On the Line: Behind the Scenes of a 4-Star Restaurant

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Take one top New York restaurant, add danger, drama, and dialogue, toss in their best recipes, and you have a cooking classic.

How does a 4-star restaurant stay on top for more than two decades? In On the Line, chef Eric Ripert takes readers behind the scenes at Le Bernardin, one of just three New York City restaurants to earn three Michelin stars. Any fan of gourmet dining who ever stole a peek behind a restaurant kitchen's swinging doors will love this unique insider's ...

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Overview


Take one top New York restaurant, add danger, drama, and dialogue, toss in their best recipes, and you have a cooking classic.

How does a 4-star restaurant stay on top for more than two decades? In On the Line, chef Eric Ripert takes readers behind the scenes at Le Bernardin, one of just three New York City restaurants to earn three Michelin stars. Any fan of gourmet dining who ever stole a peek behind a restaurant kitchen's swinging doors will love this unique insider's account, with its interviews, inventory checklists, and fly-on-the-wall dialogue that bring the business of haute cuisine to life.

From the sudden death of Le Bernardin's founding chef, Gilbert Le Coze, to Ripert's stressful but triumphant takeover of the kitchen at age 29, the story has plenty of drama. But as Chef Ripert and writer Christine Muhlke reveal, every day is an adventure in a perfectionistic restaurant kitchen. Foodies will love reading about the inner workings of a top restaurant, from how a kitchen is organized to the real cost of the food and the fierce discipline and organization it takes to achieve culinary perfection on the plate almost 150,000 times a year.

Meanwhile, Le Bernardin's modern French cuisine, with its emphasis on seafood, comes to life in sophisticated recipes, including Striped Bass with Sweet Corn Puree, Grilled Shishito Peppers, Shaved Smoked Bonito, and Mole Sauce, and Pan-Roasted Cod with Chorizo, Snow Peas, Piquillo Peppers, and Soy-Lime Butter Sauce.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A behind-the-scenes look at the famed New York restaurant Le Bernardin, this stunning and informative book takes readers into the inner sanctum, where they view firsthand the blend of science and artistry that makes this Michelin three-star eatery legendary. Chef Ripert and New York Times writer Muhlke recount the restaurant's history, from its founding in 1986 by Gilbert and Maguy Le Coze, through Ripert's joining the team in 1991, to the present day. This thorough guide to how the restaurant operates teaches about various kitchen stations, tools of the trade, key personnel and their duties, how new dishes are born and what it's like to spend a night "on the line." Great attention is also paid to the diner's experience, evidenced by the restaurant's "129 Cardinal Sins" (from chipped glassware to servers without a sense of humor). Recipes include ultrarare charred sea scallops with smoked sea salt; pan-roasted monkfish with truffled potato foam and red wine-brandy sauce; and wild Alaskan salmon, morels and spring vegetables in a wild mushroom pot-au-feu. A huge treat for industry insiders, fans of Le Bernardin and foodies everywhere, this book is a must-have for anyone with a passion for food. (Dec.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579653699
  • Publisher: Artisan
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Christine Muhlke is an editor at The New York Times. She has written for Vogue, Vanity Fair, Food & Wine, and other publications.

Eric Ripert is the co-author of the recently published On the Line: Inside the World of Le Bernardin, and chef and part-owner of Le Bernardin, awarded four stars by The New York Times, three stars by the Michelin Guide, and rated best restaurant in New York by Zagat. He is a frequent guest on such national shows as Bravo's Top Chef, Today, Charlie Rose, Martha, and Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. He has opened two new restaurants, 10 Arts in the Philadelphia Ritz-Carlton and Westend Bistro in Washington, D.C. You can watch Eric Ripert in action on his forthcoming television show Avec Eric and on his Web site, www.aveceric.com.

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Table of Contents

Part 1: The History
Part 2: In the Kitchen
Part 3: The Dining Experience
Part 4: The Business
Part 5: The Recipes
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An opportunity to see how a 4 star restaurant operates

    I love food, dining and cooking. However, I only own three celebrity chef cookbooks. Why? Because most of them don't seem that interesting and the others are full of recipes that I could not possibly duplicate at home. This book was a worthwhile purchase, though I will never be able to create these recipes either. It's relevance comes from actually teaching me about the restaurant, from top to bottom. The recipes only make up a small portion of the book. The other sections focus on the business, the dining experience, the kitchen operation. Engrossing and enlightening, I can't believe this has not been done before. It is such a treat and words can not convey how interesting it is, especially if you love going to restaurants. Mr. Michael Ruhlman tried something similar with the The French Laundry Cookbook, and that is enjoyable. However, it seems like this book went deeper and really wanted to be about the restaurant and it's people. I hope each employee mentioned feels honored, because it sure seems like an amazing organization. What's more, it seems like the book sought to honor them and the restaurant. Rereading it, this review seems ridiculously exhuberant, but this book was just so exciting. I just finished in two days and can't wait to look through more closely at the gorgeous pictures and recipes

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2011

    A Must Read for Any Aspiring Chef

    This book was a fast, simple, and educated read inside the stomach of one of the best restaurants of our time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2009

    Great pictures, and fabulous information!

    I think the book is very well laid out. The pictures are simply beautiful, and all the information is very useful if you are in the restaurant business, or care to learn about the restaurant business. I also think Chef Eric Ripert is very good looking, so naturally I enjoyed looking at his pictures!!! The recipes are quite hard, unless you have some training, and some of the fish is pricey, so beware you will have to spend some serious cash to buy the fish and/or ingrediants. Enjoy!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    On the Line

    A must read for those going into the culinary field, their parents or significant others. I wished that this would have been around, when I was contemplating a career as a chef. It gives a great overview of the intense culinary business. A fascinating read for those that just want to know what happens behind the scenes.

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    Posted April 22, 2009

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    Posted April 20, 2009

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    Posted November 2, 2009

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    Posted March 25, 2010

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