Eric Ripert

Eric Ripert comments about the tense finale and toasts the season.

on Mar 31, 2011

Like Tom said, and as a viewer, you can see that it's one of the best finales we've ever seen.

Richard's restaurant is pretty sophisticated. I like the name of the restaurant as well, Tongue and Cheek. And he starts with a very clever canapé, amuse-bouche, which is oyster with the crème fraiche pearls. And everybody seems to love that. It's kind of surprising. And I think it's like basically saying, it's a statement. It's like, "This is going to be like that. The dinner that I’m providing today, it's going to be sophisticated with a twist." And I like his dishes. I think he has a little bit of a problem towards the end with his dessert. But he addressed in between, so some of the judges have the dessert that is not necessarily amazing, and then because I think Spike is listening in the dining room, he can find out what's going on, and he adjust, and he has something a bit different.

It’s very close, in between Mike and Richard, and until the very end you don’t know who’s going to win, but again, Richard is a bit more sophisticated. And I think Gail say it very well, when she says “Mike has a restaurant where you want to go eat during the week, and Richard on the weekend.” It’s more like a celebratory, maybe concept. The food is more sophisticated, again like I said. And if you pull out a menu with great dishes like he did, very strong dishes, like the hamachi, that Tom was very impressed with. And on top of it, that hamachi dish -- not only is it powerful and it’s clean and it’s complicated in a sense because he has some sweetbreads with it -- to make a successful dish like that is difficult. So to me, Richard win. I’m not surprised. I mean, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Mike. But I congratulate Richard, of course.