Tag Archive | Eric Ripert

Gail Meets Chef Fabio Viviani!

Gail and Fabio Viviani

When you’re as dedicated of a Foodie as me, Celebrity Chefs are the new Rock Stars — and from Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain to Jonathan Waxman and Rocco Dispirito, I have met many of the best. But no previous personal collision with culinary genius has matched the heights squee-worthiness attained by my recent chance meeting with former Top Chef contestant and all around Fabulous uber Hottie, Fabio Viviani! I love him! Fabio happened to be shilling for Bertoli Olive Oil at last week’s Editor’s Showcase at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, and he was just as charming and charismatic in person as he is on TV. Fabio Viviani!

Bertoli Olive Oil Display
Bertoli Olive Oil Booth Display

Fabio was gracious enough to pose for a photo of us together and, as you can see by my face, this was a moment I will not soon be forgetting. But it wasn’t actually the first time I had seen Fabio out and about while I was on a Food blog related excursion. Two years ago, I was having drinks and snacks Upstairs at The Kimberly Hotel when I noticed a guy sitting at the table directly behind me who had what looked like a Sock Monkey clearly visible in his rear jeans pocket. Yes, I just typed that. A split second after my initial observation, Sock Monkey guy turned his head and I immediately recognized him as Fabio, who is one of my favorite contestants from Top Chef, ever.

I was just emboldened enough by alcohol consumption to have said something pleasantly confrontational to Fabio at that time, but his party was made up exclusively of very attractive women who were all clearly fawning over him, so the timing was a bit off. Minutes later, he was gone and I thought I had missed my chance, so thank you Bertoli Olive Oil and Editors Showcase for providing my a true fan moment with Fabio. And thanks Fabio, for your delicious food and just being you.

Gail Meets Chef Eric Ripert!

“I Am A Dreamy French Sex God, and Also a Great Chef”

Since there are arguably no real Rock Stars anymore, I like to say that the new Rock Stars are Artists, Comedians and Celebrity Chefs. Last night I was out with my friends and fellow Foodies, Mark and Michelle, enjoying a (seriously) once in a lifetime dining experience at Le Bernardin restaurant. I say “once in a lifetime” not because I wouldn’t want to go back there – because the food is insanely, mind-blowingly delicious and the service is the most attentive service you will ever get in any restaurant anywhere – but because it costs a small fortune to eat a meal there.  Somehow though, the folks at Le Bernardin make you feel that paying them hundreds of dollars to eat all kinds of tiny bites of tasty, weird food is totally worth it. One of the reasons people throw down the big bucks to eat at Le Bernadin is Chef and co-owner, Eric Ripert, whose gorgeous face is familiar to fans thanks to his many appearances on Top Chef and his own cable show, Avec Eric. Ripert is not only one of the world’s top chef’s but he is also wildly charming, charismatic and, in the looks department, just about as hot as it gets. Hotness!

We had just finished our amuse bouche (an oyster in truffle foam with something  something, so delicious) when Michelle looked up and spotted  Ripert, who had come out from the kitchen into the dining room, standing just  a few feet from our table. Holy Guacamole! For us, this was as exciting as seeing Mick Fucking Jagger! I was still trying to process the scene when Michelle – who is a goddess – says just loud enough for him to hear, “Excuse me, Chef?” And he fucking came over to our table! It was just insane.  I got all red in the face when he shook my hand and I said something mindless like, “I love seeing you on Top Chef” – like a total fan girl. Retarded. The entire encounter lasted less than a minute, but darn if meeting Chef Eric wasn’t an unexpected treat that made the meal that much more special.

Toward the end of the three-hour gastronomic extravganza, Mark worked his magic on the Table Captain and got us invited into the kitchen. You know: Back Stage at Le Bernardin!  The Kitchen was immaculate and so Zen, it was like a food church or something.  I was impressed. I would also like to give a special shout out to Le Bernardin’s Sommelier, Jared, who has the best job in the universe, talking about wine and being all cute and charming. Sign me up. After endless courses and countless glasses of awesome wine, the check arrived and we all handed over our mortgages and caught a cab downtown. Even if I can never afford to go back, I will never forget meeting Chef Eric and our wonderful dinner at Le Bernardin.