The brother and sister team had already made their names in Paris, where they opened the first Le Bernardin in 1972 after moving from Brittany, where their parents ran a hotel and restaurant. Fifteen years and two Michelin stars later, they set their sights on New York. They were lured to unfashionable West 51st Street by a deal they couldn't resist. Gilbert's early morning forays to the Fulton Fish Market became legend. Soon the way he cooked was influencing the way America cooked. The two of them realized they must close their Paris restaurant to focus on what would become this country's most creative shrine to seafood. After the wrenching loss of Gilbert, dead of a heart attack at 49 in 1994, his young second, Eric Ripert—prepped in the Parisian kitchen of Joël Robuchon—took the helm, paying homage to Gilbert's minimalist philosophy. In the years since, he has grown into mastery, creating his own distinct style, more global, bold, indulgent, yet never obscuring the fish. Sometimes I imagine them in conversation, confident, fun-loving Gilbert and earnest, ever-serious Eric, so opposite in personalities, yet both of the mind that nothing—no chef's whim, no creative flourish—shall ever upstage the gifts of the sea.