Image from Le Bernardin website

On Friday night, DC foodies have a chance to see a pair of bonafide celebrity chefs doing what they do second best: sitting around laughing and chatting with each other on all kinds of topics.  Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert are coming to the Warner Theater for what is being billed as “an evening of storytelling and observation providing the audience with a frank and provocative back and forth about what really goes on behind the kitchen doors- from both ends of the spectrum.”

That’s right.  Bourdain and Ripert.  Onstage.  Together.  Just hanging out, you know, like a pair of bros.  And you can join them (maybe even ask them a question if you get lucky).

It’s a total foodie geek-out opportunity, and the bonhomie between the two chefs pretty much guarantees it’s going to be a good time.  To this day one of my favorite episodes of “No Reservations” involved Bourdain getting back on the line at Les Halles and eventually being joined by Ripert on the fish station.  Grub Street has a great reminder of just what fun the episode was to watch.

We had a chance to chat with Eric Ripert in advance of his visit, and we took the opportunity to ask him about the show, his “regular guest judge” role on the upcoming DC-based season of Top Chef, and how much the city’s dining scene has changed since he was cooking at the Watergate twenty years ago:

Capital Spice: Good afternoon, Chef.  Thanks for talking with us today.  We’re already looking forward to your show on Friday night – what can you tell us about it?
Eric Ripert: It’s going to be a lot of fun.  The setup is one of a moderated conversation, with a question and answer period at the end.

CS: Can you give us an idea of what you’ll be talking about?
ER: It’s hard to say…for us, it really is going to be a conversation, and we have a very easy dynamic.  But I expect we will be speaking about things like the current state of “fine dining” – what it means today, the state that it’s in.  Of course, we’ll likely also talk about things like Top Chef, so there will be something for everyone.

CS: It looks like you’ve only got two of these evenings scheduled (the second is in Baltimore on Saturday night).  What made you pick DC for this?
ER: Washington is an easy choice – it’s relatively close to New York, where Tony and I are both based, I have a restaurant here, and it is a city that enjoys good food.

More of our interview with “The Ripper” – including some of his favorite recent dining experiences and some Top Chef gossip – after the jump. (more…)