“Influences from childhood memories are very important in my cooking... My grandmother used to have a croque monsieur maker that would make the sandwiches in a shape of a heart or clover. When she passed away, I wanted to pay homage to her. Le Bernardin is a seafood restaurant, so no ham or cheese. But I remember the bread and the butter. And then I started thinking of caviar and salmon, and the Le Bernardin croque monsieur happened... The backbone of my cooking is what I ate and smelled as a young kid.”
--Eric Ripertfrom "Sweet, Sour, Savory" conversation with Chef Christina Tosi and Bon Appétit executive editor Christine Muhlke at the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) (via Eater), 6.13.2012.