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Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert Debate the Ethics of Eating Meat on ‘Parts Unknown’

The two old friends head to the French Alps for a ski trip on this week’s episode

Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain sitting at a table during a scene from Parts Unknown. CNN

In the next episode of Parts Unknown, globe-trotting television host Anthony Bourdain heads to the French Alps with his old pal and Le Bernardin chef Eric Ripert. During their time together, Bourdain and Ripert cook, eat, ski, and debate whether meat consumption is worth the environmental side effects.

In the ski lodge after their adventure on the slopes, the two find cuisine that greatly exceeds Bourdain’s expectations for such a meal. “Where I learned to ski, you were lucky to get lukewarm chicken fingers and a Bud Light at the lodge,” he explains. In Ripert’s homeland, he is served pan-seared foie gras, pan-roasted veil loin with “a pretty little medley of veggies,” and a cheese course with several local selections. That’s quite an upgrade.

During a separate meal, they dig into croute aux morilles (that’s bread smothered in a mushroom-cream sauce). The lack of meat in this dish sparks a conversation between Bourdain, who has no qualms with eating animal protein, and Ripert, who voices environmental concerns over the practice. Ripert points out that “bovine flatulence” is responsible for more carbon dioxide production than automobiles. “See, this is why we should eat meat,” Bourdain retorts. “We’re saving the planet; we’ve got to kill these things!”

Elsewhere in the episode, the travel buddies are joined in the kitchen by chef Maurice Guillouet, Ripert’s mentor, to prepare a meal that includes caviar and steak au poivre, and they trek across the Italian border to immerse themselves in gnocchi, ravioli, and polenta.

Parts Unknown: French Alps airs at 9 p.m. this Sunday, October 8 on CNN. Immediately following the East Coast premiere, head on over to Eater’s Facebook page for a live discussion of the episode.

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