Cover image for A return to cooking
A return to cooking
Ripert, Eric.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Artisan, 2009.

Physical Description:
330 pages : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Presents the results of the collaboration among chef Eric Ripert, Columbian artist Valentino Cortazar, photographers Tammar and Shimon Rothstein, author Michael Ruhlman, and chef's assistant Andrea Glick, as they traveled to four different locales in four different seasons to cook and create. Includes nearly 150 recipes.
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX652 .R568 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Cooking

On Order



The greatest work by one of the world's most renowned chefs--returns in paperback.

Spontaneous meals at home with friends form the foundation of this dazzling collection of recipes that are easy enough for novices yet so inspired they could be restaurant-worthy. The result of a rare sabbatical from this famed chef's 4-star kitchen, A Return to Cooking is "an unprecedented look at the creative process of one of the world's best chefs" (Anthony Bourdain) as Eric Ripert prepares simple meals for friends in different locations, using ingredients at hand.

Expect to be enchanted by Eric's lack of pretense and his irrepressible joie--a chef who likes American mayonnaise and alphabet pasta, but can also lecture on subjects as diverse as the power of vinaigrette and the merits of Tabasco, shallots, and coconut milk. And every bit as fascinating is the bird's-eye view of the magic that occurs when decades of cooking experience coalesce with the forces of a chef's intuition.

Author Notes

Eric Ripert was born on March 2, 1965 in France. He is a French chef, author and television personality specializing in modern French cuisine and noted for his work with seafood. Ripert's flagship restaurant, Le Bernardin, located in New York City, has been ranked among the best restaurants in the world by culinary magazines and S. Pellegrino's annual list of "The World's 50 Best Restaurants" It holds the maximum ratings of four stars from The New York Times and three stars from the Michelin Guide.

Ripert has made several guest appearances on cooking-based television shows, including guest judge and assistant chef roles on the second, third, fourth and fifth seasons of Bravo TV's "Top Chef". Chef Ripert had been considered to join season 8 of Top Chef as a permanent judge, but bowed out when his employee Jen Caroll was selected as a contestant again. He has authored several cookbooks including: Le Bernardin Cookbook, A Return to Cooking, My Best: Eric Ripert, and 32 Yolks: From My Mother's Table to Working the Line.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

What happens when chef Ripert exchanges the rarefied atmosphere of New York City's Le Bernardin for the sometimes melodramatic company of artistes- photographers Shimon and Tammar Rothstein, Valentino Cortazar, a Colombian painter who doesn't rise until noon and writer Ruhlman (Soul of a Chef) -to experiment in four locales and get back to his roots as a cook? Readers get a peek at the spontaneous inspiration behind such imaginative recipes as Halibut with Grapes and Red Wine-Port Sauce, along with tips for preparation, and colorful paintings and elegant photographs. Ripert cooks in four locales-Sag Harbor, N.Y., Puerto Rico, Napa Valley, and Cavendish, Vt.-though recipes do not always correspond to local produce (a lobster dish in Vermont, eels and frogs legs in Napa, and truffles in Puerto Rico). In Puerto Rico, Ripert's love for everything Latin shines in such recipes as Shrimp with Fresh Coconut Milk, Calabaza. In Napa, emphasizing mushrooms, Ripert makes Portobello and Eggplant Tart and Double-Cut Veal Chops with Morels and Herb Butter, and on Long Island he prepares Snapper with Caramelized and Braised Shallots and Shallot Jus. Ripert offers invaluable insights into sauces-practically everything has a sauce or a pesto. Interspersed throughout are sections on, for example, how to make Lemon Confit and how to humanely kill a lobster. The narrative can become precious: Ripert says "I touch an onion, and something happens inside me." Overall, however, this is a practical and rare look into what happens when a chef comes out of the industrial-sized kitchen and into the fire of his reativity. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Ripert, chef of New York City's four-star Le Bernardin, and food writer Ruhlman (The Soul of a Chef) collaborated on this handsome, oversized work, which could become the cookbook of the fall season. Filled with gorgeous illustrations and complex flavors common in celebrity chef cookbooks, it is also a meditation on what cooking means and its relationship to art. Ripert found that his success as a restaurateur ironically meant less time to cook, so he embarked on a journey to rediscover cooking, taking along Ruhlman and painter Valentino Cortazar, who provided the illustrations. Ripert selected four locations-Sag Harbor, Puerto Rico, Napa Valley, and Vermont-and at each, he chronicles his recipes and thoughts. Although Ripert initially struggled with being cut off from his New York suppliers, he soon found new connections among his cooking, his environment, and his friends. The recipes are doable for the experienced cook; many call for ingredients that may be hard to obtain, but substituting what's available and fresh is entirely in keeping with the book's philosophy. For all public libraries.-Devon Thomas, Hass MS&L, Ann Arbor, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



SHRIMP WITH FRESH COCONUT MILK, CALABAZA, AND AVOCADO Serves 6 THE BROTH 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 2 shallots, thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1 lemongrass stalk, thinly sliced One 1-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced 1 kaffir lime leaf 3 cups chicken stock 3/4 cup coconut milk, fresh or canned 4 cilantro sprigs Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper THE SHRIMP 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro 2 tablespoons chopped scallion 2 tablespoons chopped ginger 2 tablespoons canola oil 36 large shrimp, peeled and deveined 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 medium calabaza squash (found in Latino markets; you can substitute butternut squash) 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 avocado 1 lime, halved Prep: 35 minutes -- Cook: 35 minutes To make the broth, melt the butter in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, and kaffir lime leaf and cook until tender; do not allow them to color. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk and cilantro and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside. For the shrimp, combine the cilantro, scallion, ginger, and oil in a large bowl. Season the shrimp generously with salt, pepper, and the cayenne pepper and add to the bowl, tossing to coat the shrimp with the cilantro mixture. Place the shrimp on a baking sheet, making sure they are not touching one another, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Peel the squash with a chef's knife. Cut the squash into 1/2-inch cubes; you will need at least 60 cubes. Combine the butter and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the squash dice, season with salt and pepper, and cook at a simmer until the squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Divide the squash cubes among six ovenproof soup bowls, leaving space to alternate with the avocado dice (which you will prepare just before serving). Set aside. (You can cover the bowls with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve the shrimp, up to 3 hours.) Preheat your oven to 350ªF. Remove the bowls from the refrigerator. Shortly before serving (to prevent the avocado from browning), pit and peel the avocado. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes and place 10 pieces in each of the prepared soup plates, alternating with the squash. Place the shrimp in the oven for 4 minutes, or until just barely cooked. During the last minute of cooking, put the prepared soup bowls in the oven to heat. Meanwhile, reheat the reserved sauce over medium heat. To serve, place 6 shrimp in each bowl, to form a pinwheel. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the sauce over the shrimp and squeeze the lime juice over all the bowls. Serve immediately. POACHED PEARS WITH Excerpted from A Return to Cooking by Eric Ripert, Michael Ruhlman All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Summer: Sag Harbor
A Return to Cooking
How the Chef Becomes a Cook
The Cast
First Night
The Saucier
The Power of the Vinaigrette
Soup or Sauce?
Day Trip
The Poissonier
Still Lifes...
Beach Picnic
Summer's End
"Be a Chef and You Can Be Anything"
Winter: Puerto Rico
A Spiritual Journey
Flame for the Cooking Spirits
Cooking the Landscape
West Indies Improv
Like Turning on Ice
El Chillo
Tropical Comfort
Caribbean Conversions
Puerto Rico Poissonier
Toward the Center of the Cook
Spring: Napa
Bounty, Beauty, and Vastness
The Obligations of Lunch
Napa Menu
On Poaching
The Exotic
How Not to Cook
On Sautéing
Raw (or Almost Raw)
On Seasoning
On Roasting
The Cook as Pâtissier
The Craftman's Hands...
Autumn: Vermont
The Source of Heat
The Return of the Chef
Truffle Fugue
Close to the Fire
Ambient Heat
A Chef's Process
New House, New Style
Soup-Sauce Meditation
A Perfect Meal
When Cooking Achieves the Level of Art