Bourdain & Ripert

Last week we had the opportunity to attend “an evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert,” and it was fantastic.  For those who don’t know of them, Anthony Bourdain is chef/author/television host that is most famous for his books, including Kitchen Confidential which describes the behind-the-scenes lifestyle of a New York City chef (at Les Halles, where we ate on our first NYC trip (pardon the pre-DSLR pictures)) and as host of No Reservations on the Travel Channel (and previously A Cook’s Tour).  You can also catch him guest judging on Bravo’s Top Chef, and pretty much being his blunt, outspoken self whenever food culture and chefs are being discussed.   We are huge fans and definitely jealous of his current lifestyle travelling the world an eating amazing things.

Over the last few years we’ve also enjoyed learning more about Eric Ripert, the chef at Le Bernardin in New York.  While we haven’t had the pleasure of eating at his restaurant (or the budget for it), we enjoy his PBS show Avec Eric, his critiques on Top Chef, and his overall French expertise and general pleasantness.  Far from the snooty gourmet chef types, he’s actually down to earth (evidenced by his friendship with Bourdain), and someone that would be amazing to have a drink with.

At the event, just a few blocks from our house on Butler’s campus, Bourdain and Ripert grilled each other over various questions including their pasts, current culinary trends, public school lunches, celebrity chefs, genetic engineering, and general likes and dislikes.  Then they took a lot of questions from the audience, and throughout it all they made it hilarious and educational.  We left even bigger fans of each chef.

Bourdain and Ripert

In honor of our night, Kirk decided to cook up a recipe from Ripert’s show a couple days later when my parents were in town – Chicken Paillard with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Olives.  This was a pretty simple dish to prepare and featured some of our favorite ingredients (olives, shallots, pine nuts, capers, raisins, and garlic), including a few from our garden (fresh fennel, tomatoes, basil, parsley, and thyme).  We paired it with a great sauvignon blanc, some Swiss chard from the garden, and it made for a great night.  For the vegetarians out there, I recommend using this topping on anything you like, including pasta!

Ripert Chicken 3

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