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Why Jacques Pepin is a god...

greygarious Mar 1, 2009 09:41 AM

It's not necessarily the recipes - there's always something to be learned from watching his shows. Today he emptied a thick puree out of the food processor, then replaced the lid and pulsed it a second, explaining that centrifugal force cleans off the blade so you then can get all the remnant out by using a rubber scraper on just the bowl.

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  1. todao RE: greygarious Mar 1, 2009 09:55 AM

    I have always appreciated his simple, straight forward approach to cooking and how he simplifies cooking (much like his friend and colleague Julia Child did) for the masses. For many years, French cooking was viewed by many as something mysterious, fancy and complicated. Jacques and Julia demystified all that by introducing us to recipes and methods from the French country side. I recently viewed an interview of a contestant on the FN where the interviewer said, "It doesn't matter how well you can cook. If you can't convey your ideas to your audience in a manner that empowers them to duplicate the dish, you've failed". Jacques (and Julia) came to mind as the epitome of perfection in culinary instruction.

    1. k
      Kodozzz RE: greygarious Mar 1, 2009 11:07 AM

      One of the best "secrets" I learned from Jacques was something he learned from his mother -- the art of using an ordinary fork for crushing a clove of fresh garlic. No need for a specialty tool (garlic press) ... just an ordinary metal fork. It amazes people every time I demonstrate the technique and I just love it. I agree -- appreciating Jacques Pepin is far more than recipes ... I'm going to use the empty food processor pulsing technique the next time my processor has been used. It's a great new secret. Thanks.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Kodozzz
        Emmmily RE: Kodozzz Mar 4, 2009 06:33 PM

        Ooh, how do you do that? I hate cleaning a garlic press. Sounds like I need to start watching this show.

        1. re: Emmmily
          danhole RE: Emmmily Mar 5, 2009 06:29 AM

          You should see him make a garlic paste with a couple whacks of the back of a large knife!

          1. re: danhole
            Breadcrumbs RE: danhole Oct 15, 2011 07:15 PM

            I've seen JP's knife technique but would love to hear more about the fork. Here's a link to the former:

            http://www.saveur.com/gallery/Jacques...

        2. re: Kodozzz
          p
          pearlyriver RE: Kodozzz Aug 2, 2012 07:18 AM

          Which episode is that? I often make a garlic paste with the back of a knife but I'm also interested to try out this new method.

          1. re: pearlyriver
            greygarious RE: pearlyriver Aug 2, 2012 01:53 PM

            If memory serves, it's just pressing and dragging, using downward pressure and the back of the fork. It accomplishes the same thing as smashing with a knife but with less risk of injury if the person doing it is inexperienced or has compromised dexterity - such as when teaching a child to help with meal prep.

        3. paulj RE: greygarious Mar 1, 2009 01:33 PM

          In another episode, he notched the leg/thigh joint of a chicken to promote more even cooking. And with skinless thighs, he cut a lengthwise slit to the bone for the same purpose.

          Another nice idea is to use pastry cream (really easy to make) as a dessert custard with fruits.

          1. r
            rudysmom RE: greygarious Mar 3, 2009 03:20 PM

            i get hypnotized watching him chop an onion.

            1. TIRGL RE: greygarious Mar 3, 2009 05:38 PM

              I loved when he boiled down the syrup in a can of peaches (in heavy syrup), added a couple spoonfuls of cream and poured it over the reserved peaches. A fabulous desert and a whole new way to appreciate a can of peaches.

              1. cassoulady RE: greygarious Mar 3, 2009 05:47 PM

                No one chops like him!! I love how he always tells people to use the broccoli stems instead of tossing them. He is he best, I love his "fridge soup"

                4 Replies
                1. re: cassoulady
                  paulj RE: cassoulady Mar 3, 2009 06:26 PM

                  It's interesting that he does alot of his cutting with a smaller knife - not a big chef's, but somewhat larger than a paring. But you have to pay attention, because he effortlessly switches knives depending on the task.

                  1. re: paulj
                    Scrapironchef RE: paulj Mar 3, 2009 07:57 PM

                    I picked up a Sabatier knife that size a few years ago in France, it really has become my most used knife. A lot of it depends on the size of your hands but I find the larger size suits me well..

                    He is magic to watch though, read his biography for a great insight into what it takes to get to where he is.

                    1. re: Scrapironchef
                      mcel215 RE: Scrapironchef Mar 4, 2009 01:48 AM

                      His biography, The Apprentice is a delightful and insightful book.

                      A man from a simple background, who has worked very hard to achieve a great life. It has a few of his mother's recipes also.

                    2. re: paulj
                      b
                      BigE RE: paulj Mar 4, 2009 09:25 AM

                      The knife he used for vegetable chopping was the first thing I noticed watching his show this weekend. It looked like he was using a 6" utility knife (I believe he uses MAC knives). It was so smooth and effortless, considering the lack of clearance between his fingers and the board.

                  2. ipsedixit RE: greygarious Mar 3, 2009 09:02 PM

                    I love Jacques Pepin because his French accent grows stronger by the year, just like Arnold's "the Governator" accent grows stronger each year he's in office.

                    29 Replies
                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      Ruth Lafler RE: ipsedixit Mar 3, 2009 11:35 PM

                      Hmmm ... just guessing, but maybe Ahnuld's accent is getting stronger because he's not acting. Presumably when he's acting he works harder on minimizing his accent and/or becomes more conscious of it. Maybe Pepin, as he gets older, finds it harder to suppress his accent, or thinks the audience is used to him and can understand just fine.

                      1. re: ipsedixit
                        greygarious RE: ipsedixit Mar 4, 2009 06:53 AM

                        I'm not sure it grows stronger, but it certainly hasn't diminished. 20+ years ago, my late mother, who was over 80 at the time, had a crush on him (he's still handsome) and got the biggest kick every time he said to bake something on a "cookie sh*t"....he said the very same thing this morning.

                        Today's "Jacques-aha!" moment was the advice on prepping asparagus: lay the spear flat on a board and roll it as you repeatedly whip a vegetable peeler from the bud end toward the bottom, stopping about an inch from the end. This leaves a "hula skirt" of peel, still neatly attached to the stalk, which you then snap off, maxiumizing the length of edible stem. But he also mentioned that when he was at the Russian Tea Room and had a staff of only 3, they'd have killed him if he'd told them to peel the asparagus, advising viewers not to worry about it if they don't peel.

                        1. re: greygarious
                          alkapal RE: greygarious Mar 4, 2009 07:02 AM

                          yes, i saw that asparagus trick, too. i've gotta get "la technique." i'm sorely tempted to buy the "more fast food my way" dvds.....that, and the josé andres "made in spain" dvds. josé and jacques -- they are my current chef crushes.

                          1. re: alkapal
                            greygarious RE: alkapal Mar 4, 2009 08:02 AM

                            I can decipher M. Pepin's accent but not Sr. Andres', in fairness, it may be lack of motivation since Spain's record regarding inhumane treatment of animals repels me.

                            Look for the $20 paperback (I covered mine in plastic) "Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques" which combines "La Technique" and "La Methode" into one volume.

                            1. re: greygarious
                              alkapal RE: greygarious Mar 4, 2009 06:12 PM

                              thanks for the tip on the book.

                          2. re: greygarious
                            roxlet RE: greygarious Mar 4, 2009 07:05 AM

                            We also love watching Jacques, and greatly admire his knife techniques and inventiveness, but everytime he speaks, my husband says, "How long has he lived here???!!!"

                            1. re: roxlet
                              e
                              ellabee RE: roxlet Oct 7, 2011 04:39 PM

                              Let your husband know that some people have voices that aren't at all plastic (in the sense of malleable), and those people keep the accent they have all their lives regardless of how fluently they speak a second language and regardless of what they hear around them. Henry Kissinger is another example. Gifted actors and mimics are at the other end of the spectrum; most of us are in between. I lost a lot of the southern accent I grew up with during my years in the midwest, without any real effort to do so.

                              1. re: ellabee
                                BobB RE: ellabee Oct 11, 2011 12:46 PM

                                Ditto my wife. She came to the US from the Soviet Union as a young adult 35 years ago and has an English vocabulary today that puts most natives to shame, but her accent is still as thick as that of Mikhail Baryshnikov.

                                1. re: BobB
                                  buttertart RE: BobB Oct 11, 2011 06:28 PM

                                  It seems to have something to do with age at first learning a foreign language - if you start post puberty it will take enormous effort to learn to speak it without an accent.

                                  1. re: buttertart
                                    BobB RE: buttertart Oct 12, 2011 08:21 AM

                                    Not necessarily - I think it can be more like having an ear for music. I'm fairly musical (out of practice now, but I used to sing and play guitar), learned German in my 20s by living there, and within a year and a half sounded native (not to brag, but more than once I had to show my passport before locals would believe I was American). My wife, on the other hand, loves music but is utterly tone deaf.

                                    1. re: BobB
                                      buttertart RE: BobB Oct 12, 2011 10:18 AM

                                      Vielleicht! ;-)

                                      1. re: BobB
                                        greygarious RE: BobB Oct 12, 2011 10:53 AM

                                        Hounds realize that taste bud perception varies from one person to another but we don't necessarily appreciate differences in aural perception. In the Boston area, a radio chat personality raised in Philadelphia wishes people a Murry Christmas and says "berry" for "bury". Callers and his co-host have pointed this out to him but he cannot perceive the difference and really thinks he is pronouncing the words the way the others do. My German-born mother thought I was trying to gaslight her when I tried to correct her pronunciation of "salad" and "solid". She could not hear or voice the difference. I heard my parents speak German as a child but they did not teach it to me. I learned it in high school and assumed my good pronunciation (anytime I try out my now rusty German on a native German, they always launch into a rapid-fire conversation with a presumed Landsmann) was due to having heard it a lot. But then I took French and later, Italian, and had no trouble with those pronunciations, either, and was always complimented by the professors. Not being boastful - other than hand-eye, I have lousy coordination and cannot understand how figure skating judges can tell how many revolutions were in that axel or that the landing was two-footed. All I perceive is a spinning blur.

                                        1. re: greygarious
                                          LulusMom RE: greygarious Oct 12, 2011 12:12 PM

                                          My name is Kari. When I first met my in-laws they asked me (and this is how I heard it) "Do you pronounce it Kari or Kari?" Sounded *exactly* the same to me. So I just said "Kari." I still have no idea what they're talking about, and my husband and I joke about this sometimes (because, obviously, he hears it like they do). A very good friend recently sent me a NYer cartoon that showed a couple in bed, with the man saying "Who the hell is this Jon?" (somehow making it obvious his name was John).

                                          1. re: LulusMom
                                            BobB RE: LulusMom Oct 12, 2011 12:45 PM

                                            Try this quiz. I am frequently told that I have no Boston accent despite having grown up here, but it nailed me as a Bostonian regardless.

                                            http://www.gotoquiz.com/what_american...

                                            1. re: BobB
                                              LulusMom RE: BobB Oct 12, 2011 01:45 PM

                                              That was REALLY fun! But, I'm afraid, it got me totally wrong. I am not at all from the Midland. Grew up in Washington DC, and now live in North Carolina. Canadian husband thought I sounded southern, but not so now that he lives in the south and knows what a real southern accent sounds like.

                                              1. re: LulusMom
                                                b
                                                betsydiver RE: LulusMom Oct 12, 2011 02:58 PM

                                                first time i ever heard the term inland north!

                                                1. re: LulusMom
                                                  buttertart RE: LulusMom Oct 12, 2011 04:32 PM

                                                  Canadian husband, eh? Ontario (at least) "a"s are very broad, maybe that's the diff? That "a" has bedeviled me through 3 languages.

                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                    LulusMom RE: buttertart Oct 12, 2011 04:37 PM

                                                    His parents are from Scotland, and he was born in Montreal. To be honest, he has almost no accent at all; there are a few words where I hear a smidgen of his parents, and a few (to me) over-enunciated consonants, but other than that, you'd never guess he was Canadian, eh?

                                                    The difference his parents hear in my name *seems* to stem from some difference they hear in the names Kerry and Carrie, which to me, are the same name in all but spelling.

                                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                                      buttertart RE: LulusMom Oct 12, 2011 04:39 PM

                                                      No oot and aboot? With Scots parents, I'd think that'd be almost unavoidable. My husband was raised in Iowa but the ONLY place that comes through is in the way he says "coffee" - the occasional student asks if he's Canadian, I guess a bit of it has rubbed off on him after all this time.

                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                        LulusMom RE: buttertart Oct 13, 2011 02:15 AM

                                                        Not even out and about! It's really pretty amazing how un-Canadian he sounds. And his "house" is flawless.

                                                  2. re: LulusMom
                                                    LindaWhit RE: LulusMom Oct 12, 2011 07:53 PM

                                                    It also had *me* as Inland North. Ummm, no. I grew up in northern New Jersey. And yet I don't have a NJ/NYC/Brooklyn accent, because my mother and both grandmothers were English/speech teachers and they ensured I didn't tawk dat way. :-)

                                                  3. re: BobB
                                                    greygarious RE: BobB Oct 12, 2011 02:35 PM

                                                    I took it twice because I could have gone either way on a few of them. Neither got me right, but that probably makes sense because nobody thinks I have an accent. I do not have a NY/LI accent because my parents had German accents that they worked hard to overcome. It's interesting that the LI town where I grew up now has a pronounced NY accent because of the increasing migration from the Boroughs to Nassau County in the intervening years.

                                                    1. re: greygarious
                                                      m
                                                      MARISKANY RE: greygarious Oct 13, 2011 07:31 AM

                                                      I'm also from LI , but I"ve been living in Michigan for the last 3 years. The test told me I had a Philadelphia accent????
                                                      I loved the New Jersey quiz.

                                                    2. re: BobB
                                                      roxlet RE: BobB Oct 13, 2011 06:14 AM

                                                      That's fun, nailed me as Northeastern, probably from NYC.

                                                      http://www.gotoquiz.com/what_american...

                                                      1. re: BobB
                                                        greygarious RE: BobB Oct 14, 2011 12:17 PM

                                                        There's a link to another one, http://www.gotoquiz.com/what_american..., which says it was created because the original one was often incorrect. The second one pegged me accurately.

                                                        1. re: greygarious
                                                          LindaWhit RE: greygarious Oct 14, 2011 12:38 PM

                                                          With this quiz, I was just "Northern" - which still isn't right. It said "Your accent is Northern, which used to be the media standard in the '50s and '60s. Your accent could either be Inland Northern (Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo) or the more broadcasting-friendly Upstate NY/Western New England accent."

                                                          Interesting. I'm not sure if, having grown up in northern NJ, I should be "Northeastern" or "Mid-Atlantic". Or a happy medium of both.

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                            buttertart RE: LindaWhit Oct 14, 2011 04:58 PM

                                                            As long as you speak fluent Cat, you don't need to worry.

                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                              LindaWhit RE: buttertart Oct 15, 2011 07:08 AM

                                                              That's the one foreign language I remain fluent in, despite not having spoken it regularly for the last year.

                                          2. re: roxlet
                                            LulusMom RE: roxlet Oct 8, 2011 11:02 AM

                                            My in-laws have been in Canada for well over 40 years, and still sound as Scottish as it is possible to sound. Was talking to someone who has never met my father in law, but has spoken to him on the phone and he said 'He sounds just like Sean Connery!" You'd think it would have faded a bit, but it hasn't.

                                      2. alkapal RE: greygarious Mar 4, 2009 04:24 AM

                                        i love jacques! he is on the create network all the time. he has so many great techniques and ideas. i really enjoyed his interview on the chef's story program, as well. i'm sorry those are so expensive to buy the dvds.

                                        1. BobB RE: greygarious Mar 4, 2009 06:40 AM

                                          I have his book "La Technique," which is not a cookbook, but a compendium of step-by-step instructions, with photo illustrations, for 170 procedures - everything from prepping sweetbreads for cooking to elegantly carving a whole poached salmon to folding a napkin into the shape of an artichoke. It's brilliant!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: BobB
                                            g
                                            Greg in Chicago RE: BobB Mar 4, 2009 07:02 AM

                                            I recall reading a magazine interview with Mr. Pepin. He was asked what he thought was most important for one learning to cook. He said, "Good knives."

                                            I skimmed thru his bio on the Internet, also. I knew that he had been personal chef to Charles deGaulle, but was not aware that he went to night school at Columbia for a Master's in French Literature after coming to the US.

                                            What impressed me the most, though, was seeing him one afternoon at Border's bookstore in Chicago. He needed a copy of the cookbook he co-authored with Julia Child, didn't have one handy, and I'm fairly sure he just stopped in to buy one. He looked puzzled, couldn't find it, then his daughter came up the escalator and said to him, "It's not with the cookbooks, they have it downstairs with the best sellers."

                                            While this was happening, a lady recognized him, grabbed one of his cookbooks, offered it to him with a pen, and said, "Mr. Pepin, would you mind?"
                                            He said, smiling, "I'd be delighted", autographed the book, and the lady thanked him, walking away quite thrilled with her good fortune. What a warm, gracious man.

                                            1. re: Greg in Chicago
                                              teamuse RE: Greg in Chicago Mar 4, 2009 10:37 AM

                                              That is amazing that you got to meet him! I recommend reading his memoir, The Apprentice, My Life in the Kitchen- he began his apprenticeship/cooking at the age of 14, was in the military, cooked for Charles DeGaulle, moves to NY, goes back to school, works throughout NYC, I won't mention the rest, etc etc- his life is so awesome and it also includes recipes. It's also written in the way as if he's just invited you over for an amazing dinner, and then decided to tell you all about his life over dessert- it is warm and inviting and just so personable. He is totally my adopted French grand-pere.

                                            2. re: BobB
                                              c
                                              cookingofjoy RE: BobB Oct 11, 2011 06:59 PM

                                              I love La Technique! The best roast chicken and stock I've ever made :)

                                            3. ipsedixit RE: greygarious Mar 4, 2009 08:56 AM

                                              Maybe this is bad form (heck, it wouldn't be my first time on these boards), but does anyone else find his daughter a rather, um, bit ... annoying??

                                              14 Replies
                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                paulj RE: ipsedixit Mar 4, 2009 09:14 AM

                                                Are you referring to her when she was a teenager (Cooking with Claudine series/book), or now that she is the mother of his granddaughter (his pride-and-joy)?

                                                It is tricky to find the right role for a second person in a cooking show like this. Should they be the dumb audience surrogate, or a knowledgeable helper or even equal? In the 'more my way' series, she's partly that surrogate, asking questions that we might want to ask (e.g. should the Tibetan bread dough rest?), but she also adds family interest, commenting on things that her grandmother or mother like(d). The whole point of this series is 'cooking at home'.

                                                However I do think Rick Bayless and Lane make a better father-daughter cooking show team. She seems to have a more natural TV presence.

                                                1. re: paulj
                                                  ipsedixit RE: paulj Mar 4, 2009 09:19 AM

                                                  As a teenager. Strangely, I find her more palatable (pun intended) now that she's all grown up.

                                                  You're right, though, about finding the right tone for a sidekick. It's hard to do. I used to love those episodes with both Julia and Jacque (not to say that one was the sidekick of the other...)

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                    EWSflash RE: ipsedixit Oct 15, 2011 09:01 AM

                                                    I don't thinki've seen any of her teenage-years show, but when I watched a recent one with his daughter on it I found myself not understanding why so many thought her annoying, so maybe she has gotten better.

                                                    Jacque is a culinary god, all right. We like him enough that maybe having anybody else on with him besides Julia just hits us wrong.

                                                2. re: ipsedixit
                                                  mcel215 RE: ipsedixit Mar 5, 2009 01:57 AM

                                                  Claudine does not appear comfortable on the show at all.

                                                  I don't get all warm and gushy watching them cook together and I can't put my finger on it either. Perhaps, I do find her annoying and am surprised at myself... Or perhaps, it reminds me of how much I miss Jacques and Julia..... sigh.

                                                  1. re: mcel215
                                                    roxlet RE: mcel215 Mar 5, 2009 03:34 AM

                                                    "Claudine does not appear comfortable on the show at all."

                                                    You're right. We always thought that she appeared incredibly dim. How do you grow up as a daughter of one of the greatest chefs in the world and not know anything about how to cook? We know she was supposed to be the audience surrogate on the show, but her manner was so unbelievably dumb that it made those episodes excruciating to watch.

                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                      LindaWhit RE: roxlet Mar 5, 2009 07:43 AM

                                                      Could it possibly be a childish/teenager rebellion against wanting to have anything to do with what your parents do?

                                                  2. re: ipsedixit
                                                    Karl S RE: ipsedixit Mar 5, 2009 03:45 AM

                                                    Au contraire, I think she is wonderful. They do not have a TV relationship but a real one, and the difference shows - for some people, who expect a TV relationship instead of a real one, that would probably be annoying. For me, it's a very refreshing alternative to a very stale formula.

                                                    1. re: Karl S
                                                      mcel215 RE: Karl S Mar 5, 2009 04:46 AM

                                                      Hi Karl,

                                                      I think it's wonderful that Jacques has a 'real' relationship with Claudine, but it doesn't come across that she is having fun cooking with him. I guess, I expect her not to come across so dry, or even to crack a smile once in awhile. While M. Peppin looks so natural, Claudine does not. JMO.

                                                      1. re: mcel215
                                                        danhole RE: mcel215 Mar 5, 2009 06:23 AM

                                                        I get the feeling that she is trying very hard to please him - too hard. You also have to take into consideration that he is a pro, and has been in the spotlight, and in front of the camera, for many years. She has not. Different people have different gifts. I give her credit just for being there. I wouldn't do it even if it was my daddy.

                                                        1. re: mcel215
                                                          greygarious RE: mcel215 Mar 5, 2009 08:23 AM

                                                          She seems to be enjoying the sidekick role in her more recent appearances on the "fast food" shows, now that she's a grown-up and mother. She's at least as at home in the kitchen as the average woman in her age group. As LindaWhit commented, the children of professional cooks/chefs may rebelliously reject learning their parents' skills. Lidia Bastianich's son has followed in her entrepreneurial footsteps but you wouldn't want him making your ravioli, and her daughter seems to have even fewer culinary interests and skills. Maybe that's why the grandkids are on so often!

                                                          1. re: greygarious
                                                            Gio RE: greygarious Mar 5, 2009 08:32 AM

                                                            I have read that the reason Claudine was on that show with Jacques was that he had wanted to teach her how to cook. And,as he was being introduced to a new audience of novice cooks he thought that using his daughter like a student it would help to get his ideas across. She did not know her way around a kitchen at all. During the shows I think she did look a little blasé and out of place but hangs in there to be the foil her father needed. I also remember her admirably trying to make a few things on her own.

                                                      2. re: ipsedixit
                                                        l
                                                        lizamay RE: ipsedixit Oct 28, 2010 10:12 PM

                                                        How funny! I am actually having trouble watching the show because I find her SO irritating she's actually distracting. I was wondering today if Jacques didn't seem annoyed with her, too - she was just in the way, asking silly questions, her laugh is false and inappropriate. Yes, I do find her annoying. Very.

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                          s
                                                          silverstarfish RE: ipsedixit Oct 11, 2011 07:35 PM

                                                          Yes, and with a father that is one of the best cooks in the world, it is inexcusable that she can't cook.

                                                          1. re: silverstarfish
                                                            paulj RE: silverstarfish Oct 11, 2011 08:19 PM

                                                            Are you talking about Claudine?
                                                            http://www.ivillage.com/claudine-pepi...
                                                            http://www.myfoodu.com/tag/claudine-p...
                                                            She also married a chef, Rollie Wesen (2003)

                                                        2. e
                                                          EdwardAdams RE: greygarious Mar 4, 2009 10:04 AM

                                                          I agree. Jacques Pepin is worth watching just for the mad knife skills and the technique. Recipes come and go and as one becomes an more experienced cook can be made on the fly but technique endures and Pepin is a technique god.

                                                          1. Deenso RE: greygarious Mar 4, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                            You're right - the man is seriously a god. He makes everything he does look so simple, you can't help thinking, "I can do that!" I was fortunate enough to see him a few times in the halls of the French Culinary Institute when I was taking classes there, along with Andre Soltner and Alain Sailhac. I was too tongue-tied to try to initiate a conversation, although, several years later, I don't know why I should have felt that way. At least I got his signature in several books.

                                                            1. Gio RE: greygarious Mar 5, 2009 04:23 AM

                                                              M. Pepin is certainly a kitchen god. Everyone above has mentioned all the reasons why. His inventiveness, culinary skills, warm personality, gracious spirit, makes him one of the most admired chefs in the world. I have seen all his programs from the very beginning and the series with Julia stand out as some of the great duets on TV. The book they cowrote is a marvelous compilation of treats and personal favorites and shows the great admiration and love they each had for the other.

                                                              My aha Jacques moment was the show where he demonstrated his grandmother's technique for a Meal-in-a-Pot.... Chicken and vegetables were cooked in a pasta pot with all the ingredients placed inside the strainer. When all is cooked lift out the strainer and the broth is left in the pot. He was so proud of that one.

                                                              1. danhole RE: greygarious Mar 5, 2009 06:27 AM

                                                                I learn something every time I watch his show, just like I did back in the days with Julia. He is so interesting. And I love his accent! Even my "anti cooking program watching husband" doesn't mind watching Jacques. I am torn abut which book to get. I want his More Fast Food My Way, but then again I also want the book mentioned above abut the techniques. Maybe I should just get both.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: danhole
                                                                  Deenso RE: danhole Mar 5, 2009 06:38 AM

                                                                  I'm not ashamed to say that I have every single one of his books. And that I've read them, cover to cover.

                                                                  1. re: danhole
                                                                    jmckee RE: danhole Oct 12, 2011 10:38 AM

                                                                    The two Fast Food books are terrific. I have them both and use them a lot.

                                                                  2. karenmusic RE: greygarious Oct 7, 2011 02:05 PM

                                                                    One time at school I sat literally three feet away from the man while he made roses out of butter and a tomato and then in under twenty minutes completely deboned a chicken and then sectioned another one and during his demo he showed several knife techniques and made an omelette, all the while cracking jokes and answering questions. I worship him.

                                                                     
                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: karenmusic
                                                                      BrookBoy RE: karenmusic Oct 8, 2011 01:04 AM

                                                                      My wife and I had the great good fortune to see him give a class at Cooper Union in NYC some years ago, and he could not have been more impressive or more charming than he was that night.

                                                                      There were perhaps 50 - 75 people in the class, and I'm pretty sure everyone had a chance to ask him a question and even to chat a little with him. I was able to ask him about how he maintains and sharpens his knives, probably the high point of my culinary life.

                                                                      Throughout the evening he told us about his life and career as a chef, all the while creating various dishes effortlessly.

                                                                      He told us how he decided to take the job at Howard Johnson's instead of becoming the chef at the White House (he had both job offers at the same time) because he felt that he would learn more at Howard Johnson's than at the White House.

                                                                      At that time Julia Child was alive but very ill, and he discussed his relationship over the years with her. He knew she didn't have long left then, and his regard for her was very evident.

                                                                      Throughout the evening, every now and then he would use his small knife to make different flowers and shapes out of apples and other foods, like butter, almost in an absent-minded way, as he continued to talk.

                                                                      When the class was over he willingly chatted with the attendees and posed for pictures for perhaps half an hour. What a gracious wonderful man, and what a towering talent in the kitchen.

                                                                    2. a
                                                                      AnneMarieDear RE: greygarious Oct 7, 2011 04:58 PM

                                                                      I love him for all of the reasons mentioned. Unlike so many of the cooking shows on TV, his are about the cooking, not himself. He's a wonderful teacher, teaches good technique but doesn't sweat the small stuff, and understands home cooks. He never talks down to me. :)
                                                                      I know that if I met him in the kitchen I'd be in awe, because I adore him, but I wouldn't be afraid to cook with him. I'd have no business doing so, but there's the feeling that he'd be encouraging and helpful and that it'd be fun, not stressful. I swoon thinking of it.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: AnneMarieDear
                                                                        roxlet RE: AnneMarieDear Oct 8, 2011 02:59 PM

                                                                        I hate the Next FN Star, where they're always asking the contestants to reveal more of themselves and tell personal stories. I'm watch to learn something about cooking, not the person at the stove.

                                                                        1. re: roxlet
                                                                          EWSflash RE: roxlet Oct 15, 2011 09:02 AM

                                                                          +1

                                                                      2. s
                                                                        shallots RE: greygarious Oct 7, 2011 07:20 PM

                                                                        Because he has a new cookbook coming out with his (?) 600 favorite recipes and a DVD. Because I so believe in him that I pre-ordered it, sight unseen.

                                                                        Because I want to make a DVD with him cutting things up and set it to classical music as a way to relax.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: shallots
                                                                          buttertart RE: shallots Oct 8, 2011 06:55 AM

                                                                          The old technique show where he cuts up a chicken in seconds...oh my goodness. It's magic.

                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                            jmckee RE: buttertart Oct 12, 2011 10:40 AM

                                                                            Julia reported in the Julia and Jacques book that he and Martin Yan have an ongoing contest as to who cuts up a chicken more quickly. I've seen clips of these contests. Blinding speed!

                                                                            1. re: jmckee
                                                                              buttertart RE: jmckee Oct 12, 2011 04:34 PM

                                                                              It's amazing, I bet he could throw a chicken up in the air and have it fall in pieces with a few swipes of a saber!

                                                                        2. bushwickgirl RE: greygarious Oct 7, 2011 07:51 PM

                                                                          The man is not a God, he's just tremendously talented human whose has worked very diligently for decades; he has hard won practice and skills under his belt, and when he goes to sleep at night he dreams of how to make it (food) beautiful, all better, lovely, and better understood for the rest of us. He's a good, sweet, gentle, and rather short (in stature) guy. Makes no difference, he's tall in my book.

                                                                          Plus, I like shallots enthusiasm.

                                                                          Well, that's sort of God like, I guess.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: bushwickgirl
                                                                            greygarious RE: bushwickgirl Oct 7, 2011 08:37 PM

                                                                            Never saw him in person but considering that Julia Child was originally 6 ft 2, even with her widow's hump she was probably 6 ft. so I'd have guessed he was in the 5'9-10 range. People always thought Craig Wollam, Jeff Smith's assistant, was a shrimp, because Smith was 6'4".

                                                                            1. re: greygarious
                                                                              bushwickgirl RE: greygarious Oct 8, 2011 01:19 PM

                                                                              I'm 5' 6", Jacques was a bit shorter than me. Now I've shrunk a bit in my older years, about two inches, so if he's maintained his height, we'd be eye to eye.

                                                                              I also thought Craig was pretty short; funny how all that's distorted by TV.

                                                                              Ina Garten next to Lester Holt of the Today Show is very petite, but Lester is well over 6".

                                                                              1. re: greygarious
                                                                                pinehurst RE: greygarious Oct 14, 2011 05:09 PM

                                                                                Completely off topic, but you just named the two cookbook authors/chefs that my parents invested in, and whose books I've inherited now that they've passed away. My dad was a huge fan of "The Frugal Gourmet," and my mom, of Jacques P. All four cook (or cooked) circles around me!

                                                                            2. h
                                                                              hummingbird RE: greygarious Oct 14, 2011 07:58 PM

                                                                              If anyone is interested:

                                                                              He's on Simply Ming tomorrow, at least in the Boston area. This is Ming's new season called
                                                                              "Cooking on the Fly". Just hope they don't decide to turn the day into a pledge day and no cooking shows on again .

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: hummingbird
                                                                                greygarious RE: hummingbird Oct 15, 2011 07:51 PM

                                                                                Thanks for mentioning that. I caught part of it and enjoyed how well they worked with, and respected, each other. I don't have cable, but among the current generation of cooks on PBS shows, I think Ming does the best job of explaining, as he goes along, why he does things when and how he does. It's probably a reflection of his time training in France. I'll have to try to pin down the fish recipe, because, unsolicited, Jacques said he'd never had a better fish dish than the one Ming made.

                                                                                1. re: greygarious
                                                                                  h
                                                                                  hummingbird RE: greygarious Oct 15, 2011 08:00 PM

                                                                                  http://ming.com/foodandwine/recipes/s...

                                                                                  Was it this one? I watched too, but can't remember if Ming only did one fish dish. When I went to one of his tapings last year, I can attest to his methods that you mentioned, and also how gracious he was to those of us watching ,to all his staff , and to the production company.

                                                                                  1. re: hummingbird
                                                                                    greygarious RE: hummingbird Oct 16, 2011 10:37 AM

                                                                                    yes, that's it.

                                                                              2. t
                                                                                toncasmo RE: greygarious Oct 15, 2011 08:30 PM

                                                                                i recently heard him on NPR and a caller said that he taught him difference between a french omlette and a country omlette.
                                                                                can someone explain?
                                                                                thanks

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: toncasmo
                                                                                  paulj RE: toncasmo Oct 15, 2011 08:54 PM

                                                                                  check this video
                                                                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57afEW...

                                                                                  country - large curd, browned
                                                                                  classic french - small curd (due to different stirring), no browning

                                                                                2. buttertart RE: greygarious Oct 16, 2011 08:31 AM

                                                                                  New show starts on WNET 13 in the NYC area next Saturday at noon. OH BOY!
                                                                                  Maybe same time on other PBS stations?

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