Hi, I’m Eric Ripert, chef of Le Bernardin, and I am commenting on Episode No. 7.
I don’t really think that the challenge of the toothpick was too much of a challenge. I think it’s pretty easy. We create those tiny portions with concentrated flavors every day. Angelo was not very happy with the fact he had to use cucumber; he thought it was very outdated. I don’t find the ingredient outdated at all. I think that even the judge thought it was a good combination and, to his own surprise, he won the challenge. Alex, in that challenge, was in the bottom, and it doesn’t really surprise me because to do a dish with strawberries, or raspberries, with seafood is not really a good idea. You have to be a great genius to make it sensational, and he definitely didn’t have the genius that day. I don’t think he made it too edible, so, he was in the bottom.
So The Palm opened its gates, or its doors, for the first time, and they had to do a power lunch. A power lunch – I mean actually here, at Le Bernardin in New York, we have something called a power lunch. You have to have on your menu some light fare, and also some robust dishes. And that’s what makes a happy power lunch. So, in that challenge, Andrea went home. And it looked like her swordfish was definitely overcooked, and what seems to be a not-so-successful combination was the vanilla. And when you use vanilla you have to be very careful too. A lot of chefs use vanilla with lobster, with seafood, and very often the combination doesn’t work. You need a lot of spice to compensate for the sweetness of the vanilla, because it is always a little bit sweet, and I don’t think Andrea really understood that. She was referring to a dish that she cooked maybe a long time before; however, nobody was really pleased with the swordfish and the vanilla, and Andrea went home.
Well, I was surprised that Kelly was criticized for the portion because it is the portion that The Palm has for its clients. A porterhouse is a porterhouse. If I would have been Kelly, I would have cooked the meat on the bone, as she did, but then I would have sliced the meat, which happens very often at a steakhouse. They slice the meat for you after it has been cooked on the bone, so you have the meat that is very tasty and also very relaxed, like very tender, because it has been attached to the bone and doesn’t shrink as much. Amanda taking the bone off I think was a mistake, but at the end of the day her meat seemed to be tasting better than Kelly, and she didn’t have the issues on the salt that Kelly had. And it looked like Kelly was a bit punished for not sharing her salt with Amanda. Alex had the salmon dish to do, and he wasn’t sure until the very end. He was supposedly full of ideas, but not very clear about it. And then the challenge arrived and he cooked the salmon and served it with forbidden rice, and that beautiful, silky, tasty pea puree. And it seems to be very controversial because I think it was Ed who suddenly lost his pea puree, and Alex found pea puree, or something like that. The team seems to be very doubtful of Alex cooking pea puree. I haven’t seen all of the footage, so I don’t know what happened, but as a viewer it looks like it was very suspicious, and it very well could have happened that Alex took the pea puree from his friend Ed. I think Ed was smart not to mention anything at the Judges' Table because it doesn’t matter anyway, at that point. As a client, you never care if the pea puree at the restaurant disappeared or not. What you care about is having a great dish. So I think Ed was silent and proved that he had a certain wisdom. Ed and Tiffany seemed to have a good week, and they seem to have a very good and friendly relationship. I don’t know what to say. It seems to be fairly inoffensive at this point, and I have no doubt that it could go the other way, but obviously, with the way it is filmed, you may be thinking that something could happen soon.
That was commenting on Episode 7, and next week I will be talking about Episode 8. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask, and I will gladly answer.
Love the show!! Really, really enjoy Eric Ripert and his comments. Thanks so much for making Wednesday nights so entertaining. Can't wait for Just Desserts.
I enjoyed hearing your thoughts on this episode. The way the episode is edited does make the "missing pea puree" incident unsettling for the viewer. I do agree that in the end it didn't matter and Ed did handle the incident professionally...Thanks for putting it into perspective for this Bravo viewer. I would be interested to read Tom's thoughts on the matter.
Hey Chef! I absolutely love your commentary on the episodes. I had thought, towards the beginning of the season, that you were going to be with the judging panal throughout the whole show. Was I mistaken?
Hey Eric, Your criticism is always countructive and never offencive. You are a gentelmen . Good JOB.
I've been enjoying your comments and have been learning a lot from them.
I'm glad you're noting areas where there could be ethical lapses. I know that judging is officially based on the food and not personal interactions in the kitchen, but I think most people believe that you need trust in the kitchen for the best food to come out.
Hmmm...haven't tried French in about two decades, but I just have to say, M. Ripert, vos "videoblogs" sont VACHEMENT mignon! I say that with all due respect.
I think the pea puree aside, Art mentioned that Alex's salmon was perfectly cooked. And while all the judges talked about how good the puree was, without the perfect fish it would not have been a winning dish.
I wish you were a judge on the panel each week. I could listen to your accent and comments all night!!! You do seem to be a very genuine person.
Eric, I love your considered comments, but ethically you have to take a stand on the pea episode. Either Ed or Alex have been done a disservice and Alex especially has been slandered if the accusations are not true. The producers have ways of finding out the truth, and for whatever reason they are not sharing it with us. As a lowly viewer I have no way to pressure the producers to do the right thing, but YOU DO! Please stand up for the truth. Thank you.
Not that this will make it onto the board (never has) Why are you even listed as a judge or blogging on this. How many weeks has this been on and we have seen you.. what.. maybe twice? Didn't even read the blog, let's face it, you weren't there! Why read it? Okay like I said they won't even post this, but I am am fan that shows up every week and you are a judge that does not.
I love your insights and comments. Thank you - I hope you show up in future seasons - even, as you've done before, as a guest judge. I *love* the gleam of humor in your eyes. Okay, you're talented, knowledgeable, able to communicate to us non-chefs, and sexy - I'll have to assume you have a normal chef's arrogance - so there'll be at least one fault. :-)
i still want to know if he stole the pea puree and if he did i think it would be a good thing if he went home!!!!!!!!!
there is an ethical issue at stake in this case and fair is fair.
Chef Eric, thank you for taking the time for the vlogs...I sincerely appreciate your honest commentary and your pleasent demeanor.
I'd love to know more about what you think about the "de-boning" of the Porterhouse as a technique... I personally was shocked when I saw that. I did like your idea of presentation preparation after cooking on the bone. However from a service perspective, if the plan is to serve a sliced filet and ny strip...why pay extra for the bone...
Dear Chef Ripert, You are a class act and a breath of fresh air. You exude integrity and decency. You observations last week about Angelo and this week about Alex are accurate and show a lot of character on your part. I hope you will give your views directly to Tom and the zero-integrity producers, who have turned this show into a joke.
Thank you for commentary you've been providing! I wonder, though, if you could answer a question for me. Since you are known for your seafood, may contestants over the past seasons have expressed reservations about serving you seafood in challenges (likewise, they are nervous to serve pasta to known Italian chefs, etc). Do you find that you judge seafood dishes (and mistakes made in them) more critically than you do dishes that use a different protein?
Thanks and hope to see you in more episodes this season!
Bonjour Chef! I have become intrigued by the contrast i see pretty frequently between what the chefs call "simple" food and what i perceive to be extremely complicated food. It seems to me (simply as a diner) that a high number of ingredients on the plate do not necessarily make it better. I wonder if perhaps it takes more skill to present a delicious dish with just a few ingredients, and so i sometimes suspect that chefs who deliver overly complicated dishes are hiding behind their pantry. i don't want to have to "figure out" my dish before i eat it. how do you stand on the issue of "simple" versus complicated?
Chef Ripert, you are a great addition the judges panel. Your comments are insightful and I think you are always a teacher to the young chefs. I hope you'll stay!
I hope you are going to be on the panel every week and I also love your commentary every week. You seem like a genuinely nice person. Love your accent!
Eric, I disagree with your comment about the pea puree. This show is about a competition and apparently you are OK with one chef stealing from another chef and presenting it to the panel as his own. What does this say about you. In the restaurant environment, the owner doesn't care if one chef steals from other as long as the ultimate benefit goes to the owner. What would you say if the chef stole one of your recipes and gave it to a competitor? In this competition, Alex wouldn't have won without the pea puree and you know it. He got his picture on the wall and the dish on the menu and he did it fraudently. I would think that the rules of the competition would prohibit this type of unethical conduct. You are beginning to sound like our congressional representatives who are justifying their bad behaviors eg(Rangel)If Bravo and judges don't care, why should I continue to watch your show unless you expose this guy for who he is? You must believe that the ends justify the means. In the end, your comments reflect that the ethical behavior of an individual isn't all that important. Eric, your rational just doesn't pass the smell test. Pack your knives and leave.
I love your comments and I love your style and i love your honesty. It's a pleasure to hear your frank and candid comments about incidents on the show. Your comments about food are always cogent, but kind. You are a great guest judge.
I felt sorry for Kelly when the remarks were made about the size of the beef. Now if they were saying, Where's the beef it would have been different. Kelly is one to follow the rules, and she rightly cooked the Porterhouse Steaks that were provided without changing them. Your suggestion about cutting them after cooking was spot on. I was sad that she over salted the dish, in response to being told that her dishes were not bold enough. How do you feel about salting dishes? Is it not hard to please all of your diners when salting? Is it not better to salt lightly? I feel that Kelly, Kenny and Angelo will be fighting it out at the end - maybe Ed and or Tiffany will be there too. But I am sure that the judges will boot Amanda and Stephen soon (let's hope!). Alex is one of those players that flys right under the radar. I wonder what he is saying now in response to all of the viewers who are up in arms over "pea-gate"? The reunion will be oh so interesting. Thank you for Blogging, I respect you and read with interest what you have to say.
I just wathced Eric's tooth pick and power Lunch, I'm a Nebraska girl and we like our steak and I was pissed when amanda took the poterhouse off the bone, where do you think all that flavor comes from girl.. and the salt with that other chef they ruined an excellent cut of beef, My theroy is if cant cook A decent steak get the H*** out of the kitchen. katy I thinki her name is should have went home, No team work by not sharing it was just salt and you dont know how to use it anyway.And the missing Pea puree was handle very well and I would have let it go also because it's all gonna come out in the end, sorry alex you really need to go.Amanda you need to Go also.
I love the show, Tom and all the great and experienced chefs that come on as guests! Let's face it, the truth on the pea puree incident will come out eventually. Whether it's the numerous footage, the reunion show or when the D.C. resturante which will feature Alex and his dish finally ask him for his receipe on pea puree. IT better be Good, Alex!!!