If Eric Ripert ever gets tired of running one of the world’s best-reviewed restaurants, he could always get a job writing one of those “door room gourmet” cookbooks.
In a new Tonight Show bit, the Le Bernardin chef proves his knack for turning junk food and mini-fridge leftovers into halfway soigne dishes during a trip to St. John’s University in Queens with Jimmy Fallon. The acclaimed chef and late-night host surprise a group of freshmen with a three-course meal whipped up on the fly in their crummy dorm kitchen. First, Ripert and Fallon mix some eggs and Cheetos in a red Solo cup and zap them in the microwave — a device that the chef does not know how to use! — to create a “dormét Cheeto omelet.” For the main course. they make a “leftover burger bolognese” with an old burger, Top Ramen, and canned tomato soup. And to cap it off, Ripert constructs “mom’s ice cream sandwich” out of care package cookies, melted M & M’s, and vanilla ice cream.
This is a fun late-night segment, but more than anything, it makes us long for the return of Ripert’s old cooking series Avec Eric, which aired on PBS nearly a decade ago, and got another season on the Cooking Channel back in 2015. Thankfully, the 13-episode Cooking Channel version is available to stream on Netflix.
• The Tonight Show [YouTube]