Thanks to a new web concept from super chef Eric Ripert, starting this autumn, you can whip up a taste of max-Michelin star Le Bernardin in your own home. With Anomaly, the stalwart of the New York City restaurant scene has launched a virtual dinner party, Dinner Social, on aveceric.com. Ripert will post a series of dinner menus—the fall harvest menu is up now, with a holiday cocktail party and winter dinner to follow— that include two canapés, first course, main course and dessert. In addition to the seasonal recipes, Ripert also outlines planning tips for the party with a printable shopping list and schedule. After the party, participants are encouraged to share stories and photos and to submit food photography for a contest. (The winner will win a camera with a cuisine feature from Olympus, a site sponsor.) The effort follows Ripert's series of online cooking videos, "Get Toasted," which featured quick meals to cook in a toaster oven—another project exhibiting Ripert's philosophy that good food doesn't have to be complicated, says Justin Barocas, the Anomaly partner leading the project.
"It's not very practical to have a dinner party for a few thousand people at Eric's house, but it's very practical to have a virtual dinner party online," Barocas says. "Building off the idea that food is social media and the social aspect of the brand, with the power of the internet, community and how amazingly social the food category is—we combined all those forces into Dinner Social."
Anomaly is a shareholder in Avec Eric, the culinary lifestyle brand that's intended to be more accessible and intimate that Ripert's tony restaurants. Avec Eric and food-show production company A La Carte Communications will be launching a 10-part Ripert food and travel show to air nationally in Fall 2009 on PBS—two book deals are also in the works. So far, the show has made its way down the West Coast and to Italy, covering topics from cooking in the kitchen to sourcing ingredients and dining experiences.