If you haven’t heard yet, Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert are coming to Clowes Memorial Hall in just a few days. Most excitement for the event has been focused on Bourdain, which doesn’t entirely surprise me.
His part in the 21st century revolution of street food lovers is considerable. What’s more, he’s captured American audiences’ hearts with his nonchalant coolness. More than that, he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to food.
What’s slightly disappointing is how little is being said about Monsieur Ripert, who is just as big and dare I say, bigger in the culinary world than Bourdain. He began his remarkable career at La Tour d’Argent, one of the oldest and most revered restaurants in Paris when he was just 19. After working as Sous Chef at the Watergate Hotel, he eventually became the Executive Chef and Owner of the prestigious Le Bernardin in New York.
Under his tutelage, Le Bernardin has won the maximum 3 Michelin stars and is the only restaurant to receive 4-star New York Times reviews four years consecutively. Ripert himself has won a monstrous four James Beard Awards and is arguably the greatest living seafood chef in the world.
In Season 5 of Top Chef, the top 6 contenders were asked to reproduce Ripert’s best dishes from Le Bernardin. While some competitors came close, the judges found themselves raving more about Ripert’s original dishes than the duplicates. Host Padma Lakshmi joked, “Congratulations Eric; you are Top Chef.” He became a permanent judge on Top Chef this year and brought a breath of fresh air to an otherwise flat season.
What makes me really anticipate the event this week is how close these two men are. They’ve been friends for decades and between Ripert going on No Reservations and Bourdain guest judging on Top Chef, I know they have a good chemistry together. And it doesn’t hurt that they have over 50 years of culinary experience between the two of them. It’s going be a great night.
Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. Tickets are quickly running out, so make sure to get yours ASAP. Visit www.cloweshall.org for more information.