“Anger doesn’t help to create quality.”
– Eric Ripert
Eric Ripert (@ericripert) is recognized as one of the best chefs in the world. In 1995, at just 29 years old, he earned a four-star rating from The New York Times. Twenty years later and for the fifth consecutive time, Le Bernardin, where Eric is the chef and a co-owner, again earned the highest rating of four stars, becoming the only restaurant to maintain this superior status for such a marathon length of time. In 1998, the James Beard Foundation named him Top Chef in New York City and, in 2003, Outstanding Chef of the Year.
In 2009, Avec Eric, his first TV show, debuted and ran for two seasons, earning two Daytime Emmy Awards. It returned for a third season on the Cooking Channel in 2015. Eric has also hosted the show On the Table on YouTube, which debuted in July 2012, and he has appeared in media worldwide. He is the author of the New York Times best-selling memoir 32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line, Avec Eric, and several other books.
In this episode we discuss:
- Daily routines
- Conquering weakness and anger
- Mindfulness and meditation
- The art of hiring
- And much, much more
Please enjoy this wide-ranging conversation with Eric Ripert!
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear another podcast with a world-class chef and entrepreneur? — Listen to my conversation with Andrew Zimmern. In this episode, we discuss his meditation practice, morning routines, and creative process (stream below or right-click here to download):
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Connect with Eric Ripert:
- 32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line by Eric Ripert and Veronica Chambers
- Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss
- Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss
- No Reservations
- The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Timothy Ferriss
- Eric Ripert Looks Back on a Youth Both Tender and Tough by Jeff Gordinier, The New York Times
- ‘Traditional’ Kendo Pedagogy and Abuse by Ben Sheppard, kenshi 24/7
- Eric practices Samatha and Vipassana meditation.
- How to Cage the Monkey Mind
- The 12 Links and the Four Noble Truths by Venerable Thubten Chodron
- Buddhism For Dummies by Jonathan Landaw and Stephan Bodian
- The Four Noble Truths by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
- The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh
- Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh
- Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach
- Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech by the 14th Dalai Lama
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
- Stoicism & Buddhism: Lessons, Similarities and Differences, The Daily Stoic
- Blue by Eric Ripert
- La Tour d’Argent
- Le Bernardin’s 1995 four-star review in The New York Times by Ruth Reichl
- A Return to Cooking by Michael Ruhlman and Eric Ripert
- Amazon Cuts Whole Foods Prices as Much as 43% on First Day by Jennifer Kaplan and Matthew Boyle, Bloomberg Technology
- My first exposure to Eric. [06:31]
- When hiring, what does Eric look for in a good line cook? [08:02]
- How does Eric identify a natural team player? [11:43]
- Eric is slow to hire — is he quick to fire? [14:36]
- What makes Eric’s office unique? [15:42]
- As a Buddhist, what mantras does Eric look to for guidance? [19:13]
- Eric talks about his pre-Buddhist days as a demanding “borderline violent dictator” of a chef. [21:06]
- Was there a particular moment of epiphany that triggered Eric’s change for the better? [26:54]
- How does Eric convince sous chefs and other staff to be kinder and gentler when they’re as abusive as he once was? [28:36]
- Where has Eric found the balance between kindness and enforcing the discipline necessary to maintain high quality? [33:57]
- On understanding anger and taming it with the right tools — particularly meditation. [37:07]
- Eric’s typical morning habits and practices. [41:53]
- How does Eric remind himself to be grateful to be alive? [50:03]
- Eric drinks coffee before he meditates. What kind does he favor, and how is it prepared? [51:27]
- What does Eric like to read? [54:23]
- Eric explains the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. [55:17]
- A quick and simple way to challenge the ultimate truth. [1:00:37]
- How Thich Nhat Hanh and Tara Brach got me to pay attention to spirituality in spite of a lifelong aversion to it. [1:02:31]
- The book that changed Eric’s life. [1:05:31]
- Overlap between Stoicism and secular Buddhism. [1:10:37]
- Rejecting dogma, conquering ignorance (“the root of all weaknesses”), and the three poisons of the mind. [1:13:37]
- Weighing quality vs. scale. [1:21:20]
- How Eric got involved in the culinary world. [1:30:37]
- Eric moved to the United States in 1989 “without speaking a word of English.” [1:32:32]
- When did Eric think of cooking as something at which he could excel rather than just another job? [1:33:42]
- Can Eric cook as well as his mother? [1:37:01]
- Why does Eric use non-artisanal Swiss cheese to calibrate his palate? [1:39:31]
- What Eric wishes home cooks would use more — and less. [1:42:13]
- What’s Eric’s favorite cocktail? [1:46:03]
- Parting thoughts. [1:46:37]
- Anthony Bourdain
- Dalai Lama
- Sandra Ripert
- Thich Nhat Hanh
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Tara Brach
- Sharon Salzberg
- Marcus Aurelius
- Jerry Colonna
- Joël Robuchon
- Gilbert Le Coze
- Maguy Le Coze
- Ruth Reichl
- Antonio Vivaldi
Posted on: September 29, 2017.
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Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.