By Ana Calderone
Updated December 18, 2019 11:10 PM
Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty

As a converted Buddhist who practices meditation every day, Chef Eric Ripert strives to keep calm even in the most stressful environments — like a restaurant kitchen, for example.

While on the ABC News podcast 10% Happier with Dan Harris on Wednesday, Ripert addressed how he’d handle a situation if one of his staff members at his Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Bernardin, misstepped.

“I have no problem apologizing on [behalf] of my staff for not behaving the proper way and I teach that to all the sous chefs or whoever has responsibility in the restaurant,” he says. “I think it makes us stronger because being angry is a weakness, it’s not a quality. Someone who is screaming and someone who is violent is not someone who is stronger than someone who is not. It’s someone who has issues and not mastered himself.”

Though he doesn’t name him, Ripert continues on by citing shows that star chef Gordon Ramsay — who is known for his tough love antics — as setting a bad example.

“We shouldn’t be proud of chefs who are screaming in the kitchen and I’m always thinking of that TV show, Hell’s Kitchen or Kitchen Nightmares, that promote this behavior of screaming at people, insulting them and humiliating them,” says Ripert. “This is not something that should be on TV actually. It’s sending the wrong message. We have to fight that.”

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By speaking out about the unpleasant environment many cooks encounter on a daily basis, he hopes to encourage change. “I think I inspire people to at least think about it,” he says, “to say, ‘Oh, wow. Maybe he’s right. Maybe screaming and being abusive is not the right way to manage.'”

He realizes his request for peace is not without its difficulties, though. “It’s challenging because a kitchen is not an environment that is easy,” he says. “It’s very humid, it’s very hot, it’s very tight, there are a lot of sharp objects. It’s a lot of action, it’s a lot of stress. Sometimes the kitchen is designed to challenge you to stay calm.”

A representative for Ramsay could not immediately be reached for comment.