NEW YORK — For four weeks over the course of the past year, Eric Ripert, the executive chef of Le Bernardin, holed himself up in a series of houses with an artist, a writer and two photographers. While Ripert played with new flavors and techniques, Valentino Cortazar painted bold still lifes of ingredients and local scenery, and Michael Ruhlman waxed poetic about Ripert’s creative process. Meanwhile, Tammar and Shimon Rothstein photographed the proceedings and Ripert’s assistant Andrea Glick documented it all for posterity.

The idea was to improvise and inspire each other, then collect the results in a cookbook. "A Return to Cooking," the fruit of their labor, will be published by Artisan this month.

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