Eric Ripert, born 1965, spent his childhood in Antibes, South of France, and Andorra, a small country just over the Spanish border where his foodcentric family moved when he was a young child. He knew intuitively he wanted to cook and left home, aged 15, to attend culinary school in Perpignan. At 17, he moved to Paris and cooked at the iconic La Tour D’Argent before moving to Michelin three-starred Jamin, where he became chef poissonier to the legendary Joel Robuchon.
Chef Ripert moved to the US In 1989, to seize the opportunity to work under Jean-Louis Palladin as sous-chef at Jean Louis based at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. He relocated to New York in 1991, working briefly as David Bouley’s sous-chef before Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze recruited him as chef for Le Bernardin. Ripert has now firmly established himself as one of New York’s—and the world’s—great chefs.
In 1995, at just 29 years old, Ripert earned a four-star rating from the New York Times. Twenty years later and for the fifth consecutive time, Le Bernardin again earned the New York Times’ highest rating of four stars, becoming the only restaurant to maintain this superior status for this length of time, without ever dropping a star. In September 2011, Ripert and Le Coze unveiled a significant redesign of Le Bernardin from Bentel & Bentel that earned the restaurant a James Beard Award for “Best Restaurant Design” in 2012. Three years later in September 2014, Ripert and Le Coze opened Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, named for the acclaimed wine director Aldo Sohm. Located just steps away from Le Bernardin, the wine bar offers a menu of cheese, charcuterie and simple fare paired with Sohm’s curated wine list in a more informal, convivial setting. That same month, the two expanded Le Bernardin’s private dining offerings with Le Bernardin Privé, a dynamic space above Aldo Sohm Wine Bar for weddings and corporate hires. Ripert has been recognized as one of the top chefs in the world. In 1998, the James Beard Foundation named Ripert “Top Chef in New York City” and in 2003, “Outstanding Chef in the United States.” GQ rated Le Bernadin as one of “Seven Food Temples of the World.” whilst in 2005, New York magazine declared Le Bernardin the #1 restaurant in the city, awarding it five stars in the inaugural restaurant rating issue – a position it holds today. Most recently, Le Bernardin was ranked No. 1 in the World for 2019 by La Liste, the global food guide and review aggregator. In 2016, Ripert published his delightfully named memoir: 32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line, which appeared on The New York Times bestseller list.
Ripert’s newest venture is his partnership with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to open Blue in Grand Cayman. Ripert is the Vice Chairman of the board of City Harvest, working to bring together New York’s top chefs and restaurateurs to raise funds and increase the quality and quantity of food donations to New York’s neediest. When not in the kitchen, Ripert enjoys good scotch and peace and quiet.
- “Tuna” Finely pounded yellow fin tuna is draped over a toasted foie gras baguette and garnished with chives and olive oil.
- The idea was inspired by a dish of seared venison on foie gras, Ripert ate in Scandinavia. It remains a constant on Le Bernadin menu.
- Crispy black bass; braised celery and parsnip custard
- Kobe beef and Escolar with lemon brown butter sauce and spicy kimchi