What is the cuisine of Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin in New York?
So, our cuisine is — I define that as New York cuisine, which may sound very strange. But New York cuisine, it’s a cuisine that is inspired by our surroundings, by all the ethnicities living in the city, by all the cultures. Obviously, my background is French, and I cook with French techniques; however, we have created, without knowing — unconsciously, we have created — a kind of a fusion cuisine, which is not gimmicky, but a natural fusion cuisine today in the restaurant because of interacting with people from South America, interacting with people from Asia, traveling to those countries, going back to Europe, traveling the U.S. and finding ingredients which are typically American, and so on.
So, that defined our cooking here, but I would say also we have a mantra that’s very specific and very powerful for us. It’s, “The fish is the star of the plate, and therefore, whatever goes on the plate is to elevate the qualities of the fish.” That’s really important, because it makes a difference in between us and everybody else. Or not everybody else — some chefs think like us as well, but it’s a way of saying, “Are we cooking with fish or I’m cooking for the fish?” Here, we cook for the fish, which means in the beginning, we don’t care about presentation. We don’t care about starch, fiber. We care about the fish. What’s going to make the fish better?