Eric Ripert is the host of Avec Eric, chef/co-owner of New York's celebrated restaurant Le Bernardin, chair of New York-based food rescue organization, cookbook author and recipient of France's Legion d'Honneur.
Join super chef Eric Ripert as he takes us inside his world of big flavors. First, we get an inside look at, and introduction to, the legendary saucier at Le Bernardin, as he goes about developing the subtle flavors necessary for the myriad sauces used in the restaurant every day. Eric then travels to the beautiful Villa Bordoni in the Chianti region of Tuscany. But this is no luxury visit for our chef, as we join him on a wild boar [cinghiale] hunt during a torrential thunder storm. All ends up deliciously safe and sated in the Villa's kitchen, then dining room, as we savor the delights of pappardelle with cinghiale ragu. Back home in his own kitchen, Eric teaches us how to prepare perfect roasted pork loin with wild mushrooms and garlic and sage pan jus.
Join Eric as he demonstrates the importance of quality ingredients in great cooking. In the kitchen of Le Bernardin, Eric takes us through the preparation raw ingredient dishes, such as smoked salmon with organic farm raised caviar (Yes, he's become a convert to Farm raised caviar!). We then travel with Eric to California, and visit with his good friend, surfer, gardener and chef, David Kinch. From surfing in Santa Cruz to sampling the garden and restaurant delights in Los Gatos, Eric is inspired by his friend's homage to the garden and the sea. Back home, Eric is prepares a simple and delicious seared salmon with sauteed pea shoots and ginger-soy vinaigrette.
Farming The Sea
On today's episode we travel with Eric to experience farming the sea. We begin at Le Bernardin with the preparation of thousands of pounds of fresh fish delivered every morning to the restaurant. Eric then travels to Hog Island, a California shellfish farm whose millions of oysters and clams naturally clean the sea they are grown in. Back in his home kitchen, Eric is inspired to make a whole roasted red snapper with Thai spices and coconut rice.
Birth of a Dish
On today's episode Eric travels to coastal Livorno in Tuscany where he starts the day early in the morning at the local fish and vegetable markets, then head into the kitchen to watch the preparation and then enjoy eating a traditional fisherman's stew called cacciucco. Inspired by this red wine fish stew, we next join Eric at his restaurant as he and his team of chefs create a new dish using these traditional flavors but with new techniques. Back home, Eric shows us how to prepare a home kitchen version of the codfish Basquaise they created at Le Bernardin.
On today's show Eric explores the importance of teamwork - in the remarkable complexity of a honeybee hive, in the coordination of the staff of a 4-star restaurant, and in the harmony of contrasting flavors in a great dish. After traveling to the fascinating Melissa Garden Honeybee Sanctuary in Northern California, Eric returns home and creates a spice crusted duck breast with orange-honey glaze and cumin scented carrots.
This week, Eric finds inspiration in the past and shows us how traditional practices can create a base for great cooking. Eric shares his grandmother's traditional capon recipe with the sous chefs at Le Bernardin. He then travels to Stone Barns in New York's Hudson River Valley where Chef Dan Barber explains how the farm's focus on and reinterpretation of traditional farming practices results in remarkable ingredients. Eric then returns to the home kitchen to share his grandmother's recipes for a perfectly roasted chicken and salad vinaigrette.
This week, join Eric as he experiences the lifestyles of culinary artisans up close in Tuscany. Eric goes to a farm where they gather chestnuts for cooking and for feeding their prize-winning cows. He visits the outdoor markets where all sorts of artisanal products are sold. He learns about the cheesemaking process at the renknowned dairy, Il Palagiaccio. Last, Eric visits with restaurateur, Giovanna Carcasci, where they make spinach ricotta ravioli just like she did as a small child. Back at home in New York, Eric is inspired to make a French adaptation of the classic Italian linguini carbonara.
In this episode, Eric explores the fundamental relationship between food and wine, in which perfect pairings serve to elevate the quality of each. We begin at Le Bernardin where Eric and his Sous Chefs challenge his Chef Sommelier, Aldo Sohm, to find the perfect wine pairing to accompany a spicy new crab salad. Eric then travels to California to visit the Iron Horse vineyard where they make a great sparkling wine that pairs beautifully with melon, tomatoes and fresh goat cheese. Back home with lots of inspiration, Eric again challenges Aldo to create perfect pairings with 3 canapes - salmon rillette, garlic herbed goat cheese, and guacamole.
Oil and Wine
Join Eric this week as he explores the fascinating parallels between olive oil and wine. We get an insider look at one of the regular olive oil blind tastings done at Le Bernardin to ensure that the restaurant is using the best oil to enhance the flavor of the dishes. Eric then travels to the Chianti region of Tuscany, which is known not just for its wine, but also its olive oil. We visit the Fonterutoli estate where they produce both wine and olive oil, and where Eric gets an up-close look at the process of making olive oil -which is not dissimilar to the process of making wine. Back home, Eric is inspired by his journey to make a succulent chicken paillard with tomatoes, fennel and olives.
In the last episode, Eric takes a closer look at craftsmanship and the importance of hands-on skills in cooking. We start in Le Bernardin where we follow the fastest fish butcher in the business as he precisely prepares the hundreds of pounds of fish needed for the restaurant each day. We also take a look at the intricate desserts prepared by the restaurant's talented pastry chef. Eric then travels to the Sonoma coast of California and the Flowers winery where he follows the highly technical process being used to craft their impeccable pinot noir. Back home in New York, Eric demonstrates his craft in cooking a fabulous dish of scallops with tomato compote and champagne beurre blanc.
Least Deadliest Catch
Eric joins a Chesapeake waterman to harvest soft shell crabs at sunrise and cooks them on the river bank for an al fresco feast. At home, the recipe is Poached Halibut Vinaigrette.
Catch and Cook
Eric visits the Cayman Islands where his restaurant serves fresh-from-the-ocean seafood. Eric does it one better catching and preparing sashimi from tuna he just caught, then he grills spiny lobster on the beach with friends.
Everything Is Better with Bacon
Eric visits a mountaintop village in Italy where he learns all about making and eating lardo. At his restaurant, the pastry chef prepares Bacon Ice Cream and Fig dessert. At home, it's Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon.
Becoming A Chef
Eric visits the Culinary Institute of America aka CIA as a guest teacher. Teaching continues at Le Bernardin with a young sous chef. At home, Eric makes Barely Cooked Salmon with Sauteed Leeks.
Eric visits a former chef colleague, now a farmer, whose mission is still all about taste and flavor. At home, it is all vegetables as Eric prepares a unique Cauliflower Cous Cous with Warm Vegetables.
A chef's job is much more than cooking in a restaurant. Eric travels to Grand Cayman for a grand cookout and grilling competition with his friend Anthony Bourdain and lots of laughs and great food. At home, he cooks Island Inspired Fresh Snapper Curry.
Celebrity chef Eric Ripert doesn't always cook in his 4-Star restaurant kitchen. Today, we'll see him in action at City Harvest Mobile Market that distributes donated produce to needy clients in the Bronx, New York. At home, Eric makes a delicious ratatouille with a twist.
Eric travels to rural Virginia to a heritage pig farm and then explores the flavorful Surryano Hams that are made from it. At his restaurant, we see how flavors are built into his recipes. Inspired by those flavors at home, he makes a Provencal Pistou soup.
Eric takes time away from his kitchen in New York and spends a week sharing stories, inspiration and cooking with some of America's greatest chefs - Anthony Bourdain, Dean Fearing, Jose Andres, Grant Achatz and David Chang. At home, he prepares a chef's comfort food -Beef Bourguignon.
Service with Flare
Great food calls for great service. Eric visits the Culinary Institute of America where students are not just taught cooking but front-of-house skills as well. At Le Bernardin, Eric continues to train and work with his team. At home, he demonstrates how to make Crepes Suzettes, served flaming at the table.
Farm to Table
Eric visits Polyface Farms in rural Virginia. Farmer Joel Salatin has worked for 40 years creating a green, sustainable farm raising cattle, chickens, and pigs. At his restaurant, Eric works with his management team to make it as green as possible. At home, Eric is inspired by the farm and cooks a tasty Chicken Bouillabaise.
Eric is invited to visit Ratna Ling, a Buddhist meditation center on the northern coast of California. He reciprocates by cooking a farm fresh vegetarian luncheon for the center's volunteer workers. A t Le Bernardin, different members of his kitchen team cook "Family Meal" for all of their colleagues. At home, Eric cooks a great stovetop Seafood Paella for visiting friends.
A Dream Dinner
Eric visits the renowned Inn at Little Washington where Chef Patrick O'Connell shares his stories (and cooking) about how the dream of a restaurant became a reality. Eric and partner Maguy Le Coze then share the stories of how Maguy and her brother started Le Bernardin, and with Eric, grew it into one of the world's best restaurants. At home, Eric prepares a Le Bernardin signature dish made easy for home cooking: Crispy Black Bass.