Bravotv.com: What is your overlying philosophy on creating a great seafood dish?
Our mantra is that the fish is the star of the plate and all our efforts and creative vision support the mantra.
Bravotv.com: Overall, how did this experience compare to your other guest judging experiences?
I have always loved being a guest judge on Top Chef. This time was very different since I was hosting it at Le Bernardin. I felt very responsible for making sure that we provide everything possible for the contestants to shine. I always feel that the most important thing for me as a judge is to be fair, focusing solely on the quality of the food, not personalities. I was certainly more involved and certainly felt more pressure to be an inspiration in this episode.
Bravotv.com: Anything you want to catch your fans up with that you’ve been doing lately?
First and foremost we are taking care of Le Bernardin and our other restaurants: 10 Arts in Philadelphia, Westend Bistro in Washington, D.C. and Blue in Grand Cayman Islands. All located in The Ritz Carlton hotels. I am also very involved with a food rescue organization called City Harvest in New York City. Their mission is to save unused food from restaurants, corporations, grocers, farmers, etc. and deliver the fresh food to agencies around the city who are serving those in need of a meal. Actually we just decided to give City Harvest $1 for every client who dines with us this year — and we anticipate a donation of upwards of $100,000 for the year. I’m also finishing shooting my own TV series called Avec Eric which will debut nationally this Fall on PBS. The show has been shot on location in HD in Italy, Northern California and New York.
Last but not least, I’m just about to conclude promotion of my new book called On The Line.
To keep updated on what is going on with me, please check out my Web site: www.aveceric.com
Chef Ripert...of all the guest judges/chefs they have had on any season, you by far are the most gracious and kind to the Top Chef contestants...and easy to look and listen to!
Chef Ripert: you leave me speechless and breathless. And I haven't even tasted your food. I feel certain I would cry, at that point, because it would so overwhelm me with emotion and happiness. My best friend lives in NYC and I am green with envy that she has been to your restaurant twice. You are such a treasure and I next time I am in NYC, I hope to see you at Le Bernardin. Until then ............
I will go to NY to eat at your restaurant one day!!!!! you are my absolute favorite chef on the shoW!
Well, Stefan may not have won the "egg" (the $100,000 Top Chef money), but, he is still a winner. he gets to work with you and travel with you to a food and wine fest. He and Carla will still do very well with their "chickens", as Richard Blais said when he did not win his finale, but, won the "chicken", which lays "eggs".. The exposure that they get on Top Chef, to chefs like you, will take them far and help their reputation as skilled, talented chefs.... and the respect for their efforts/talent. They should all be thankful/happy and not regret that one last dish/episode. They are ALL winners...
Anything Eric Ripert says, I am eager to hear. He is, after all, an inspiration for me at school (I'm a culinary school student).