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The 13 Best Lines from Chef Eric Ripert's Profile in Bloomberg

Ripert's food is inspired by Buddhist teachings.

Courtesy of Bloomberg

Though his television presence has garnered chef Eric Ripert accolades and fame outside of New York City, the French chef currently has only three restaurants to his name — the four-starred Le Bernardin and Aldo Sohm wine bar in New York; he is also a partner in Blue in Grand Cayman — and has no plans to open more. This week, Bloomberg profiles Ripert and discovers how a perfection-seeking chef found success without killing himself in the kitchen.

Ripert's crown jewel, Le Bernardin is unique among New York City's best restaurants: It has never lost its four-star rating from the New York Times, and it's held this rank the longest. The restaurant has also held onto its three Michelin stars for a decade, or since Michelin first came to New York. Other chefs of Ripert's caliber — French or American — have parlayed their success into hundreds of partnerships, from Las Vegas to Hong Kong, but Ripert never wanted to lose control — or his peace of mind. Here, now 13 enlightening lines from "How Eric Ripert Became a Restaurant Legend Without Working Himself to Death":

1.) On meditation in the morning: "In the mornings, chef Eric Ripert spends about an hour in his meditation room in his apartment on the Upper East Side."

2.) One of Ripert's sommeliers on his demeanor: "He is the sensei master. He is truly tranquil. I've worked for other celebrity chefs, and he is completely different."

3.) On leadership: "There's an intensity when I'm around. When you see the boss, you see the boss. I don't leave them shaking, but you put love into the food. It's a bit la-la-land, but I believe in it."

4.) On his approach to work: "A long time ago, we decided to have only one restaurant. Five or six years ago, I decided my journey would be in three parts. It would be one-third for myself, one-third for my family, and one-third for my business."

5.) On chocolate: "Ripert is a connoisseur of dessert and once went hunting cocoa beans in Peru with Bourdain."

6.) On his martinis: "dirty, with 'good gin,' and stirred. He thinks shaking them messes up the flavor, and he doesn't take them supercold. 'Then,' he says, 'you cannot taste them.'"

7.) Inside his office: "The walls are covered with posters of the Buddha and handwritten mantras, which Ripert recites easily: 'I purify my body. ...' Most of the images are 'medicine Buddhas,' and the largest is Tibetan."

8.) On cookbooks: "I don't buy books on the Internet. I need to feel the book. I go to Kitchen Arts & Lettesr in New York. It's a very tiny store that sells only cookbooks. ALl the chefs and foodies go there."

9.) On how Buddhism has come to inform all aspects of his life, including: "his food, which is almost aggressively minimalistic, yet wide-ranging."

10.) Ripert doesn't have a computer at his desk: "Ripert's assistants answer his e-mail, but most of his work is done in person or by telephone. 'Computers are supposed to free you,' he says, 'but people are more like slaves to the computer. I feel freer without it. I can think about other things.'"

11.) On wine: "He loves Bordeaux with everything," Sohm says of Ripert. "It's a bit ironic."

12.) On emotions: "I spent $1,000 on a cookbook. It's one of the pillars of my collection: a first-edition Gastronomie Pratique by Ali-Bab (1907). It's an emotional connection. It's hard to put a price on emotion."

13.) On not expanding (and likely leaving millions of dollars on the table): "I've reached my level of contentment career-wise. I'm very happy not to expand to other restaurants."

Video: Watch Eric Ripert Read a Bad Yelp Review

Le Bernardin

155 West 51st Street, New York, NY 10019

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