If you take the time to look back through the past 50 years, American cooking has developed exponentially. With this the technique, ingredients and approach to everyday cooking in the home has evolved as well. At the lead of this was a group of formidable chefs, among them, Jacques Pepin. Along with these chefs, Pepin lead culture into a new way of approaching food in the restaurant industry and everyday table alike. With attention essential basic technique, and inspired by his international training, Jacques became a name that has made it’s way into all of our homes. From his well loved cooking shows to his family-favorite cookbooks, Jacques has transformed American food culture and the way we approach time in the kitchen across multiple generations. Through this conversation you will feel inspired by his profound wisdom for the everyday chef, laugh at his wit and left awestruck by his life and legacy! For the longtime chef and the novice in the kitchen alike, this rich dialogue will be one you want to pull up a seat for!
Here is a little more about our guest and friend, Jacques Pepin:
Born in 1935 in Bourg-en-Bresse, France, near Lyon, Pépin always found the kitchen to be a place of both comfort and excitement. He helped in his parents’ restaurant, Le Pélican, and at age 13, began an apprenticeship at the Grand Hôtel de L’Europe. He subsequently worked in Paris, ultimately serving as personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle. After moving to the United States in 1959, Pépin first worked at Le Pavillon, an historic French restaurant in New York City. From 1960 to 1970, he was director of research and new development for Howard Johnson’s and developed recipes for the restaurant chain.
At the same time, he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Columbia University. Pépin is a former columnist for The New York Times and his articles have appeared in countless food magazines, particularly Food & Wine and author of 30 cookbooks, including the renowned classic La Technique, his biography The Apprentice and most recently A Grandfather’s Lessons.
In 2017, he was honored with a feature film documentary of his life in the American Masters series: The Art of the Craft. He is the recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from five American universities and was awarded France’s highest civilian honor, La Légion d’Honneur, in 2004, as well as the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres in 1997 and the Mérite Agricole in 1992. He has received 16 James Beard Foundation Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. In 2015, he received the American Public Television’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the inaugural Julia Child Award, which was presented to him at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. A longtime close friend of Julia Child, he starred with her in a PBS series called Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, which won both an Emmy Award and a James Beard Foundation Award in 2001. For the past 30 years, Pépin has taught in the Culinary Arts Program at Boston University and, since 1989, he has served as dean of special programs at the International Culinary Center in New York City. He has called Connecticut home since 1975.
I was living in Thailand, longed for community, starting opening my door and filling my table. Now I’m living ‘charcuterie’ as a way of life and teaching what I learned about living intentionally everyday.