Eric Ripert Expertly Explained Why Anthony Bourdain Was So Inspiring - Exclusive

Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain were lifelong friends; in fact, Bourdain's first nonfiction book, "Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly," was the first book Ripert ever read in English. Since the duo met in the early 2000s, they were publicly inseparable on and off our televisions. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Ripert recalled his relationship with his dear friend, explaining that it was much more of a friendship rather than a mentorship in cooking.

"Anthony never shared with me advice on how to cook any kind of ingredients," the celebrity chef explained. "I was not his mentor and he was not my mentor in terms of cooking, that's for sure," he added. Ripert described that their relationship carried "more like a dialogue," where they would swap techniques and share what they were enjoying cooking at that time. "We were great friends and we had fantastic interactions together in private and on the screen and on many other occasions." Ripert also shared why he believes Bourdain resonated with so many fans across the world: Bourdain's ability to connect across cultures through good food.

Bourdain transported viewers to another part of the world

Eric Ripert described Anthony Bourdain as "inspiring," claiming that "if you were a viewer or if you were going to listen to him somewhere and he was giving a lecture, he will transport you to another part of the world where you have never been and he will share with you the passion that he has for that part of the world." He continued that this motivated audiences virtually to connect with people — no matter if they lived by the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific Ocean or somewhere in between. The world seemed closer, and faraway cultures seemed within your reach when Bourdain took over our screens.

Ripert added, "Food is a great communicator, and Anthony definitely believed that very strongly, and in all his shows is how he connects and we learn about cultures through food and through sharing food with others." While the world felt the loss of Bourdain in 2018, his legacy and work have carried on throughout the culinary industry in spades. Ripert continues to foster creativity and inspiration through his work at Le Bernardin and his newest collaboration with Nature's Fynd to curate better-for-the-planet vegan dressings. 

Learn more about Nature's Fynd vegan dressings here. You can keep up with Eric Ripert's latest projects on his Instagram page.