meow! I won't talk about his physical appearance, but I find his television personality charming and genuine.
I don't think he's hard to understand at all, his accent is maybe slightly thicker than Jacques Pépin's, but that's about it. Granted, being bilingual, I'd rather hear him speaking in French, but somehow I don't think that'll happen in Calgary, lol.
He's clearly accomplished quite a bit in his career, and I quite like his PBS show, Avec Eric. I'm just wondering what his lecture style is like. With Anthony Bourdain, you pretty much knew what to expect - Eric Ripert is more of an unknown for me. I'll maybe check out some videos of his lectures on youtube if I can find any.
Basically, I'm still on the fence...