Ultratravel U.S.

Summer 2014

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It must be amazing running a restaurant right on the beach. Being a Frenchman, do you sunbathe in the nude? It's not really my style to be naked on the beach. Maybe if I were on an island by myself! Either way is okay, though. I'm not judgmental. What's your drink of choice at the beach? A frozen margarita or piña colada if I can, which means it's a sophisticated beach. Or I bring my own magnum of rosé, and I keep it in ice and sink it in the sand. When I open it, we have to finish it. How do you feel about being known as a heartthrob? It doesn't help at all in the kitchen! That is not real life. I have always been very focused on hard work. A good chef is the guy who knows how to cook. I'll take the compliment, though! It makes me happy. What do you do in your downtime? I divide my journey into three parts: family, work and myself, in no particular order. Sometimes I need to travel on my own and disconnect from the world. Other times I need to be with family, which is nurturing. And my work feeds my passion. Where do you travel on your own? To destinations where the family wouldn't follow me—like a monastery in Bhutan or India. I just went to Tiger's Nest in Bhutan for a visit and it was beautiful. I heard you travel with a small Buddha. What else? I am a Buddhist, but I don't advertise it much. I do it for myself and because it's good for me. Aside from the Buddha, I travel with a cross that reflects a small town in Spain where miracles happen and a Ganesh, which is the Hindu god of beginnings and the remover of obstacles. It's all in my bag with my passport. Do you like flying? If you put me in first class, I like it enough. What is your favorite dish at Blue, your restaurant here at the Ritz-Carlton? I don't have one. I teach my cooks that it's not smart to have a favorite dish because then you may cook it better than another. I love all my dishes and if I get tired of something, I'll change it. You recently launched a chocolate bar called Good & Evil with Anthony Bourdain. Are you a chocoholic? I eat dark chocolate every day. I'm a fan of any good-quality chocolate in reasonable quantities. I usually have a few squares in the morning and afternoon. How did you come up with the name for it? Anthony came up with the name. He speaks English! You two must have fun working together. Last night some people were confusing me for Anthony and Anthony for me. This happens quite a lot! When they believe I'm Anthony, I'm really mean to them and give them the finger. When they think Anthony is me, he says all the fish at Le Bernardin is frozen. That's the game we play. 34 ultratravel PHOTO BY NIGEL PARRY Have Apron, Will Travel When ERIC RIPERT is not overseeing LE BERNARDIN, his Michelin three-star restaurant in New York, doing guest turns on TV or developing knockout recipes, the celebrated FRENCH CHEF is likely to be trekking to Bhutan, making mischief (and chocolate) with his pal ANTHONY BOURDAIN or running the kitchen at Blue, his restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton in Grand Cayman, where writer Rachel Shelasky caught up with him. Chef Eric Ripert in the kitchen at Le Bernadin

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