The Real Reason Eric Ripert's Pho Recipe Is Getting Backlash

Eric Ripert is a world-renowned chef behind the three-Michelin-starred seafood destination, Le Bernardin. According to the restaurant's official website, Ripert started his culinary journey at the age of 15 when he left his home in Andorra, Spain, to go to culinary school in Perpignan, France. After his education, Ripert flourished under the tutelage of a few of the world's best chefs, including Joël Robuchon and Jean-Louis Palladin. When Ripert moved to New York City in 1991, he worked as a sous chef before he was offered the position of executive chef at Le Bernardin.

Ripert has earned many accolades during his culinary career, including maintaining Le Bernardin's four-star rating from The New York Times for decades, as well as being named the top chef in New York City by the James Beard Foundation in 1998. Food TV watchers may recognize him from his PBS show, "Avec Eric." Considering Ripert's professional reputation as a chef, Instagram was shocked when he posted a photo of his off-base pho recipe.

Ripert's recipe is "not pho," some say

Ripert's recent Instagram post of him enjoying a bowl of "vegetarian Vietnamese pho" has more than 200 comments, some of which express confusion and anger about the ingredients he used in his dish. For one, the recipe calls for radishes and soy bean sprouts, which are not typically found in authentic pho, per Eater. "Definitely not Pho. Please don't ruin my country's dish like this. Those noodles are so yellow they look like they came from a packet of instant noodles... And just because a lime is in the picture doesn't mean it's Pho," @linhtrinh_nails commented on the post. Others took issue with the hour-long cook time, which deviates from the traditional practice of cooking pho for many hours to draw out deep flavors.

Others were disappointed by Ripert's failure to acknowledge the cultural significance of the dish. "People can eat soup however they want. Having said that, one cannot be so dismissive and blasé of criticisms after bastardizing a dish with a distinctive profile and associated with a strong national identity, culture, history and pride," commented @yenvavo. When Ripert shares French recipes, as Eater points out, he is often is very detailed about explaining why certain ingredients are important. In this case, however, he vaguely calls for "rice noodles" rather than the wider, flatter pho noodles that are key to the dish. "I bear the responsibility in presenting the food of my culture in a very thoughtful manner — and he does, too," Vietnamese cookbook author Andrea Nguyen told Eater.