Eric Ripert has worked his way up from the bottom and has the kitchen scars to prove it.
From La Tour D’Argent and Jamin in Paris, to The Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. and eventually Le Bernardin in New York, one of The World's 50 Best Restaurants, the three-starred chef has seen and done it all.
And he has some invaluable advice for young chefs: “We’re not born with the qualities required for the kitchen.”
In an interview to promote his new memoir 32 Yolks, which recounts his early life in Antibes and Andorra, all the way up to his leaving France for the US in 1989, the amiable Ripert describes the dedication required to make it to the very top. “There is no way to succeed without hard work. You cannot reach any great level ... in cooking or the restaurant business if you don’t work hard, if you don’t have the passion. It’s a very big commitment,” he says.
“I hope a lot of young chefs will read this book,” he continues. “Nobody’s born with knife skills. You have to go through the process and the process is not easy. When you make a mistake with the knife, you cut yourself. When you don’t follow directions you are going to burn yourself, and you’re going to learn like that. One day, you [won’t] cut yourself anymore.”
Watch the full interview with Potluck Video below and watch more nuggets of wisdom from Eric Ripert here.