Who is a better chef: Dan Barber or Eric Rippert
Who do you think cooks better not just restaurant.
Ripert understands fish fairly perfectly but I think Barber understands vegetables and other proteins equally well.
Both chefs a bit, umm... austere in their approaches and aesthetics. I find it almost impossible to charge either chef with lapses in technique-- like, ever--- but equally difficult to find anything on my plate which excites me. Ripert makes Carl Andre and Donald Judd seem overly exuberant as artists, and Barber is so enamored of sous-vide cooking that I think he might break into hives if he ever found anything crunchy contaminating his plate. That said, you'll still never find better fish (or less of it) than you will at Le B, and Barber knows exactly when to get out of a vegetable's way. In the end, it's the whole reductivist, "less is more" philosophy embraced by both chefs ( but more pronouncedly so with Ripert---last time there I was served what I imagine to be a deconstucted Sole Veronique which consisted, no joke, of a two-ounce slab of poached Escolar and exactly three peeled grape haves. And nothing else ) that leaves me a little cold.
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