Eric Ripert: feeling the love from MichelinPhoto: Josh Ozersky
At last night’s Bid Against Hunger, a benefit for restaurant charity group City Harvest, the champagne was flowing and the food was off the hook. But much of the event’s energy seemed to emanate from the chefs, who were abuzz over the announcement yesterday of the Michelin Guide’s new ratings. "Who knows what their inspectors are like?" asked one chef, who, fearing their wrath, refused to be quoted. "I don’t think they really get American restaurants." The cooks who got some love from the red book were happy to talk. Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, one of the city’s three three-star restaurants (Jean Georges and Per Se are the others), was visibly psyched. "It was great news! We were a little bit worried, you know? But we’re definitely going to celebrate later, at the restaurant. Definitely." (Later, a dinner from Ripert was auctioned off for $24,000.) We asked Lever House chef Dan Silverman, an especially clear-eyed observer of the restaurant scene, what he thought about the ratings. Were they fair? "I’m good with them, obviously," he said. "We kept our star."