Monday, April 2

Celebrity chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin designs a kitchen for Poggenpohl

Take a look at a state of the art chef-designed kitchen
by chef Eric Ripert
for German cabinetry maker Poggenpohl

Poggenpohl invited me into their NYC showroom during the Architectural Digest Home Show for a delicious brunch to unveil this interesting and innovative kitchen.  I was there with a variety of other food and design writers, including the fun blog group sponsored by called BlogTourNYC

"Mise En Place, Literally translated means “putting in place,” a term used in restaurant kitchens to describe the layout and preparation used by line cooks at their stations. It is the foundation of efficient cooking." Eric Ripert

you most likely know celebrity chef Eric Ripert -- if you have not been to his three-star Michelin rated New York City restaurant Le Bernardin, or watched his Emmy award winning TV show Avec Eric. (, then you may have read his cookbooks (the most recently published book being Avec Eric), but either way, Eric is a household name.  As a matter of fact, cooking and fine dining has recently become a favorite American activity and hobby.  How cool is that, and quite a departure from the days when most home cooks simply prepared boxed macaroni & cheese.  We have developed fine palettes, with "foodies" sustaining an entire industry from farmer's markets to organic supermarkets.  Of course our kitchens have morphed in recent years as well to reflect all this sophisticated cooking and fine dining.  
How ingenious of Poggenpohl, a German manufacturer which has created luxury kitchens and kitchen cabinetry for 120 years, to collaborate with Eric Ripert to design a working residential kitchen called, The Eric Ripert Kitchen by Poggenpohl, exclusively featuring BLANCO fixtures, Miele appliances and Caesar stone surfaces.  This is a chef-inspired kitchen with eco-friendly design and made for the home cook. Poggenpohl unveiled this brand new kitchen this week during the AD Home Show.  During our delicious brunch, it gave me the opportunity to look up-close at the ingenious and functional details of this kitchen. Ripert believes simple methods are all that is needed for great cooking.
 features to the Eric Ripert kitchen
  • A BLANCO Precision™ 16’’ SteelArt® sink  
  • BLANCO Meridian™ Semi-Professional faucet,
  • Poggenpohl textured teak lava and terra melamine cabinetry.
  • Narrow pullout drawers and vertical cabinets and daily cooking utensils right at the cook top where the chef needs them most.
  • The Caesarstone counter top fabricated flush with Miele induction cook top; the host can slide pans and pots without interruption.
  • Ripert specified details: plating area in front of cook top to prep dishes as the cook completes them.
  • Comfortable seating surrounds the island so the host is entertaining guests and serving while cooking.
  • This kitchen maximizes storage, uses eco friendly materials and has a sleek modern feel. 

Eric's kitchen takes into consideration the idea of socializing while cooking, because quite frankly that is how the "home cook" usually entertains.  We break bread in our home, while sipping wine and talking to our guests who gather around our kitchen island.  How funny is it that no matter how elaborate a home, we always seem to congregate in this one room.  The kitchen is basically the center, or heart of a home, and it is refreshing to note the design of kitchens are reflecting this emphasis. 
 writers Stacey Bewkes, Andrew Dunning and Hannah Coleman
Poggenpohl has their hands in many pies these days, including pairing with City Harvest in NYC.  Stay tuned for this interesting partnership as well as other exciting programs in the future.

I love these chunky Caesar stone counter tops
and the long pulls, which make for easy maneuvering around the kitchen!

Let's ask Eric:
I had the opportunity to interview Eric and pick his brain to get advice
on cooking and entertaining.  Here's what he had to say...

1. Can you describe your most favorite dinner party - how big, the food and style?
When I entertain, the key for me is to always make sure I create a meal that allows me to enjoy being with my guests. One of my favorite things to do - in the summer - is to create a really convivial party with friends - and I cook a big paella. It's such a beautiful and satisfying dish and it's perfect for parties because it can be left to cook - and then it's very easy to serve and it's delicious. Of course, I serve cocktails too to get everything flowing.
2. What is your most valuable tool or appliance in your kitchen? What about the new kitchen you designed for poggenpohl?
Aside from the kitchen itself, my knives are the most important tool. Without good, sharp well maintained knives it is very hard to cook well. It is always one of the first pieces of advice I give to professional and home cooks. As for my collaboration with Poggenpohl, I am very lucky to have gotten to create a dream kitchen, one that utilizes my knowledge of the efficiency of a restaurant kitchen and the mind of a chef with the beauty and functionality of Poggenpohl design. I think cooking with your family and friends is one of the best things in life and so we also emphasize the ability to cook and entertain at the same time in our kitchen.
3. what is your signature dish - the one you most enjoy cooking?
Our restaurant, Le Bernardin is known for seafood and so that is what I cook the most often.  Our mantra is that fish is the star of the plate and so everything on the plate is there to elevate the qualities of the fish.  I apply this to anything that I cook-whether at the restaurant or at home. 
4. What advice do you give to the home cook when entertaining at home?
Be organized, work neatly - ie clean as you go. And keep things simple, especially when entertaining.
Thank You Eric and Poggenpohl!
All of this cooking and entertaining talk has gotten me excited for our upcoming Culinary Dinner Group's French Country inspired dinner. As you may know, I host a monthly group of talented home cooks on a culinary exploration. Together we choose a genre, and each cook a dish and share it together in one of our homes. A couple of years ago I organized this group of my good friends, who also happen to be amazing cooks, and now it's turned into quite the tradition. In case you've missed the stories with recipes and photos from our dinners, here they are:

Our Holiday Italian dinner
and my story about shopping for ingredients on Arthur Avenue
 Our Indian-inspired dinner
 Americana fare with our Madmen dinner
Melissa & Barry's Baked Alaska

 my homemade Pierogi

Our Mexican evening
Diana's Chillies Rellenos

Frannie's Greek dips and pita

Stop back in the end of April
for a re-cap of our French Country dinner
utilizing recipes from
by Alexandra Leaf and Fred Leeman
(you can order the book on the link above)
and it looks like we will be hosting our dinner in a special place!