Eric
Ripert
INSIDE 3-MICHELIN-STAR RESTAURANT, LE BERNARDIN
The chef, author and Buddhism practitioner talks about what it means to be a restaurateur in New York City today.

Eric Ripert Le Bernardin Chef and Co-Owner. Courtesy Daniel Krieger

DO YOU THINK NEW YORK’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH FRENCH CHEFS AND RESTAURATEURS WILL BE DIFFERENT FOLLOWING THE PANDEMIC?

I think the relationship between New York and French chefs will only increase. New York City attracts not only French but so many European chefs because it is the “first big stop” in America and has the most European influence.

An author of six books to date, Eric Ripert is one of the few U.S.-based chefs who have received France’s most prestigious Legion of Honor Medal.

IN YOUR OPINION, HOW DOES THE CONCEPT OF FOOD TREND COMPARE BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND FRANCE?

Very often in the United States, trends are created by the media. Though I find that people in France are not as influenced, I do see trends on both sides of the Atlantic. Some are short lived and some may last a very long time. A prominent trend common in both countries at the moment is maintaining sustainability, focusing on the well-being of the planet and animals, and prioritizing our health. I believe it is just the beginning of this trend.

WHAT CHANGES WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE FROM MICHELIN-STARRED RESTAURANTS?

I would like to see more financial sustainability for employees, the continuation of supporting local farmers who have good practices that do not alter the environment, and working with fishermen who follow regulations to protect our oceans. It is our responsibility to use sustainable practices in our day to day operations, some of which are to source from day boats. We do not source any species that are in danger, but serve 99 percent wild-caught fish.

Le Bernardin’s Chef and Co-Owner Eric Ripert Carving a Whole Red Snapper Baked in Fresh Herbes de Provence-Salt-Crust, Byaldi Gratin. Courtesy Daniel Krieger

WITH SUCH A BUSY SCHEDULE, HOW DO YOU USUALLY BEGIN YOUR DAY?

I meditate every morning and take a 45-minute walk from my apartment through the beautiful trees in Central Park to Le Bernardin. This is a luxury that I realized I could not give up. After I briefly put my home on the market, I decided to stay where I am. The idea of luxury can be very subjective, but my views about it have not changed before and after the pandemic. I enjoy spending weekends with my family in the country to recharge and strive to have a well-balanced life inside and outside Le Bernardin.

YOU ARE ALSO THE VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF CITY HARVEST. WHERE DO YOU SEE ITS WORK GOING IN THE NEAR FUTURE?

In general, the restaurant industry has always been involved in helping the community in need. Before Covid, City Harvest delivered 69 million meals and, during the crisis, they delivered 130 million–nearly double. The organization has grown tremendously over the past couple years and it is about to move to a new location that will allow them to deliver 300 million meals per year. Despite New York being one of the world’s wealthiest cities, the demand for people in need is very high. City Harvest and similar organizations are making sure they are not forgotten.

ELEVATE YOUR PALATE

Shared exclusively with Bespoke Luxury Magazine, these wine pairings will make lighter, healthier gourmet a pleasure to enjoy: two iconic dishes from Le Bernardin on this page, and pictured on the opposite page, a seasonal highlight from Chef Eric Ripert’s newest cookbook Vegetable Simple.

TOMATO “CROQUE SEL”

Cored and Halved Tomatoes, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Freshly Ground Black Pepper and Fleur de Sel Coarse Salt

Wine Pairing: Chablis, Moreau-Naudet, Burgundy, France, 2018

Tomato “Croque Sel”, from Chef Eric Ripert’s New Book Vegetable Simple. Courtesy Le Bernardin and Nigel Parry

TUNA-CAVIAR

Layers of Thinly Pounded Yellowfin Tuna, Osetra Caviar, Black Pepper Crisp Lemon and Crème Fraîche

Wine Pairing: Albariño, Bodega Corisca, Rías Baixas, Spain, 2019

Courtesy Le Bernardin and Nigel Parry

STRIPED BASS

Striped Bass Truffled Tartare and Périgord Vinaigrette

Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc, Winkl, Cantina Terlano, Alto Adige, Italy, 2019

Courtesy Le Bernardin and Nigel Parry

For Chef Eric Ripert, becoming a New Yorker also means connecting with the community to assist those who are in need and he is grateful to be part of such a large community of chefs who are helping to make a difference.

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