Sofrito is the base sauce for many traditional Puerto Rican dishes and has several variations – this one is a mix of aji dulce peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro. The small aji dulce peppers used here are the most commonly used peppers in Puerto Rico. I fell in love with these flavors when I first visited my dear friend and the “godfather” of Puerto Rican cuisine, chef Alfredo Ayala, thirty years ago. Red Snapper with Tomatillos and Sofrito Emulsion : )
Red Snapper with Tomatillos and Sofrito Emulsion
Puerto Rico has a unique cuisine that comes from what is available on the island with ingredients and techniques that were brought via Spain, Africa and blended with the indigenous people’s influence.
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About the Author
Eric Ripert is a French chef, author and television personality specializing in modern French cuisine and noted for his work with seafood.
Eric Ripert was born in France and learned to cook at a young age from his grandmother. When he was young, his family moved to Andorra, where he was raised. He later returned to France and attended culinary school in Perpigna.
At the age of 17 in 1982 he moved to Paris, where he worked for two years at La Tour d’Argent, a famous restaurant more than 400 years old. Ripert next worked at Jamin under Joël Robuchon and was soon promoted to Assistant Chef de Partie. In 1985 Ripert left to fulfill his military service, after which he returned to Jamin as Chef Poissonier.
In 1989, Ripert moved to the United States and was hired as a sous chef in the Watergate Hotel’s Jean Louis Palladin restaurant. Ripert moved to New York in 1991, working briefly as David Bouley’s sous-chef before Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze recruited him as chef for Le Bernardin. In 1994, Ripert became Le Bernardin’s executive chef after Gilbert Le Coze died unexpectedly of a heart attack. The following year, at the age of 29, Ripert earned a four-star rating from the New York Times, and in 1996 he became a part-owner. In the Michelin Guide NYC 2006, Ripert’s Le Bernardin was one of four New York City restaurants to be awarded the maximum three Michelin stars for excellence in cuisine. Le Bernardin received four stars from the New York Times four consecutive times, making it the only restaurant to maintain that exquisite status for that length of time and never dropping a star in ten years. Le Bernardin is often referred to as the Temple of Seafood.
Ripert is the Vice Chairman of the board of City Harvest, working to bring together New York’s top chefs and restaurateurs to raise funds and increase the quality and quantity of food donations to New York’s neediest. In addition, Ripert partnered with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to open Blue in Grand Cayman.
Ripert has made several guest appearances on cooking-based television shows, including guest judge and assistant chef roles on the second, third, fourth and fifth seasons of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef”. Chef Ripert had been considered to join season 8 of Top Chef as a permanent judge, but bowed out when his employee Jen Caroll was selected as a contestant again. He is friends with and has appeared on many episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. In September 2009, AVEC ERIC, Ripert’s first TV show, debuted on PBS stations and ran for two successful seasons, earning two Daytime Emmy Awards: “Outstanding Culinary Program” (2011) and “Outstanding Achievement in Main Title and Graphic Design” (2010). AVEC ERIC returned for a third season on the Cooking Channel in February 2015, and is now available through iTunes and Netflix. Ripert has launched a series of brief online cooking videos called “Get Toasted” on his website AVECERIC.com which focuses on easy and quick meals that can be prepared and cooked in minutes with a toaster oven. In the series he uses a somewhat high end brick-oven based toaster oven produced by Cuisinart.
Ripert was a featured chef on Great Chefs television. In 2010 he played himself in the television show Treme on HBO (season 1 episode 5), alongside David Chang, Wylie Dufresne and Tom Colicchio. He returned in his cameo role in Season 2, in multiple episodes.
In fall 2008, Ripert published On the Line, his second cookbook with Artisan, which in 2002 published A Return to Cooking, a collaboration between Ripert, photographers Shimon and Tammar Rothstein, artist Valentino Cortazar, and writer Michael Ruhlman that was selected by Newsweek as one of its best books of the season. Ripert’s first cookbook, Le Bernardin – Four Star Simplicity (Clarkson Potter) was published in 1998, and in 2014, Ripert released his newest cookbook, My Best: Eric Ripert (Alain Ducasse Publishing). In 2016, he published his memoir: 32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line (Random House), which appeared on The New York Times bestseller list.
- “Best Restaurant in America” (1997) by GQ
- “Best Food in New York City” (2000–2007) by Zagat
- “Outstanding Restaurant of the Year” (1998) by the James Beard Foundation
- “Top Chef in New York City” (1998) by the James Beard Foundation
- “Outstanding Service Award” (1999) by the James Beard Foundation
- “Outstanding Chef of the Year” (2003) by the James Beard Foundation