A while back, we revealed that Anthony Bourdain was planning to return to the kitchen of Les Halles for an episode of No Reservations. A clip of the show’s aftermath is now up, and it’s priceless: Post-shift, Bourdain and Eric Ripert sit down for what Ripert calls a glass of “pure water,” but is probably his favorite Patrón Silver. True to his name, the Ripper rips into Bourdain for having just one person at a station that he thinks should be manned by two — “Those guys are promoting slavery.” Bourdain pooh-poohs him: “If you put two people back there, they get in each other’s way.” But he admits it’s one of the toughest cooking stations in the city. Which is why, Bourdain says, he wouldn’t last long on it: “After a week, my brain would snap.” Our favorite part comes at the end, when Ripert admits, “At one point I was totally lost. I had no idea what I was grilling. ” In tequila veritas!
Anthony Bourdain Interviews Chef Eric Ripert [YouTube]
Related:Bourdain to Cook at Les Halles, Yearns for Giant Food Courts
Hearst Publications is supposedly in talks with the Food Network to publish a new food magazine and has been stealing editors from Every Day With Rachael Ray for months. The only problem? The channel’s big stars don’t seem to be a part of the publication. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
Soto chef Sotohiro Kosugi responds to fears of too much mercury in tuna. “Eat with balance. Balance of meals is the key to a healthy life.” [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Related: Sushi Eaters Face Tuna Fears
Neil Ferguson, Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, and others are leading a full-on British culinary invasion on our shores. [Chicago Tribune]
There’s a reason Le Bernardin was ranked No. 1 (one of just two five-star restaurants) in the Platt 101. During lunch and dinner every day, chef-owner Eric Ripert samples a half-spoon of each of the twenty-odd sauces his chefs prepare, tests most of the mise en place (everything from string beans to mashed potatoes to polenta to guacamole), and then takes bites from dishes before they go out to the dining room. “Every day I have ten different fishes — a piece of tuna, snapper, monk, cod, himachi It’s about 60 or 80 things I try.” To make up for this, he tries to eat light and takes 45-minute walks to (and sometimes back) from work through Central Park. But that doesn’t mean he won’t indulge in his daily breakfast chocolate.
There’s a new social-networking site for members of the restaurant industry called FohBoh, but if you’re not an industry insider, you can enjoy the forums, blogs, and videos on all aspects of food. [Red Herring via The Grinder/Chow]
Le Bernadin’s Eric Ripert will open a new restaurant called 10 Arts at the Philadelphia Ritz-Carlton this spring. [Zagat Buzz]
A lot of people may be freaking out over the FDA’s approval of meat and milk from cloned livestock for consumption, but cloned food products have been in the food supply for some time. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Related: FDA to Beef Industry: Send in the Clones
When you think of Eric Ripert, you tend to think of ethereal lobster, marinated fluke, transporting escolar with miso brown butter, and the like. Which made it weird when the chef started enthusing about his hamburger the other night. “It's the best hamburger anywhere better than anywhere in New York,” the fish master says.
Tony Bourdain was at the Union Square Barnes & Noble last night to do a joint reading and signing with Michael Ruhlman, author of The Elements of Cooking. Interviewing Bourdain is effortless: The man is a nonstop font of opinions and bons mots, so we just took out our notebook and started writing. What, for instance, did he think of the reopening of his favorite bar, Siberia? (“When Siberia closed my life as an alcoholic ended,” he said wistfully. “Tracey [Westmoreland] is a man of many mysteries. I’m skeptical. Siberia reopening? [Sarcastically] Yeah, I’d like to see that.” Bourdain also told us that, sometime in the next two weeks, he was going to go back for one night to his old job at Les Halles, personally working the sauté station on a crowded night for his TV show, No Reservations. And he would not be alone back in the trenches: A few feet away, Eric Ripert would be working the grill station, cooking meat all night.
Given all of his travels, what does Bourdain think New York needs? A giant food court, of course.
Last Night's "Autism Speaks to Wall Street" gala at Capitale was a power scene, all right; any event where tables cost up to $100,000 and Bob Wright is there making small talk has clearly left the foodies behind. Which is a shame, because the level of the food was magnificent. The gala's format called for chefs who had been previously “bought” at auction to cook a dinner right there at the table: Thus, Eric Ripert cooked at an oven right next to Wylie Dufresne, Michael Psilakis next to Larry Forgione, who was next to Chris Lee of Gilt, and so on. The tables were close enough to allow tasting and trading, had anyone been interested in doing so (it didn't look like they were). Maybe Darrell Hammond's painfully unfunny routine at the evening's start put off their appetites. Or maybe it was just all the deal-making.
There are book parties, there are banquets, and then there was the event held last night at Le Bernardin for Melanie Dunea’s My Last Supper. From the start, you knew it was going to be out of control: Rather than entering the front door, guests were led, à la the Copa scene in Goodfellas, through winding back stairs, hallways, and the kitchen, where winged dancing girls, identical twin Lenny Kravitz look-alikes, and even a Grim Reaper awaited. Eric Ripert’s meal was an astounding sleigh ride from a Puerto Rican whole hog to the most ethereal escolar imaginable, and included both a D.J. and cabaret performer Lady Rizo singing “White Wedding” on top of a piano, while dancers in veils and thongs frolicked underneath. The less said about the after-party, which inevitably ended with Daniel Boulud dancing on top of the banquet table, the better. But enough talk. On to the slideshow.
Facing the Final Hour (not his real name) wrote the Grub Street branch of the Make a Wish Foundation, asking where he should go in what could well be his final days with a sense of taste. We put him in touch with Eric Ripert, who agreed to cook the unhappy man a Doomsday Meal. We asked for a recap of the meal, and Facing the Final Hour delivered.