What New York Fashion Week and Food Have in Common

Dana Cowin and chef Eric Ripert talk food, fashion, and Twitter
Bryan Bedder / GETTY Images for American Express Dana Cowin and Eric Ripert are all smiles after their Q&A at the American Express Skybox.

The Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week  has always packed in the hottest celebrities, cutting-edge style icons, and drop-dead gorgeous attire. And thanks to Food & Wine magazine New York Fashion Week can add world-class food to that roster.

For the American Express Skybox, a VIP suite with a bird's-eye view of the runway, the magazine curated a menu inspired by their upcoming release of the Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook. Along with other celebrated chefs, the book features chef Eric Ripert, who participated in a Q&A after the Zang Toi show along with Food & Wine’s editor-in-chief Dana Cowin.

The two discussed a range of topics, from the feijoada  Ripert likes to eat in Brooklyn to the addition of meats on his typically seafood-driven menu at Le Bernardin. They even discussed their love of social media, which connects them to their fans and allows them to be playful, as Ripert shared a tweet he wrote in response Anthony Bourdain’s post about learning Brazilian jujitsu with his wife.

"They were, how do you say, very sexy," he joked.

Cowin and Ripert touched on their partnership with American Express and the food served in the Skybox, which included Ripert’s striped bass with mango and pickled ginger salad and Graham Elliot’s pork tenderloin with fried okra and pickled watermelon. The two bantered about the links between fashion and food, saying that the two worlds were intricately linked. They commented that food often follows a trend and both panelists agreed on the newest trend in cooking: simplicity.

"There has been a trend among chefs to do some very beautiful work but [it] is very ornate," said Cowin. "It is like what we saw tonight in the show. It is great that chef Ripert is here tonight because there is a dish on his menu (red miso sauce) that was so simple, and chefs have embraced simplicity. Chefs are pulling back to show off ingredients off and the clarity of them."

Cowin then playfully hinted to Ripert that he needs more vegetables on his menu.

Ripert laughed and furthered Cowin’s food/fashion connection.

"A big trend that I have seen, and something I saw tonight a little bit, is the fusion of different influences coming from different cultures. You cannot say today that one French chef is using only French ingredients, French techniques in a French setting," Ripert commented. "We are inspired by Asia, by America, the entire planet. And in fashion today and what we saw tonight, which was brilliant, the designer is obviously Asian and you can see in the forms and fabrics that he is using he is inspired by his own culture and the culture coming from the West."

The book, set to be released Oct. 1, celebrates Food & Wine's Best New Chefs award, now in its 25th year, and offers 100 recipes from some major talents throughout the years.

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