Tuesday, May 31

Harvard Book Store Presents (Past Events)Special Events Archive

Eric Ripert

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Eric Ripert discusses 32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line

in conversation with KELLY HORAN

This event includes a book signing.

$5 Tickets on sale May 3 at 9am. Online pre-sales (ticket + book) now available at Harvard.com. Unable to attend? Order the book(s) or pre-order a signed copy from Harvard Book Store. No Brattle Passes.

Harvard Book Store welcomes four-time James Beard Award–winning chef ERIC RIPERT and WBUR producer and editor KELLY HORAN for a discussion of Ripert’s book 32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line—a brave and affecting coming-of-age story about the making of a French chef, from the culinary icon behind the renowned New York City restaurant Le Bernardin.

About 32 Yolks

32 YOLKS, by Eric RipertIn an industry where celebrity chefs are known as much for their salty talk and quick tempers as their food, Eric Ripert stands out. Co-owner and chef of a world-renowned restaurant, and recipient of countless Michelin stars, Ripert embodies elegance and culinary perfection. But before the accolades, before he even knew how to make a proper hollandaise sauce, Eric Ripert was a lonely young boy in the south of France whose life was falling apart.

Ripert’s parents divorced when he was six, separating him from the father he idolized and replacing him with a cold, bullying stepfather who insisted that Ripert be sent away to boarding school. A few years later, Ripert’s father died on a hiking trip. Through these tough times, the one thing that gave Ripert comfort was food. Told that boys had no place in the kitchen, Ripert would instead watch from the doorway as his mother rolled couscous by hand or his grandmother pressed out the buttery dough for the treat he loved above all others, tarte aux pommes. When an eccentric local chef took him under his wing, an eleven-year-old Ripert realized that food was more than just an escape: It was his calling. That passion would carry him through the drudgery of culinary school and into the high-pressure world of Paris’s most elite restaurants, where Ripert discovered that learning to cook was the easy part—surviving the line was the battle.

Taking us from Eric Ripert’s childhood in the south of France and the mountains of Andorra into the demanding kitchens of such legendary Parisian chefs as Joël Robuchon and Dominique Bouchet, until, at the age of twenty-four, Ripert made his way to the United States, 32 Yolks is the tender and richly told story of how one of our greatest living chefs found himself—and his home—in the kitchen.


“I’ve known Eric for years, and I had no idea that this was how it all started. If you want to get a clear picture of where one gets the drive and dedication to be a truly great chef, there is no better or more harrowing an account.” —Anthony Bourdain

“This book demonstrates just how amazing Eric’s life has been both inside and outside of the kitchen. It makes total sense now to see him become one of the greatest chefs in the world today. This is a portrait of a chef as a young man. It’s endlessly entertaining and teaches young cooks how it used to be.” —David Chang

“Eric Ripert is known around the world for his talent and passion for food. I have been friends with him for half his life, but his memoir let me discover more about his past. His journey from Andorra to Manhattan is full of adventure, hard work, and ambition, and it is an inspiration to us all.” —Daniel Boulud


Eric RipertEric Ripert

Eric Ripert is the chef and co-owner of the New York restaurant Le Bernardin, which holds three stars from the Michelin Guide and has maintained a four-star rating from The New York Times for more than two decades. He is vice chairman of the board of City Harvest, a New York-based food rescue organization, as well as a recipient of the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honor. He serves as a regular guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef and is the host of his own TV series, Avec Eric, which has won Emmy and James Beard awards. Ripert is the author of five cookbooks: Avec Eric, On the Line, A Return to Cooking, Le Bernardin: Four Star Simplicity, and My Best: Eric Ripert.

Photo Credit: Nigel Parry

Kelly HoranKelly Horan

Kelly Horan is an author, an award-winning public radio producer and an editor of Cognoscenti, WBUR’s ideas and opinion page. She also writes about food for The Boston Globe. Kelly recently shared an Edward R. Murrow prize for investigative journalism with WBUR’s Bruce Gellerman, for Who Killed Gail Miles? Kelly has edited and produced several special series for WBUR, and she was a senior producer of The Connection with Dick Gordon. She has twice lived in Paris and, most recently, spent a year there researching her next book, a biography of the Comtesse de Castiglione. She is the author, with Humaira Awais Shahid, of Devotion and Defiance: My Journey In Love, Faith and Politics, published by W. W. Norton & Co in 2014. She lives with her husband and son in Somerville.