Like other cookbooks these days, Eric Ripert’s On the Line ain’t just a cookbook. The introduction promises a “snapshot of how Le Bernardin works on a meal-to-meal basis: the whos, whats, wheres, whys, and most important, the hows” (Le Bernardin’s lease expires in 2011, and Ripert wants to leave something behind, just in case). Hence, there’s a glossary of terms, minute-by-minute timelines from the perspectives of the porter and the pastry line, copies of Ripert’s notes, a seating chart, a rundown of food costs and pantry ingredients, and, of course, recipes! Two of the book’s cooler aspects are the play-by-play cooking descriptions, complete with dialogue (“Fire one surf-and-turf!” “Yes, Chef!”), and the profiles of everyone from the saucier to the maître d’. The latter, Ben “A Little Sexiness in the Mood” Chekroun, was one of our first Ask a Waiters, and we’re delighted to share, exclusively, the list of 129 “cardinal sins” that he gives to new employees.
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