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Jacques Pépin at the Aspen Food and Wine Classic 2006
18 December 1935|
|Education||Columbia University (B.A., 1970; M.A., 1972)|
Jacques Pépin (French pronunciation: [ʒak pepɛ̃]; born December 18, 1935) is an internationally recognized French chef, television personality, and author working in the United States. Since the late 1980s, he has appeared on French and American television and written an array of cookbooks that have become best sellers.
Pépin, the second of three sons, was born in 1935 in Bourg-en-Bresse, near Lyon in France. After World War II, his parents, Jeannette and Jean-Victor Pépin, owned the restaurant Le Pélican, where Pépin worked and later became known for his love for food. He went on to work in Paris, training under Lucien Diat at the Plaza Athénée. From 1956 to 1958, during his military service, Pépin was the personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle. In 1959 Pépin came to the United States to work at the restaurant Le Pavillon. Soon after his arrival, Craig Claiborne, noted food editor at the New York Times, introduced Pépin to Helen McCully, who took him under her wing. McCully introduced him to Julia Child sparking their long friendship and collaboration. Eight months later, in 1961, Howard Johnson, a regular Le Pavillon customer, hired Pépin to work alongside fellow Frenchman Pierre Franey to develop food lines for his chain of Howard Johnson's restaurants, while Pépin was attending Columbia University.
Pépin has starred in numerous television shows. The success of his book La Technique, used to this day as a textbook for teaching the fundamentals of French cuisine, prompted him to launch a televised version resulting in an acclaimed 1997 PBS series, The Complete Pépin. Relaunched on PBS ten years after its initial run, the series included a new introduction by Pépin where he stressed that now more than ever the secret to being a successful chef and not a mere line cook lies in knowing and using the proper technique.
His show Jacques Pépin: Fast Food My Way (based on his 2004 book of the same name) ran on PBS, and Jacques Pépin: More Fast Food My Way is currently being broadcast on PBS' Create. In Essential Pepin (2011), Pépin brings modern touches to some of his favorite recipes from his career. In the 26-part public television series, Pépin demonstrates more than 125 dishes while the companion book, published by Houghton-Mifflin, contains more than 700 recipes. In this series, Pépin is shown cooking with his daughter, Claudine, wife of chef Rolland Wesen. All of his programs have been produced by KQED-TV in San Francisco.
In 2015, his television series "Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul" began airing. According to its producer, KQED-TV, the series would be his "most personal and special, revealing a man – a legend – whose lust for life, love of food, family and friends continues". The series premiered on KQED on September 12, 2015, and nationally on September 19.
A documentary about his life, Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft, aired as part of the PBS series American Masters, premiering May 26, 2017. The film, narrated by Stanley Tucci, was produced and directed by Peter L. Stein, who had produced several of Pépin's early television cooking series at KQED in the 1990s.
Pépin serves as dean of Special Programs at The International Culinary Center, founded as the French Culinary Institute, in New York City. He is an active contributor to the Gastronomy department at Boston University, where he teaches an online class on the cuisine and culture of France along with professor Kyri Claflin of Boston University's history department. Pépin also writes a quarterly column for Food & Wine and offers an amateur class each semester based on varied culinary topics.
Pépin serves as Executive Culinary Director for Oceania Cruises, where he oversees seven onboard restaurants including Jacques Bistro.
Pépin resides with his wife, Gloria, in Connecticut.
Pépin experienced a minor stroke in March 2015 at his Connecticut home, but was promptly treated at an area hospital and was expected to eventually make a full recovery, according to a statement by his daughter Claudine Pépin to the Associated Press.
Awards and honors
In addition to the Daytime Emmy Award won with Julia Child, Pépin has received three of the French government's honors: He is a Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1997) and a Chevalier de L'Ordre du Mérite Agricole (1992). In October 2004, he received France's Légion d'honneur. He has also received 24 James Beard Foundation awards
On May 13, 2010, Pépin, along with other chefs from The French Culinary Institute (known as The International Culinary Center), Alain Sailhac, Jacques Torres and André Soltner, prepared a $30,000-per-couple dinner for President Barack Obama’s fund-raiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at Manhattan’s St. Regis Hotel.
He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Boston University on May 22, 2011. In October 2011, Pépin was the recipient of the first-ever tribute dinner at the New York Food and Wine Festival. Cooking for Pépin at the event, hosted by Martha Stewart, were some of America's best-known French chefs including Alain Ducasse, Daniel Boulud, and others. In May, 2017, Pépin received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Columbia University.
- Jacques Pépin: A French Chef Cooks at Home (1975)
- La Technique (1976)
- La Methode (1979)
- Everyday Cooking With Jacques Pepin (1982)
- The Art of Cooking, Vol 1 (1987)
- The Art of Cooking, Vol 2 (1988)
- Short-Cut Cook (1990)
- Today's Gourmet (1991)
- Cuisine Economique (1992)
- Today's Gourmet II (1992)
- Jacques Pepin's Simple and Healthy Cooking (1994)
- Jacques Pépin's Table (1995)
- Jacques Pépin's Kitchen: Cooking with Claudine (1996)
- The Complete Pépin (1997; relaunched in 2007)
- The French Culinary Institute's Salute to Healthy Cooking (1998) (with Alain Sailhac, Andre Soltner, and Jacques Torres)
- Jacques Pépin's Kitchen: Encore with Claudine (1998)
- Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home (1999) (with Julia Child and David Nussbaum)
- Jacques Pépin Celebrates (2001)
- The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen (2003)
- Fast Food My Way (2004)
- Chez Jacques: Traditions and Rituals of a Cook (with Tom Hopkins, 2007)
- More Fast Food My Way (2008)
- Essential Pepin (2011)
- New Complete Techniques (2012)
- Jacques Pépin: Heart & Soul in the Kitchen (2015)
- Pépin, Jacques (2003). The apprentice : my life in the kitchen. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. pp. 4, 23–43. ISBN 0618197370.
- "New York City Wine & Food Festival". The Food Network. October 2, 2011. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- Klassen, Stephanie Rosenbaum (August 14, 2012). "Celebrating Julia Child's 100th Birthday: Jacques Pépin Tribute Video + How Julia Met Jacques". San Francisco, California: KQED Food. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
- Pépin, Jacques (April 28, 2005). "Howard Johnson's, Adieu". The New York Times.
- Interview with the filmmaker at https://vimeo.com/211423771
- "The Finest Cuisine at Sea". Oceania Cruises. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
- Elizabeth Maker (June 1, 2003). "Suddenly, Balls in Every Court". The New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
- Hirsch, J. M. (March 25, 2015). "Television chef Jacques Pepin recovering from minor stroke". MSN. Associated Press. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- "Jacques Pepin Chef and Cooking Show Host". PBS Food. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
- "Awards Search". James Beard Foundation. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
- McAuliff, Michael; Saltonstall, David (May 13, 2010). "After beating up Wall Street 'fat cats,' President Obama ready to take their money in NY fund-raiser". Daily News. New York. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
- "Oceania Cruises new ship Marina Christened in Miami". PRLog. February 8, 2011. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- "Explore Ships – Dining". Oceania Cruises. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- "Columbia's 2017 Commencement Week Events Take Place from May 13 to 18". Columbia News, Office of Communication and Public Affairs (Press release). May 9, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
- Official website
- The International Culinary Center
- Pépin's Howard Johnson's Apprenticeship
- Jacques Pépin Celebrates
- KQED: Jacques Pépin: Fast Food My Way
- KQED: Jacques Pépin: More Fast Food My Way
- KQED: Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul
- Boston University Gastronomy
- Jacques Pépin on IMDb
- Jacques Pépin at The Interviews: An Oral History of Television