Eric Ripert: TOP TEN BOOKS


Eric Ripert photographed by Nigel Parry

Devout Buddhist, author of the memoir “32 Yolks,” and lauded chef of New York’s three Michelin-starred Le Bernardin, Eric Ripert began his career working under chefs like Joël Robuchon (Jamin) and David Bouley. His talent at food comes from a place of love; his mother “cooked like a Michelin-starred chef every single night,” he told The New York Times.  “I cannot eat and think about restriction. When I eat, I eat. I do not understand the idea of guilty pleasure. It’s all about pleasure.” The same could be said for his love of books.

Below are Eric Ripert’s favorite books, available to purchase as a set or individually.


The Quantum and the Lotus

Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Xuan Thuan 
Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard and astrophysicist Trinh Xuan Thuan explore the connections between science and Buddhist philosophy. Taking a scientific and secular approach, the authors explain the Buddhist theory of emptiness: the concept that all beings and events are relational and interconnected and therefore have no separate, absolute reality in space and time. I keep this book on my desk and go back to it often for clarity and inspiration.
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My Father’s Glory & My Mother’s Castle

Marcel Pagnol
I have a signed copy of “My Father’s Glory” that was given by Pagnol to my father. The author and filmmaker’s story of his youth in the hills of Provence reminds me of many summers I spent there in my early years. 
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Paul Bocuse’s French Cooking

Paul Bocuse
This 1976 book, still in print in France as La Cuisine du Marché, was a strong inspiration to both my mother and my childhood self. The book played a big part in fueling my passion for food and cooking. I must have read it a thousand times—I fantasized over every recipe when I should have been doing my homework!
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Kitchen Confidential

Anthony Bourdain
“Kitchen Confidential” was the first book I ever read in English. I love that Tony’s world in the kitchen was filled with pirate-like renegades when mine was peopled with regimented professionals. How eye-opening and entertaining to read about the other side! 
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Cent Elephants sur un Brin d’Herbe

Dalai Lama
This book, whose title translates as “100 Elephants on a Blade of Grass,” begins with His Holiness’ moving Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. It was the first serious book on Buddhism that I read, and it inspired me to learn more about the philosophy. I attribute most of the qualities I have today to the spirituality and teachings of His Holiness.
Currently unavailable

Bright Lights Big City

Jay McInerney
I don’t think any book describes New York in the ‘80s as accurately and as well as “Bright Lights.” When I arrived in 1991, I instantly felt that energy from the book in the city.
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Cooking with the Seasons

Jean-Louis Palladin
In collaboration with photographer Fred Maroon, this book, much like my mentor Jean Louis himself, was way ahead of its time. Put side by side with cookbooks of today, it’s incomparable. It’s one of the cookbooks I cherish the most.
Currently unavailable

The Prince

Niccolo Machiavelli 
Given the current political climate, I have found myself picking up and flicking through “The Prince” on more than one occasion over the past year. It seems manipulation and questionable political conduct is very much alive and well! A fascinating study and still wholly relevant.
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Jacques Prevert 
Like most teenagers in France at the time, I was introduce to Prevert in school. And also like most teenagers, I was slightly rebellious and had my anti-establishment moments and so Paroles really spoke to me.
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The Rosy Crucifixion: Sexus

Henry Miller
Controversial at first, and still by the time I got around to reading it 20 years after its initial release. The fact that it was available in France yet banned in the USA made it even more interesting. While shocked and amused, I was very often surprisingly inspired by Miller.
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