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 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.
In 1995, at just 29 years old, Ripert earned a four-star rating from the New York Times. 20 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. The new look features a lounge, a first for the restaurant, where a separate menu is available.
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 casual, 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 that can accommodate a range of events, including weddings, cocktail receptions and corporate meetings.
GQ named Le Bernardin the best restaurant in America in 1997, and in 2007, the magazine named Le Bernardin one of “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 in 2005, Bon Appetit declared Ripert’s Butter-Poached Lobster with Tarragon and Champagne its “Dish of the Year.”
Le Bernardin continues to receive universal critical acclaim for its food and service, and currently ranks 18 on the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The Michelin Guide, which made its New York debut in 2005, honored Chef Ripert and Le Bernardin with its highest rating of three stars in 2005 and each year thereafter. From the 2011 editions of the Zagat Guide on, Le Bernardin has received a ”29 out of 30” rating for food: the highest in New York City and the first time that’s happened since 1996. In the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016 Zagat Guides, Le Bernardin is named the most popular restaurant in the city, and in the 2015 and 2016 Guides it also took top honors for service. In 1998, the James Beard Foundation named Le Bernardin “Outstanding Restaurant of the Year” and Ripert “Top Chef in New York City.” In 1999, the restaurant received the “Outstanding Service” award from the Beard Foundation, and in 2003, the Foundation named Ripert “Outstanding Chef in the United States.” In 2009, Le Bernardin was honored with the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Wine Service.” Most recently, in 2013, Le Coze won the award for “Outstanding Restaurateur.” In his year-end dining feature, Frank Bruni of The New York Times selected Le Bernardin as the “Best Meal of 2008.” In addition, Ripert partnered with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to open Blue in Grand Cayman.
In September 2009, AVEC ERIC, Ripert’s first TV show, debuted on PBS stations and ran for two successful seasons, earning two Daytime Emmy Awards: “Outstanding Culinary Program” (2011) and “Outstanding Achievement in Main Title and Graphic Design” (2010). Avec Eric: a culinary journey with Eric Ripert (Wiley) was released in November 2010 with more than 100 recipes inspired by Ripert’s travels. AVEC ERIC returned for a third season on the Cooking Channel in February 2015. Ripert has also hosted RESERVE CHANNEL’s show “On the Table” on YouTube, which debuted in July 2012, and appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Charlie Rose Show,” “Ellen DeGeneres,” “TODAY,” “Live with Kelly & Michael” and “Martha Stewart.” In fall 2008, Ripert published On the Line, his second cookbook with Artisan, which in 2002 published A Return to Cooking, a collaboration between Ripert, photographers Shimon and Tammar Rothstein, artist Valentino Cortazar and writer Michael Ruhlman that was selected by Newsweek as one of its best books of the season. Ripert’s first cookbook, Le Bernardin – Four Star Simplicity (Clarkson Potter) debuted in 1998. In 2014, Ripert released his newest cookbook, My Best: Eric Ripert (Alain Ducasse Publishing), an illustrated recipe guide to 10 of his signature dishes.
Ripert is the Vice Chairman of the board of City Harvest, working to bring together New York’s top chefs and restaurateurs to rescue food and raise funds to help feed the nearly 2 million New Yorkers who face hunger each year.