Cook­ing Up A Storm

Indonesia Tatler Best Restaurants - - FEATURES -

At the age of 17, in 1982, three Miche­lin-starred Chef Eric Ripert had gained ex­pe­ri­ence by work­ing with Do­minique Bouchet et La Tour d’ar­gent in Paris, a fa­mous res­tau­rant that has been op­er­at­ing for the past 400 years. Chef Eric was born in France and learned to cook from his grand­mother. As a young boy, he moved to An­dorra but later moved back to France to at­tend a culi­nary school in Per­pig­nan.

“I have had the lucky op­por­tu­nity to work in some amaz­ing kitchens with very pas­sion­ate and tal­ented chefs. I count work­ing with my men­tors—do­minique Bouchet et La Tour d'ar­gent, Joel Robu­chon at Jamin, Jean-louis Pal­ladin at Jean Louis, and of course, Gil­bert Le Coze at Le Bernardin—as some of the most in­spir­ing culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ences I have had, but I think it is im­por­tant to never stop learn­ing and ex­per­i­ment­ing with new things in the kitchen,” he ex­plained. In ad­di­tion to his wide­spread learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, Chef Eric was also pre­sented with the op­por­tu­nity of cook­ing for His Ho­li­ness The Dalai Lama. “Cook­ing in gen­eral makes me happy, but if I have to choose one mo­ment it would have to be cook­ing for His Ho­li­ness the Dalai Lama. That was an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence,” he ex­claimed.

Chef Eric has made sev­eral guest ap­pear­ances on cook­ing-based tele­vi­sion shows, in­clud­ing guest judge and as­sis­tant chef roles on Topchef. He is also a prom­i­nent online fig­ure with up-to-date videos and cook­ing tips and tech­niques on his web­site, AVECERIC.COM. Le Bernardin in New York holds the max­i­mum rat­ings of four stars from The­newyork­times and three stars from Themiche­lin Guide . How­ever, this does not pre­vent him from con­tin­u­ing to achieve great­ness. “At Le Bernardin, it is easy to keep the fo­cus on the qual­ity of food and cre­at­ing a mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence for our guests be­cause that is what I am pas­sion­ate about, and keeps me com­ing to work ev­ery day, not rat­ings. I am, how­ever, very grate­ful for each one and do not take them for granted.”

Hav­ing been ex­posed to ex­ten­sive culi­nary scenes around Asia and Europe, Chef Eric says that some of his best cre­ations owe their suc­cess to the var­ied flavours of Asia’s culi­nary rich­ness. “The Asian culi­nary scene is very re­liant on seafood and tends to be more sim­plis­tic with its flavour com­bi­na­tions and prepa­ra­tion, which is very in­spir­ing for me as a chef. El­e­vat­ing each in­gre­di­ent, not mask­ing it (is key to my dishes),” he said. To con­clude the in­spir­ing in­ter­view, Chef Eric is ever so thank­ful for be­ing blessed with a won­der­ful jour­ney and has al­ways had it in him to give back to so­ci­ety. He said: “I have been very lucky in my life, and I think it’s re­ally im­por­tant for ev­ery­one to re­mem­ber that we are all part of a larger com­mu­nity of peo­ple, some of which need our help. At Le Bernardin, we do­nate food to City Harvest, the world’s first, and New York City’s only, food res­cue or­ga­ni­za­tion. I am re­ally pas­sion­ate about the work that City Harvest does, pro­vid­ing free, healthy meals and pro­duce, which would have oth­er­wise gone to waste, to peo­ple around the city. On a typ­i­cal day, City Harvest res­cues 126,000 pounds of food and sup­plies to more than 500 com­mu­nity pro­grammes.”

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