Adam Rapoport

Jose Andres – Are we still keeping score @GrainbinGirl?

So my good friend GrainbinGirl and I share a little obsession together. We stalk the F out of chefs and try to garner seats at restaurants that are the talk of the town. Every January we kick ourselves that we did not attend the Caymen Cookout with all the celebrity chefs but in fairness the price tag does make that a hard trip to swallow. Please note that before we moved to New York she had a sizeable lead on me with regards to chef sightings. That immediately changed

When we moved to the UES it was actually her who figured out that Eric Ripert was one of my neighbors and right after that discovery I ran into him. No seriously, Monkey Head Maddy blind as a bat, actually walked right into him on E71st street. As you can imagine he was petrified that he hurt her and picked her up and petted her. Since then we dined at a couple really cool joints and I rubbed it in to her but not to be a complete dick I did get her a book from Ripert.

When I found out that Jose Andres was going to be signing his new book at his new joint in Hudson Yards I messaged the Murphranks to see if they wanted to join. This was right after my return from Barcelona and Mr. 3 First Names responded that I must have really enjoyed Spain since I was now “Everything Spain”. I booked the tickets and last night we headed down to Hudson Yards to check it out.

To say that Jose Andres is a huge celebrity is not an exaggeration. To say that Jose Andres is a humanitarian doesn’t scratch the surface. To allude that Jose Andres isn’t passionate about life and about food you must have never watched of Bourdain’s shows. And what I also love about him is that he is one of the only chefs in the world to currently be sued by a sitting US President. Yeah, he hates Trump as much as I do. Actually who carries a red wine on tap at his restaurant in Hudson Yards called “Democrat”? But of course Jose Andres does.

Adam Rapport from Bon Appetite was the moderator but was more of a “keep things on track” and the back and forth between Andres and Matt Goulding was hilarious. When I say that you really should have been there it is an understatement. I mean who else can total a rental car in Barcelona and say to the rental car employee who is having a come-apart “But I am Jose Andres and I must get to Madrid” and they are thanking him? Jose did mention Anthony Bourdain during one of the questions but I loved this comment the best;

“I am a vegetarian, I mean look at me. I am as big as a cow and I got this way from eating only vegetables.”

I am betting he isn’t tweeting FAKE NEWS or advising anyone not to show up to a congressional subpoena
Adam Rapport on the left, Jose Andres center and Matt Goulding on the right
He spoke to every person and took every selfie. My kind of a guy
Oh did I mention that Tom Colicchio the co-founder of Gramercy Tavern and a slew of other restaurants was there too?

And don’t worry GrainbinGirl. There is a FedEx delivery heading your way tomorrow. #RoboCares

Operation Ripert

You have heard me reference my fellow chef stalker AT in some previous posts. She, like me, is a foodie who is not afraid of plunking down some cash for a fancy meal. Back a couple years ago when my man crush, Anthony Bourdain, did his tour she was quick to purchase us tickets for Nashvegas and then Memphis. We attended the event and yes you probably have seen the pics of us with Bourdain in our Facebook pictures. She for the longest time was one up on me as she got to meet one of my other French Chef Gods, Eric Ripert. Well that shit changed last Wednesday.

Ripert just penned a book about his childhood and growing up to become a very young line cook in the critically acclaimed La Tour d’Argent in Paris. Here a string bean armed 17 year old cut his teeth or as I refer to it, became a man working in a French Kitchen. If you have never been a restaurant employee this next part may be a tad boring for you. When I graduated from the University I got a job as a busboy in Memphis’ acclaimed Chez Phillipe in the Peabody Hotel. The kitchen was run by Jose Gutierez who is a very well respected chef in Memphis. Jose was French, his sous chef was French, the Fish chef was Spanish, and the Garde Manager (salad & dessert chef) was from 110th street in Harlem. To say that there was some verbal abuse is an understatement. It was in this environment that I learned humility, self control and two words that I would say at least 100 times a night “Yes Chef!”  I learned how to operate under stress, how to stay focused and all the time while Chef was screaming at me “Hey Blondie, will you move your ass!”  Oh and thank God I wasn’t the worst one, poor back waiter JV took more abuse than any of us. I look back on this time as a great learning experience to become humble and learn respect. I, much like Ripert (stop laughing AT) went to work at another French Restaurant in Memphis and worked under the mad scientist Gene Bjorklund. Thankfully I got my first R.J. (Real Job) and went to working days.

Enough about me, Eric Ripert in his book, said that while working at La Tour d’Argent he cut himself, screwed up Béarnaise turning it into scrambled eggs and this was his first day too. He described it in his interview with Bon Appetite’s food editor as very hard and tested his soul to become a chef. After 2 years he then went to work for Joël Robuchon and here he learned that there was nothing short of excellence. If you want the rest of the story, go buy the damn book “32 Yolks” and read it yourself.

On Wednesday of last week I headed to Brooklyn for a book signing by Eric Ripert. The bookstore had a Q&A with Ripert and  Adam Rapoport of Bon Appetite and I have to say, it was pretty funny. Afterwards AT’s man crush signed copies of his book and since my girl AT said all she wanted was a signed copy of his book, I got her one and overnighted it to her. By the way AT, I chose not to get a pic with Ripert but did ask if he wanted to share an Uber since he lives not to far from me in the UES. He said he would have to decline because he was going to have a late dinner with his wife and son. We are going to get beers next weekend anyway.

So I guess the only last two names on my list are Paul Bocuse and Daniel Boulud and then I can move onto another genre of cuisine.  Happy Early Christmas AT! And if Eric Ripert goes missing I am sending them to your apartment in Memphis.

318771_4932146344203_660601464_nYeah, Yeah, You were first to meet him!

387911_4934076472455_1502071067_nHaven’t seen him yet but it is just a matter of time.

425789_10151349604149928_1782869171_nThis was right before AT asked Tony Bourdain “Does this napkin smell like Chloroform?”

IMG_1391Ripert and Adam Rapoport grilling each other.

IMG_1386So I got there a tad early to Dumbo in Brooklyn.

 AT – We still have our deal right? You get him, I get her right?