Eric Ripert

Eric Ripert isn't a judge this season, but he is ready to comment on the All-Stars.

on Dec 1, 2010

Fabio was very sensitive about the criticism of Anthony of his dish. And he was very animated and very critical and attacked Anthony. He basically blamed him for making fun of him and criticizing his dish without being constructive. Anthony, you cannot do that! You have to be a nice gentleman. In Washington, Anthony was making fun of me because supposedly I was the evil man and he decided to be very nice, so, Anthony, I'm giving it back to you. Be careful! But I think Anthony was right about the criticism of the presentation. As a viewer, the pasta didn't look good. The fact that it was on paper … Why was it on paper? It doesn't help, it doesn't do anything to it. And I would say, Fabio, watch out, because Anthony is married to an Italian lady and she knows her pasta and Anthony knows his pasta now.

Stephen was all over the place. He had a lot of dishes to prepare, and he was not ready, and he almost didn't make it actually. I think it's a miracle he was selected to go to the next episode. He very well could have been eliminated by not being focused and not being ready on time.

So Richard did a good job. The dish seems to be fantastic, it looks fantastic. I liked the technique that he was using also. But he didn't plate on time and therefore was disqualified. It's the rules of Top Chef, you have to be ready when it's time, exactly like if it's a restaurant. You have to be ready when the clients want to eat. He lost an opportunity to win, but I think we will se a lot of successful dishes coming from him.

So Jamie was eliminated at Le Bernardin with the black bass, the braised celery, and the Serrano ham sauce. And she hated our dish, and I respect that very much, some people don't like certain dishes. It happens in every restaurant. We are probably not her style. I'm happy that Jamie has mastered many of the skills that she didn't have before, because I recall seeing Jamie struggling at Le Bernardin filleting fish. She didn't know how to filet a black bass, and she spent most of her time filleting the fish. That day she actually burned the sauce at Le Bernardin, and there was black smoke coming out of the pan. This time she seems to have mastered the sauce, so that's definitely an improvement. And as for the braised celery, which was absolutely inedible because of the salt content, she seems to have found a way finally to braise celery and make it acceptable. I congratulate Jamie and wish her a great season. I see that her knife skills have been improved, although we have to see for the rest of the season how much she has improved those knife skills.

So Angelo won, and he did one of the dishes that I actually tried in Singapore during the finally. That dish was actually pretty good in Singapore. I guess he perfected it and made it even better, and therefore he won that challenge.

Elia went home and her fish was raw. It's a no-no. You cannot send raw fish to anyone. She did not think about tasting the dish. It is very surprising, because if you do not think about tasting your food as a chef, how can you know if it's going to taste good or not for your clients? It's very sad to see her go so early, she's obviously very sad and humiliated by that. But someone has to go, and I think if she did the worst job, which is to serve raw fish when it's supposed to be cooked, she deserved to go home.

I am Eric Ripert, chef of Le Bernardin, and I was commenting on Episode 1 of Top Chef All-Stars season in NY. Next week I will be commenting on Episode 2. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I would be happy to answer them.