Eric Ripert Defends Escolar; Ed Koch: Bib WearerRadar ran a story on escolar’s tendency to cause leaky bowel movements and mentioned that the fish was served at Le Bernardin. This, in turn, prompted a response from Eric Ripert himself, which prompted the author of the article to respond, “I’m sure Eric Ripert serves his escolar in such a way that it doesn’t make people shit orange oil. He’s good like that.” [Fresh Intelligence/Radar]
Chef Craig Hopson says the ghost of Aaron Burr haunts the kitchen of One if by Land, Two if by Sea and has a tendency to steal batches of brioche. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Related: One if by Land Breaks Out a Bar Menu, and Not a Minute Too Soon
Katrina Markoff, founder of Vosges Haut-Chocolat, likes to pair her company’s bacon-laden chocolate bar with pieces of Gruyère and a glass of Shiraz. [WSJ]
Related: A Bacon Tribute Product We Can Get Behind
The New York Diet
Chef Eric Ripert Starts the Day With Chocolate, Ends It With Chorizo and Tequila
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.
Sign On to FohBoh; Stay Dry at Death & Co.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
Eric Ripert Builds a Perfect Burger — But You Can’t Eat It
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.
Le Bernardin Pastry Chef a Fan of Mason; Tour East Village Dumpling Master’sAstoria: A new wine bar on 35th Avenue at 30th Street called Rest-au-Rant features about 30 wines and beers — from Germany, New Zealand, Hawaii, Belgium, and France. [Joey in Astoria]
Dumbo: Waterstreet Restaurant and Lounge hosts carolers and expects dancing till late tonight as part of a holiday shopping promotion throughout the nabe. [Dumbo NYC]
East Village: A photo tour of the magical workshop of “Sun Le, the dumpling master who makes TKettle’s juicy little masterpieces.” [Eat for Victory/VV]
Lower East Side: Le Bernardin pastry chef Michael Laiskonis just had a great meal at Tailor and has “always been a fan of Sam Mason’s food.” [Restaurant Girl]
West Village: The Bowery Hotel’s Eric Goode and Sean McPherson are rumored to have closed a deal on another boutique hotel, at an unknown location. [Down by the Hipster]
Balducci’s Ruins Hanukkah; Dave Martin Can Paint, TooBalducci’s made a big mistake by advertising boneless spiral ham as “Delicious for Chaunkah.” [NYDN]
Contradicting his colleague, Frank Bruni defends the entrée, arguing that a “too-long sequence or too-broad collection of too-small plates is like being tickled and tickled and never flat-out hugged.” [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Le Bernardin’s James Beard–award–winning pastry chef enjoys a nice Snickers bar with almonds at the end of the day. [Restaurant Girl]
Back of the House
The Party to (Literally) End All Parties at Le Bernardin
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.
My Last Supper Book Party at Le Bernardin [Slideshow]
Related: Eating the Last Supper
Josie of ‘Top Chef’ Opens Restaurant; Schumer Opens a Second FrontJosie Malave’s restaurant Speakeasy in Clinton Hill has had its soft opening. [Eat for Victory/VV]
One food editor learned some things from last week’s nose-to-tail feast Fergus Henderson–at–the–Spotted Pig including “Hung Huynh is much sweeter than the series might lead you to believe … Ilan Hall has a project up his sleeve … there’s no graceful way to eat a roasted pig’s head when Heath Ledger is sitting at the next table watching.” [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Related: Fergus Henderson to Cook Tomorrow at Savoy, Wednesday at the Spotted Pig
Chuck Schumer has joined another foodie cause: In response to the recent Topps Meat contaminations, he has accused the USDA as being “toothless tiger” and plans to introduce legislation that would give the Department of Agriculture authority to close down plants that repeatedly fail inspections and order recalls. [NYP]
Related: Senator Schumer Springs to the Red Hook Ball-Fields’ Defense
Zagat 2008 Smiles on Daniel, Gordon Ramsay, OthersNew York’s little red book, the 2008 Zagat guide, is out today. It is more significant to the restaurant world than the Michelin guide, and for good reason: The same people who use it are the ones who write it. So what if it’s a popularity contest? Life is a popularity contest. There were some minor shakeups in this year’s rankings, such as Union Square Cafe retaking its sibling Gramercy as most popular restaurant, and Daniel retaking the top spot in cuisine from Le Bernardin. But the more interesting points required a slightly closer look.
My Meal at Le Bernardin Makes Me Want to Keep My Sense of Taste!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.
Eric Ripert to Feed Reader Who May Lose Sense of TasteDear Grub Street,Next weekend I’m getting surgery done on an impacted wisdom tooth which is growing very close to a central nerve. I’ve been told that if this nerve is damaged, there’s a chance I will lose a large part of feeling in my face – including a loss of my sense of taste. I’ve gone into “doomsday mode”, thinking of all the best flavors this city has to offer in an effort to get them ingrained into my gray memory. As of now I’ve got a reservation at Degustation, will be making at least three visits minimum to Ssäm Bar, and another to Sasabune. Are there maybe two or three dishes or places that should be added to this ever-growing list? Le Bernardin is in my sights of course, but understandably may be difficult to get into.
Signed,Facing My Final Hour