Eric Ripert

Eric Ripert explains how close Angelo was to going home.

on Aug 18, 20100



Full Transript:
So this is Episode 10 of Top Chef. And I'm commenting on the Quickfire, which was very challenging. They started with one ingredient, which was fish, and then boxes of secret ingredients started to appear and made the challenge even more intricate, and difficult, and challenging, obviously, to all the candidates.

I think Angelo had the right idea when he thought he should be very broad in terms of vision and wait to see the ingredients coming and not take a risk. I would have used the same strategy myself because those boxes were again full of surprise. Passion fruit is definitely something that is not easy to use in savory food.

So Tiffany won making that fish stew. I think it's well deserved, it was not an easy path as well, because when you start a stew and suddenly, you have again that passion fruit appearing, what are you going to do with your stew, how are you going to integrate into it, and so on. And she find a way. And her dish looks really delicious and she was also very happy to win, and I think it was well-deserved.

Going to the CIA is not just like a walk in the park and we were very impressed and surprised also by the warmth of the team at the CIA, which welcomed us. Mr. Leon Panetta was more than charming. It was really an experience, a lifetime experience, that we all had, and we were really grateful to walk in the most secretive place in America.

The challenge was to take a classic dish and to hide it and make something else with it. A cobb salad is not easy to disguise, but they had an entire night to think about it, an entire day to prepare. It was actually, instead of a challenge, a great opportunity for them to shine and to show their creativity and technique. And we discovered pretty much all of the dishes that were presented in front of us.

But some of them were delicious, and Tiffany won with her lamb, because it was really, really delicious. We all really liked it at the table. Some of them were mediocre, and it was almost an embarrassment for us to have to share those dishes with the rest of the team at the table, because at this level of the competition, especially with someone like Angelo, you would expect something creative, exciting, and delicious, but it was just a dried piece of dough with some mushy beef on top. It was very disappointing.

Angelo didn't go home because Alex really cooked for us something terrible. Between Angelo and Alex, Angelo was definitely the winner. Alex's dish was borderline inedible. We had a hard time to swallow the first bite, and I don't think anyone went for more than two bites on this dish. And that saved Angelo, if not Angelo would have gone home, because using that pastry was definitely a shortcut.

Ed's Chicken Cordon Bleu definitely looked like a Chicken Cordon Bleu. But the execution was perfection and the flavors were absolutely delicious, so Ed had to go on top and couldn’t be on the bottom.

Kelly had the Kung Pao Shrimp, and she was very smart to look behind bottles of Chinese ingredients to find out what it meant. And myself I ask her at the table, "What is it?" Because like her, I was very ignorant about it. I don't know if I would have been as quick in trying to find information about it, but she did actually pretty well, her food was very good.

Alex is losing and going home. The team is I think happy to see Alex go home. He had a hard time to integrate himself into that team. He had some attitude towards some of the contestants, which were aggressive, and he didn't make too many friends during that season. And I don't know in real life what kind of cooking he does, and I really hope he does better food than what we have seen on the challenge that he lost.

This is Eric Ripert commenting on Episode 10 at the C.I.A. for Top Chef in Washington D.C.

33 comments
molly shugart
molly shugart

Dear Eric:

PLEASE! I cannot find the episode where your good friend Tony Bourdain participated! Can you help me? You are also great, I love your big soft French lips!

MaryC
MaryC

Mr. Ripert, you are beyond cute - you are beautiful. I saw a bio of you on tv this week from a few years ago, and could not get over what a beautiful face you have. I am an old lady, but I can still admire a beautiful man when I see one.

MaryC
MaryC

Mr. Ripert, you are beyond cute - you are beautiful. I saw a bio of you on tv this week from a few years ago, and could not get over what a beautiful face you have. I am an old lady, but I can still admire a beautiful man when I see one.

Dideb
Dideb

Mr. Ripert, you are very cute and a nice addition to the show. Love your accent!

mmc
mmc

I love Tom...no replacing...Tom is great as a judge...shame on the traitors!!!!!!

mmc
mmc

Love your blogs.You simplify the deliberations for us.I'm concerned about the controversy of the missing Pea Puree.Can't this be settled so Alexs' exit will be in glory or in disgrace It isn't really fair to anyone that we don't know the truth!

annah
annah

Ah, Eric....I remember telling my honey how much i admire u...u are a gentle soul and u always have encouraging words for the chefs, even when they seem to fail at a challenge....u are the best. Please say u will be a permanate judge!!!! I would watch u take out the garbage, u are so divine!

sara browne
sara browne

i do believe he does have his own show....!

kat-in-hat
kat-in-hat

Wonderful review of the lastest episode, Eric! Interesting to hear your take on the difference between Alex and Angelo's dishes and why, specifically, Alex was sent home. Thank you and please keep up the excellent work!

SC
SC

Maybe it is time for Chef Colicchio to become a contestant in Top Chef Masters!!!!

SC
SC

Maybe it is time for Chef Colicchio to become a contestant in Top Chef Masters!!!!

Pretty Alice
Pretty Alice

I have to agree with my fellow bloggers you are an outstanding judge and Chef. I love to listen to your comments more than anybody else's ideas. I have a question, though, and it must be something I never noticed before. Why do the people eat the food off their knives at the dinner table. I have never seen this done before. Is it just me? Thanks

Linda D
Linda D

Can I say LOVE LOVE Top Chef. My husband started watching the show with me about 2 years ago when we got married. He does not know how to cook (and still doesn't) but he gets so into the show and understanding techniques and terminology. He never thought there was much to it so its really nice to see him thinking about it. We love you as a judge.

Viewer2323
Viewer2323

He already has one, Avec Eric on PBS

Finally!!
Finally!!

although i do respect your opinion, i think angelo should have been sent home for using a frozen puff pastry. that is a big no-no! top chef's should never resort to such laziness. on a different note, i love you on the show and hope to see more of you.

David in VA
David in VA

Eric, thank you. You're doing exactly what we hope a a blogger judge will do -- tell us something about the deliberations we didn't know from watching the show. The TV edit last night made it look like Angelo was going home. You told us that it wasn't really close -- while Angelo's dish was poor, Alex's was inedible. Thanks for your candor, Eric.

Paula A
Paula A

He does have his own show, Avec Eric, broadcast on PBS.

Bette
Bette

So appreciate your intelligent and graceful approach as opposed to Toby Young's jarring appearance last year! Bon appetit indeed!

RLB
RLB

I actually would love to see Colicchio, Ripert & Bourdain as Top Chef permanent judges.

Striped Spinach
Striped Spinach

Eric,

Thank you very much for taking the time to comment each episode in such an insightful way. Your words about Kelly really stand out this week, and I abide by every one of them, including not knowing what the heck Kung Pao Shrimp is. Don't you like a show that has you learn new things?

Alex. I wasn't there, obviously, but I never got the hate and I really disliked the mob mentality the other chefs had towards him. That is enough pressure to make you lose your concentration, accomplish bad dishes over bad dishes, and eventually send you home. I'm convinced he's a better cook than what he showed on Top Chef, but how can anyone keep it straight with all the open hostility directed against them?

Continuez votre excellent travail, monsieur Ripert, et transmettez mes meilleures salutations à Jennifer, ma favorite de la sixième saison. I rooted for her until the bitter end.

cruelty_free
cruelty_free

"Any possibility of you replacing Tom? That would be AWESOME!!!!!!!!"

I second that motion !!

pmh
pmh

You're blogs remind me of Tom's from the first season of Top Chef; to the point, simple and basic explaination of the food. Not that I don't love Tom's blog's but I think since he has been on the show the comments on the people at times take over. Thanks for the simplicity and clarify...

TX-Andi
TX-Andi

You are so HOT!!! Please start your own show. Any man who can cook and look so incredible is a "star" in my book. Not only are you interesting but you are very funny. God bless!

Israel
Israel

Any possibility of you replacing Tom? That would be AWESOME!!!!!!!!

Bev C
Bev C

I appreciate your blog and the fact you are on the show this season. A great chef is always open to new ideas,tastes, and techniques, so your comment on Kelly and the Kung Pao sauce was wonderful to read. Like you, I would not have come to that thought so soon. But this is a little of what Top Chef is about, growing as a chef. If the competitors already knew everything there would be no need to be here because they would already be celebrity chefs. Good job!

OHmomIO
OHmomIO

I like your take on things. Great addition to the show!

DW Dillon
DW Dillon

Best blogger of the season! Keep it up!

bbcakes
bbcakes

you da man eric, much love.

Cree
Cree

Thank you very much for being a judge on this show. I totally enjoy all your comments especially when you "drop" a cooking tecnique. :) Let the record reflect I was not against Alex like everyone seems to be I really root for them all to do well. To me he seems like a nice chef that need to be taught a few things.

Eric C.
Eric C.

First let me say that I'm very excited to see you as a permanent member of the show. What a catch! Two amazing chefs on the panel at all times, plus the great guest judges, to me signifies a continued dedication to top quality production.

I enjoyed your comments on tonights show. I like your straightforward style and your honesty. I look forward to reading your posts this year and into the future.