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José and and Eric Ripert dedicate Les Halles d'Anthony Bourdain

October 2019

In a fitting tribute to an old friend, José and Eric Ripert helped dedicate Les Halles d’Anthony Bourdain – a hall on the campus of the Culinary Institute of America, where the late chef was a student in the 1970s. They unveiled a plaque marking Les Halles – named for the New York restaurant that Bourdain worked at before realizing fame from books and television – alongside Dr. Tim Ryan, the school’s president. Dr. Ryan noted how rarely the school made a tribute like this one: "When we do, it's for people who have had a ground-breaking impact on our industry, on our college and, especially, our students...Tony Bourdain certainly falls into that category." The hall, and its plaque, are now a permanent reminder for students and faculty who pass by on a daily basis of how important Bourdain was both to the school and far beyond its walls, from his books and TV shows to his lifelong belief that “you learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.”

Bourdain, whom José has credited with “giving voice to the voiceless,” was a longtime friend of both José and Eric Ripert, the chef of New York’s famous Le Bernardin. Ripert, in a short speech to the gathered group of current students and faculty, said that "Tony touched the hearts of so many people … Not only in our field, not only in America but worldwide. He inspired us." The two were also involved in creating #BourdainDay, a new celebration of Tony’s birthday on June 25 every year, and supporting the CIA’s Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship, which sponsors study abroad opportunities with students at the institute.

José’s remarks focused on his own connection with Bourdain, as well as the connection that so many people around the world felt as they watched his TV shows and read his books.  “Tony, if you are listening – and I know you are – yes … we love you,” José said, before he and Ripert unveiled the plaque.