Eric Ripert is grateful for his early exposure to two cuisines – that of Antibes, France, where he was born, and to Andorra, a small country just over the Spanish border, where he moved as a young child. His family instilled their own passion for food in the young Ripert, and at the age of 15 he left home to attend culinary school in Perpignan. At 17, he moved to Paris and cooked at the legendary La Tour D’Argent before taking a position at the Michelin three-starred Jamin. After fulfilling his military service, Ripert returned to Jamin under Joel Robuchon to serve as chef poissonier.
In 1989, Ripert seized the opportunity to work under Great Chef Jean-Louis Palladin as sous-chef at Jean Louis at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. Ripert moved 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 since firmly established himself as one of New York’s – and the world’s – Great Chefs. And that’s why in March of 1993, the Great Chefs Television crew recorded 2 dishes of Eric’s, while Gilbert Le Coze watched. Those dishes appeared in Great Chefs of the East (episode #13) and Great Chefs – Great Cities (episode #71).
GQ named Le Bernardin the best restaurant in America, and later the magazine named Le Bernardin one of the “Seven Food Temples of the World.” 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. Also, Bon Appetit declared Ripert’s Butter-Poached Lobster with Tarragon and Champagne its “Dish of the Year.”
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, Riper enjoys good tequila and peace and quiet. He lives on the Upper East Side and Sag Harbor with his wife and young son.