Search
The Caterer

On the Line: Inside the World of Le Bernadin – Book review

04 September 2009 by
On the Line: Inside the World of Le Bernadin – Book review

On the Line: Inside the World of Le Bernadin Eric Ripert & Christine Muhlke
Published 24 August by Artisan, Workman Publishing £20
ISBN 978-1-5796-5369-9

On The Line is a manual of how to run a successful restaurant for more than 20 years. Three-Michelin-starred chef Eric Ripert's new book provides an in depth tour of the workings of his legendary New York fish restaurant, Le Bernadin.

It is a book of two halves, and the recipes, tempting and sublime as they are when you finally come across them on page 146, are almost a sideshow. The larger tranche of the book takes the reader through every facet of the operation.

Initial chapters start with the basics, from what positions comprise a kitchen brigade to essentials for cooks. Ripert then moves on to the real nitty-gritty of the operation, from how a dish is created to the restaurant set-up and even a list of 129 cardinal sins.

Biographies of the key players, and their average day in a timeline, make you feel you're joining the brigade with a real sense of what's happening behind the scenes.

The whole thing is just so very New York: it's brash up-front pictures are reminiscent of the neon flashes of a city that never sleeps; and its detailed timelines giving the sense of urgency endured in a service. This book will be out of date in a flash, but it's a wonderful snapshot of a legendary restaurant where readers can learn almost everything they want to know.

Oh and the recipes, which include hand-drawn diagrams of how to plate the dish, range from yellowfin tuna with foie gras and toasted baguette with chives and extra virgin olive oil; sautéd calamari filled with sweet prawns and wood ear mushrooms in calamari consommé; to pan roasted monkfish with truffled potato foam and red wine brandy sauce.

On the dessert side, "Egg" - Ripert's signature dessert of milk chocolate pots de crème with caramel foam, maple syrup and Maldon sea salt - is featured alongside other dishes such as vanilla parfait with lemon sorbet, citrus biscuit and crisp meringue.

Most chefs count their books a success if readers are tempted to try out a recipe or two in the kitchen or at home, but this is so much more, it makes you want to apply for a job and get really stuck in.

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!