Eric Ripert’s Seafood Chowder


The New York City restaurant, Le Bernardin, a seafood restaurant, is constantly on top of the world’s ten best restaurant lists. In May of 2021, the chef-owner Eric Ripert was proud to advertise his long-standing 3 Michelin star rating.

In 2010, when my daughter went to New York City for an interview, I volunteered to meet her there. Of course, I made reservations at some great restaurants, including Le Bernardin. I’m a good mom like that!

This is a photograph of the dining room, from the restaurant’s website. In person, that painting seemed like it was 100 feet wide!

We had the most helpful sommelier while we dined at Le Bernardin. It could have been because my daughter was 24 and gorgeous…

In any case, our meal was exceptional, not surprisingly. If you’ve watched or read anything about Eric Ripert, you are aware that he’s a perfectionist.

In 2009 I purchased his just published cookbook, “A Return to Cooking,” about Eric Ripert and his culinary passion and skills, written by Michael Ruhlman.

As an homage to Eric Ripert’s love and respect of seafood, I chose a seafood chowder to make from the cookbook. It was excellent, and could easily be enjoyed during warm months. The hardest part was cracking crab legs for the meat, but so worth it.

Salmon, Crab, and Scallop Chowder
Printable recipe below
Serves 6

2 slices double-smoked bacon, sliced crosswise into julienne
3/4 cup sliced leeks
1/2 cup dry wine
3 cups fish fumet*
1 cup water
1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon canola oil
One – 6 ounce salmon fillet, cut into 3/4” cubes
4 ounces crab meat, picked over for shells and cartilage
6 large sea scallops, cut horizontally in half
1 tablespoon chopped dill
Grated zest of 1 lemon

Cook the bacon julienne in a large pot over medium heat, until it has rendered its fat and is crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pot. Add the leeks and sauté until limp and lightly caramelized, about 4 minutes.

Deglaze the pot with the white wine, stirring to incorporate the browned bits in the bottom of the pot. Return the bacon to the pot, cover with the fumet and water, and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Raise the heat and boil gently until the potatoes are tender, 10 – 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Add the cream to the fumet and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat until ready to serve.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and brush it with the canola oil. Place the salmon, crab, and scallops on the sheet and season on both sides with salt and pepper.
Place in the oven for 2 – 3 minutes, until just barely heated through. The salmon and scallops should still be quite rare.

Meanwhile, gently reheat the soup. Add the dill and lemon zest and stir to incorporate. Adjust the seasoning.

To serve, divide the warmed salmon, crab, and scallops among warmed bowls. (This is so French – my mother always heated dishes before serving!)

Ladle the soup over and serve immediately.

* From the notes of Michael Ruhlman: Fumet is very easy to make once you have good bones. The bones of the turbot are the best for fumet because of their high gelatin content, but generally any white bones from a non oily fish can be used. To make a fumet, you sweat sliced onion and fennel until they’re tender, add the bones and cook them gently, then add water to just cover and a bouquet garni and simmer very gently for 10 – 15 minutes. Let the fumet sit off the heat for another 15 minutes, then strain it through cheesecloth.

This is what I used, purchased at Amazon, of course. It was delicious; all you have to do is add it to water just like a demi-glace.


66 thoughts on “Eric Ripert’s Seafood Chowder

  1. Watched his show a few times, but have never been to any of his restaurants…the chowder looks so good loaded with all kinds of seafood. Now I need to look out for some crabs and scallops for this….here we can’t really find quality seafood with a reasonable price. Usually very expensive, but value for money? I really doubt it…

    • Anything I get has to be shipped, and always frozen. It’s tough, because I love seafood so much. I really respect the man, as a chef and just as a human. Good guy.

  2. One of my favorite dishes is a good seafood chowder, and this one looks absolutely divine! I have the Ripert book and love it, not only for the recipes but the stories as well. I’ve made this dish, but made a lot of substitutions and omissions and it was still incredible! The lemon and dill are essential! Great photos Mimi!

    • I don’t really love dill, and at this point I can’t remember if I used it at all, except maybe in the photos. And honestly, I’m not an add-lemon-to-everything person either. I preferred the taste of the creamy broth before I added the lemon. But I wanted to respect his recipe. Mostly!

  3. I’ve never been to his restaurant, but I do love his cooking. Someone just gave me his Vegetable cookbook, and I’m having lots of fun with that. Being from New England, seafood chowder is one of my favorites… And I love all the different ingredients he uses in this recipe. Definitely making sometime this summer.

    • Yes, I’ve seen that cookbook, and should probably buy it. What amazes me about Eric Ripert, the man, is that he was best friends with Anthony Bourdain. What a pairing! If you get a chance, do go to Le Bernardin.

  4. I have Eric’s Le Bernardin cookbook (1998) and his restaurant was a 4-star back then. I love his passion for seafood and also the simplicity of his Vegetable Simple. I have a few more recipes to post – pesto and sweet potatoes coming up! I bet the chowder is delicious but not with the 90 degree weather we’re having!

    • 4 Michelin stars? Huh. Interesting. I know you’ve been enjoying the Vegetable cookbook. I’m very tempted to buy it. Just checked. There are only 3 Michelin stars, but Le Bernardin has always had a four-star rating as a restaurant.

  5. Gosh, this looks terrific! Never had the pleasure of eating at his restaurant. So I can make this, and it’ll be the same thing, right? :-) I have made fish fumet from scratch — once. That was enough. I use the same brand fish fumet now — it’s really good (every one of their preparations that I’ve tried is good, in particular their demi glace). SO much easier than making your own. Anyway, thanks.

    • Sure! And you save on the rest of the meal! So really made fumet – I’m impressed! I’ll have to look at more of that brand. I only knew about the fumet. Thanks!

  6. I first saw Chef Ripert on the series Tremé- he had a guest spot on the show. Your chowder recipe really shows he doesn’t skip any steps in creating this lovely dish. I recently made some chowder but used already-picked lump crab in a container- made it much easier.

    • Óoops, accidentally hit the return button. I have never tasted canned crab I liked, so I just went with the crab leg idea, which was really fun! I see them in containers online, but then there’s the shipping… I except the legs frozen, and from a good source, like Sitka, they’re high quality.

    • I refer to Amazon now as my local deli. It has everything! Plus light bulbs and batteries! This is a fabulous recipe.

  7. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Every piece of it is special. I also use Amazon at least twice a week to purchase ingredients I can’t find. I know I will be buying the fish stock. Never in a million years would I have the patience to make from scratch.

    • Goodness no. Especially now that I’ve gotten older. Which is funny, cause back with children I made everything, even curry powder from scratch. And now I have time! I love Amazon!

  8. I know this is a strange thing to say as a vegan, but I love seafood! At least, the idea and flavors of seafood. I’ve made incredible oceanic things out of hearts of palm, compressed watermelon, and mushrooms. I know it wouldn’t be exactly the same, but it sounds like it would be a fun project to try veganizing this chowder.

    • wow! Well that would be interesting. I was going to say that you shouldn’t feel obligated to comment on my non-vegan blog posts, but I can’t wait to see what you do here! But, thanks for popping over in any case.

  9. This is one of my favoruite dishes, the seafood chowder and I honestly make a really mean one. I need to try this recipe now that I know this recipe came from that book.

    • I don’t know how you make yours, or if you only make it one way, but I do love the seafoods he chose for this one!

    • Now that was a lovely surprise. I’ve never even heard of double smoked bacon before. I’ve already purchased it again!

  10. this sounds so very delicious mimi. i love seafood chowder! it’s funny when people talk about buying food from amazon. from my point of view, they sell books :-) and only books …

    • Right… but no! It used to be books. It’s pretty amazing to me what Amazon has become. For me, living in the boonies, since the internet, I’ve always relied on items I can’t get locally being shipped to me. I still support my local grocery store, but the other day, they didn’t have any anchovies.

  11. How lucky you are to have eaten at Le Bernardin–It’s on my bucket list! Your seafood chowder looks and sounds amazing.

    • I wish I could help you out! The ingredients in this one are really really wonderful together. Hope you get a chance to make it!

    • One of my daughters has been to Croatia twice, when she lived in London. I’m so envious! I love the combination of the seafood Ripert used in this.

  12. What a gorgous chowder. The restaurant looks amazing! I’ve never made a fish stock, and probably never will, so I’m happy for your Amazon-bought substitution! You are quite the authority on Amazon food shopping, and I’m so grateful to benefit from it!

    • Ha! I certainly seem to be! I’ve lived in a small town for 31 years, with no good local food shopping, so once the internet happened, I really relied on it for cheese, oils, vinegars, you name it. And every time I’m browsing foods on Amazon I discover something new, like the anchovy syrup, and half-dry tomatoes… In this case I specifically looked for fumet, which I’d never heard of, and there it was. The chowder is really good, and the fumet and cream mixture I could have drunk from a glass!

  13. This recipe looks fantastic. The seafood is not over cooked , like in so many seafood stews. I have to try the recipe l

    • It was definitely good, which I’d hope from an Eric Ripert recipe. The fumet was the most interesting thing to learn about for me. The broth was so good I could have done without the seafood!

  14. Eric Ripert is one of the greats and I can just imagine how good this chowder would be. We use the same little concentrated products to use in stocks and sauces and they are really good. I made the fumet from scratch once but never again. 😊

  15. Well you’ve introduced me to another cookbook I must read Mimi! What a fun New York adventure, Le Bernardin sounds and looks like such a beautiful place to enjoy an amazing meal. Your photos are gorgeous, that broth and the potatoes look so creamy and delicious!

    • Except it’s not a vegan cookbook! But his chowder was fantastic. Nothing I wouldn’t expect from a fabulous chef.

  16. Ah, Eric Ripert truly is an inspiration – his food is incredible! I appreciate you introducing me to his seafood chowder, though. I have always steered away from making seafood chowder here at home, but this one seems doable – especially with that seafood stock recommendation from Amazon. Thanks for that! And I bet it was fun reliving the 2010 memories when you wrote this post! :-)

    • You’re right. My daughter’s interview was after earning her first masters degree, and she nailed it and moved to London after that to attend Sotheby’s for another masters degree and then to work. Needless to say we had a lot of fun visiting here there, and taking advantage of England’s location. She lives a good life, and I’m a proud mom. Do get that fumet – I just ordered more.

  17. What an awesome experience to eat at that NYC restaurant with your daughter!! You are definitely an awesome mom to make reservations at some amazing establishments like that!! :) Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, this soup truly looks rich and delicious!!

    • Thank you. Both of my daughters are serious foodies, and I want to take full credit!!! Well, honestly, I have to, cause my husband was raised in the “normal” American way, and he never had any idea that he would eat any other way!!! I’ve created a kind of food monster in him, as well!

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