La Tour D'Argent, a temple of luxurious French cuisine that dates back more than 400 years. After two years as a cook, Ripert moved to the Michelin three-star; Jamin, where he soon was promoted to Assistant Chef de Partie. He left to fulfill his military service in 1985, then returned at the request of Jamin Chef/owner Joel Robuchon, as Chef Poissonier.
In 1989, Ripert moved to the United States to work as Sous Chef at Jean Louis in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. In 1991, he moved to New York, where he worked briefly as Sous Chef under David Bouley until he was hired as the Chef of Le Bernardin a few months later. In 1995, Ripert earned a four star rating from the New York Times; dishes such as Spanish Mackerel Tartar with Osetra Caviar and Sauce Ravigote, and Crispy Chinese Spiced Snapper with Cepes, Aged Port and Jerez Vinegar have earned him acclaim in magazines such as Food Arts, Wine Spectator, W and Elle. In 1997, GQ named Le Bernardin the best restaurant in America.
Ripert has been the guest Chef at the French Embassy in both Mexico and in Venezuela, at the Masters of Food and Wine in Carmel, California and for the New York City Ballet. In 1996, Chef Ripert became a part owner in Le Bernardin.
Le Bernardin Cookbook:
By Maguy Le Coze and Eric Ripert
Reprinted by permission.
This page created December 1998
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