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.