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Eric Ripert on Good vs. Evil, John McEnroe and More

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Eric Ripert
Eric Ripert
Photo: Friends Eat

It's roast for dinner Saturday night when Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert bring their roving Good vs. Evil show to the Pearl at the Palms. Bourdain and his salty tongue bang heads with his best friend, the sugary sweet Ripert on stage for all to digest. As any good food event goes, this one starts with a roast, Bourdain of Ripert and then vice versa, then settles in to thoughts on the food world as it stands now. Yes, guests will get a shot at grilling the two during an question and answer session, where many of the best retorts come out.

Bourdain, best known for his shows Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover on the Travel Channel, and Ripert, the chef behind multi-starred Le Bernardin in New York as well as the host of the former Avec Eric on PBS and a regular on Top Chef, plan to share stories and muse on the place of food in life from behind the kitchen doors.

Ripert, who says he's been to Vegas on multiple occasions, likes Cirque du Soleil as well as seeing what his fellow chefs are doing in the kitchen. "I definitely enjoy good food," he says. "I always go to see some of my favorite chefs. There's only so much you can eat though."

Eater Vegas readers can nab a $15 discount on select tickets with the password culinary through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday night.

Here, Ripert gives fans a look at what their in for with Good vs. Evil: An Evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert.

What can we expect from the show?
The show unscripted as much. We know more or less what subjects we want to bring to the table. It starts with Tony roasting me and then I return the favor. Then we are both a little bruised and we sit down to discuss some more serious subjects such as sustainability, genetically modified food, and sometimes we talk about the next trend in food. We have this interactive dialog and then open to questions to the public. People are very into it. People laugh a lot and learn a lot from us, which is good.

Who is good and who is evil? The ads have evil written on your photo.
I think at the end of the day one of us is not entirely good or evil, because we are humans, both of us.

If you're good, and you could be evil, what evil would you do?
If I stop to answer the question, I'm giving away a little of what's going on in the show. I try to be good and if I am not, I have a tendency to feel better if I apologize afterward.

Anthony is totally unapologetic about it.

How do your philosophies differ?
Actually Anthony and I agree on a lot of things, yet sometimes we differ. We're both pro-organic and pro-sustainable and so on. I think Anthony would agree with me. Technically at the end of the day, I'm a hypocrite. I eat my tray of food on the plane.

What kind of beer do you drink?
Anthony drinks local beer, and I try not to drink to be focused to be sharp. Tony is very sharp and quick. If you're not quick, you can get stung.

I usually drink diet Coke or water on stage to stay sharp.

He loves to drink local beers. It's his way of showing respect to the city.

Has there been any retribution for something you said in the show?
I'm very cautious and careful about what I say. It's extremely rare for me to criticize anyone in my daily life and especially the show.

In one of your shows, you mention that John McEnroe was banned from your restaurants for saying something hurtful about you. Is he still banned?
He came a couple of weeks ago, and Tony doesn't even know that so don't tell him. He was at a big table with some very good friends of mine so I let him eat.

How did you become such good friends with Anthony Bourdain?
Kitchen Confidential came out in 2000. It was very controversial, obviously, and some people in the industry were offended by it. Someone said he mentioned me in the book many times, so I read it. He only had very complimentary things to say about me. So I called him up and said, "I would love to have lunch with you." That was the beginning of the friendship.

Will you be selling your Éclat Chocolate bar at the show?
We do not. We don't mix the show and the chocolate bar. I doubt we'll have any left by the time of the show. I think we are on the verge of not having any more chocolate. I had a meeting with the guy who's not sure if we'll have enough chocolate for Valentine's Day. We only made 2,000 bars. We'll have to wait until the next harvest.

Any plans to open a restaurant in Las Vegas?

For the longest time, none. I'm not saying Vegas is bad for opening a restaurant. I would rather to come to enjoy the city, go to the shows and the enjoy the city

I think it's laziness on my part.
· Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert Pit Good vs. Evil in Vegas [~ELV~]
· All Coverage of Eric Ripert [~EN~]


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