{An evening with Chef Eric Ripert}

Happy Thursday everyone! Here is a recap of Tuesday night’s happenings…

Me and the boy headed over to the Jack Singer Concert Hall at about 6:40pm. We started our night by sampling various wines from around the world (sponsored by Willow Park Wines and Spirits). My favourites included a Pierre Sparr Pinot Gris Reserve (Alsace Region) – full-bodied white wine with fruit notes and the Maison Champy Chardonnay (Loire Valley Region) – a dry and aromatic wine which was lovely with a wedge of creamy camembert.

Springbank Cheese Co. had set up a station where they were serving up tastings of various types of cheeses for us to nibble on whilst we enjoyed our vino. I loved the Blackburn and the 8 yr old white chedder the best (both firm and stronger flavoured aged cheeses).

At 7:30pm, we all took our seats. We sat right in the front row to the right of the stage in the mezzanine (the perfect view!).

John Gilchrist, a local restaurant reviewer introduced the famed chef with a brief story about how he had met Eric in the Cayman islands 2 weeks ago. He also mentioned how he took Ripert to two of the top rated restaurants in Calgary to give him a taste of what our city has to offer. They went to Rouge for dinner the night before and Charcut for lunch the next day, both of which Ripert enjoyed (he even tweeted about it!)

When Chef Ripert took the stage, he gave an hour-long lecture about how he started his career in the culinary arts at the young age of 15 to his future plans for Le Bernardin and everything in between.

He discussed his “terror” years working under the infamous Joel Robuchon where he learned his military-like discipline to the opposite side of the spectrum where he worked as sous chef under Jean Louis Palladin, where he was encouraged express creativity in his dishes.

By the time he was 29, he was awarded a four-star rating from the New York Times, then in 2006, he received the coveted 3 Michelin star rating for his culinary excellence at Le Bernardin.

Ripert also explained the lengthy process that goes into creating his menu (one item took 20 years for him to perfect!), and the importance of keeping his employees happy as a key to the success of his restaurant.

The part that really interested me was his future plans on making Le Bernardin completely sustainable within the next couple years. He is a firm believer in using the highest quality organic produce whenever possible in his dishes while making sure we do not deplete our natural resources.

He is also chair of City Harvest’s Food Council, which organizes trucks to collect any leftover unused ingredients from restaurants around NYC to help feed the homeless.

Overall, this was an AMAZING evening. After the Q&A session, we made our way upstairs to a private area for the book signing while enjoying more vino and tasty apps provided by the Cookbook Cooks Co.

I was so nervous when I finally met Chef Ripert, but I managed to utter how impressed we were with our dining experience at Le Bernardin on our NYC trip a couple of years ago. Can you tell how happy I am in the picture? I don’t think I could smile any bigger! haha

This will go next to my Michael Smith signed cookbook on the ol’ shelf 🙂 If you haven’t got this one in your collection, I encourage you to check it out. Avec Eric is beautifully laid out and filled with recipes inspired by his travels around the world.

*Fun fact: One audience member asked Chef Ripert “What would your last meal be?” Answer: Shaved black truffles on toast with a drizzle of good olive oil and a nice bottle of Bordeaux.

Comments
4 Responses to “{An evening with Chef Eric Ripert}”
  1. Tatiana says:

    Lucky duck… sigh. I’ve never been to NY, nor one of his restaurants, so of course I’m dying to go.

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