Field Test withEric Ripert
Peconic Bay, Long Island, NY
Eric Ripert, award-winning chef and co-owner of NYC’s Le Bernardin, is no stranger to life near thewater. He’s been eating oysters since he was three years old, and has made food and environmental sustainability major parts of his life. We joined him on a recent sunrise oyster harvest to discuss the history of the region’s oyster industry and the tranquility of fishing.
Eric in the exclusive Barbour® X J.Crew Bedale jacketat Widow’s Hole Oyster Farm in Greenport, New York.
At the beginning of the 20th century, oysters were verypopular in this region. They were all over the Peconic Bay and in the Hudson River—New York was the capital of oysters. The industry is having a renewal, with people coming back to the Peconic Bay and setting up farms.
What’s the relationship between oysters and sustainability?
ER: We are lucky because oysters are beautiful and delicious, and they have a big job to do. Every oyster cleans many gallons of water per day and purifies that water. They are very helpful in regenerating the water.
How do oysters from different regions differ from each other?
ER: There are a lot of differences depending on the water and where the oysters come from. Japanese oysters are really different in flavor than the ones that we find here in the Peconic Bay. Even here on the East Coast, you will have different water and food that the oysters are eating, which has a huge impact on flavor. The way they’re transported is also very important.
How do you prepare fish when you’re on a boat?
ER: I’ll make something with the fish that’s around me. I enjoy that process because I know that it’s fun to prepare it, and it will be delicious. When my friends catch fish, I prepare it right away very simply—ceviche or sashimi with a bit of lime juice, cilantro, onion, salt and pepper.
In your opinion, what’s the most underrated fish?
ER: I think monkfish and skate are underrated. People don’t know how delicious they are. But I don’t mind, because it’s more for me!
Water makes you very calm and puts you in a meditativemood. If you go fishing, spending hours and waiting to catch something can lead to a very peaceful state of mind. For me, being on a boat is paradise because my mind is wandering.
THE BARBOUR X J.CREW BEDALE JACKET
Our new exclusive collab with the famed British brand,inspired by sailing traditions and built with made-in-the-UK lightweight waxed cotton.
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