Top Fantasies Involving Top Chef Judge Eric Ripert

Just look at him. He is so lovely. His silvery hair is perfection. His French accent is startling considering the time he's lived stateside. And the way he cooks a word.

Used to be, I'd see Ripert pop up on an Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations or as a guest on Top Chef. On one episode of Bourdain's show, they just sat and ate a meal together like two average silver-haired men in a restaurant on any given day, unaware of their power over people like me. And I thought, "Damn, if I happened to be eating in that restaurant and got up to leave and walked passed that table, I'd probably faint...and have a wet dream while I was passed out." We're talking star-struck food-fantasy overload.

But, that's probably never going to happen, so I'm content with the facts that I watch Bourdain often, and now that Riper is on TC as a member of the judging panel, I can see him most every week. Unfortunately, this only furthers my Ripert-related fantasies, the best of which are as follows:

Chef Eric Ripert teaches me to cook: Not via his online series, Avec Eric. In person. He would be a strict teacher. Wine would be involved.

Chef Eric Ripert will make my mother and me a nice seafood dinner and never call us again: Sure, I may be playing on the infamous Mantooth incident in Anchorman, but for real,  I could totally handle a one-time culinary rendezvous with the Chef Silver Fox at La Bernardin if it meant that he personally prepared it. Feeding it to me isn't required. Especially if Mom is there.

Chef Eric Ripert takes me on a tour of where he grew up: It would be a wonderful trip to France and Andorra, and I'd, of course, have a fantastic passport photo. I would wear flowy skirts and fitted sweater sets and often have scarves in my hair. We would visit cafes of his youth, and he'd kick a ball to a child in the street. At some point, there'd be a bicycle ride and a picnic involving a baguette.  And we'd stay in a quaint rent house and laugh and eat fresh fruit in vulgar and inappropriate ways each morning.

Chef Eric Ripert, Chef Anthony Bourdain and me: Like blazing heat in a Texas summer, you had to see this one coming. Afterward, in the pied-a-terre's fully furnished kitchen, they will cook for me a meal involving fresh beets, arugula and simply seasoned beef. Dessert would be, naturally, chefs' choice.

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Merritt Martin
Contact: Merritt Martin