Happy Brthday, Jacques Pépin!
Jacques Pépin (December 18, 1935) is an internationally renowned French chef, author, and television personality. Pépin has been the personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle. Since 1959, Pépin has worked in the United States, where he also completed his master's degree in French Literature at Columbia University. He has collaborated with fellow French chefs, Julia Childs and Jacques Torres, whom we've previously interviewed.
Jacques Pépin was born in Bourg-en-Bresse to Jeanne and Jean-Victor Pépin, who owned the restaurant Le Pelican, where the young chef's career began. He later trained under Lucien Diat at the Plaza Athénée in Paris. In 1959 Pépin came to the United States to work at the restaurant Le Pavillon.
Pépin has starred in several cooking shows, and is perhaps best known for the 1999 PBS series Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, which won a Daytime Emmy in 2001.
By himself, Pépin went on to host Jacques Pépin: Fast Food My Way (based on his 2004 book of the same name), and currently hosts Jacques Pépin: More Fast Food My Way
His book, La Technique is used to this day as a textbook for teaching the fundamentals of French cuisine. The success of La Technique prompted him to launch a televised version of the book, resulting in an acclaimed 1997 PBS series, The Complete Pépin. Recently 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.
Today, Pépin serves as Dean of Special Programs at the French Culinary Institute, part of the International Culinary Center, in New York City. He is also an active contributor to the Gastronomy department at Boston University, where he teaches an online class on the cuisine and culture of France. Pépin also writes a quarterly column for Food & Wine and offers an amateur class each semester based on varied culinary topics.
On May 13, 2010, Pépin, along with other chefs from The French Culinary Institute, 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.
- Birthday Date: Thursday, 18 December 2014