Braving ice-sheeted streets and Arctic gusts, the culinary cognoscenti gathered Monday evening at The Hole gallery on the Bowery to fete the new season of superstar chef Eric Ripert’s Avec Eric—which launches February 28 on The Cooking Channel.
As the thrilling and actually at times quite hilarious preview reel revealed, Ripert’s latest adventures had taken him to South Korea and various corners of Australia. The venerated but always cool Le Bernardin culinary artiste can be seen catching sharks, dodging crocodiles, and braving 3am wakeup calls in ancient Buddhist temples.
“It was a dream come true,” he beamed to the assembled. “I came back inspired.”
Conspicuously missing was Ripert’s oft partner in mischief Anthony Bourdain—who was likely off somewhere in Bratislava downing flaming shots of Becherovka with the locals.
But Ripert himself, surely glad to be back in NYC, thanked his family and Le Bernardin staff for “tolerating” his travels.
And the lamb sliders were aces.