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Jacques Pepin

This is why I wish there were more like this man


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  1. It's great that he is filming a new series but I wish PBS would also re-run his earlier, pre-Julia series. My dim recollection is that they were more haute cuisine focussed but they would still be instructive to watch.

    5 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      The technique shows were great - he cuts up a chicken in something around 10 seconds.

      1. re: buttertart

        Julia Child mentioned in one of her books that Pepin and Martin Yan have a contest every time they cook together to see who can do this the most quickly. Apparently they're about even.

        1. re: jmckee

          Yan is a dab hand with a knife too. That'd be fun to see.

      2. re: greygarious

        My local library system has 6 of his Celebrates DVDs.

        1. re: greygarious

          His explanations and demonstrations of kitchen techniques (especially knife skills) are some of the best lessons I've ever learned.

        2. I love this man and have probably learned more watching his show than any other

          1. I always thought him to be a 'cool' dude. A real gentleman.

            1. I think the best thing about Jacques is you'll see sometime things don't quite work the way he wants so he just goes with it. A good lesson to people. Don't sweat it if it's not perfect. Even someone as accomplished as Jacques has to improvise.


              1. "Julia and Jacques" were perhaps the most beloved duo ever to cook on television"

                My sentiments, exactly.

                1. The Fast Food my Way series had so many simple classic recipes, I got the book second-hand and use it pretty frequently.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: rozz01

                    I am excited about the new show in a way that my husband doens't understand.

                    I can watch Pepin reruns until the cows come home. His onion chopping makes most other chefs apprentices.

                    His cookbooks and La Methode live in my kitchen when so many cookbooks seldom leave the shelves in our library.

                    1. re: rozz01

                      I'm pretty sure I have that book, but haven't cooked from it. I'd love to - can you give me any favorites you've found?

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        Little shrimp casseroles has been a savior for me when I'm tired but want something yummy to eat. I use more mushrooms than he does, but cook the mushroom mixture for a bit then add the shrimp and the breadcrumbs on top. I also make it in a larger casserole dish. Delicious and a huge hit! The almond cake was also wonderful!

                        1. re: cosmogrrl

                          Thanks cosmogrrl! I'll look those up.

                        2. re: LulusMom

                          Peasant Soup and Red Pepper Dip. I use pumpkin seeds for the red pepper dip, plus it works great as a sandwich spread.

                      2. Thanks for that link, rozz...JP certainly IS a talented chef and a wonderful guy...loved reading this autobiography a few years ago...love him!

                        1. I have loved all his shows, with the exception of the Cooking with Claudine series, which was excruciating to watch.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: roxlet

                            You said a mouthful! And the worst was when he had his wife on. She had no affect whatsoever other than looking deeply uncomfortable.

                            1. re: roxlet

                              Yeah, Cooking with Claudine may have been hard to watch but somewhere along the line I ended up with the companion cookbook from that series and I have to say, it's got so really nice recipes in it.

                              1. re: roxlet

                                Funnily enough, my husband fell hard for Claudine. He just loved her. No accounting, and all that.

                              2. I really, no REALLY, do love Jacques and enjoy watching his shows (not counting the annoying ones with his daughter), but when I add them up, I use very few of his recipes. His mother's Les Oeufs Jeannettes is a masterpiece IMHO. However, good looks, charisma, and a smooth french accent do not a great cook make.

                                Over seeing food development at HoJos isn't a stellar peak to ones career, but I'm sure I'll eagerly watch any new series, then make someone elses recipe for dinner.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                  <Over seeing food development at HoJos isn't a stellar peak to ones career, but I'm sure I'll eagerly watch any new series, then make someone elses recipe for dinner.>

                                  Say WHAT? Jacques P├ępin has many highlights in his long and varied career, including being the chef for deGaulle when he was President of France, and also Chef of Le Pavillon in New York.

                                  Director of Product Development at a large corporation is a highly sought after position by chefs. For one thing, it allows them to spend more time with their families, as it is a 9 to 5 job, rather than being the 60+ hours/every weekend evening job in a restaurant.

                                  1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                    If you read his book 'The Apprentice' you understand why he took the job at HoJo's and what he got out of it. And as others have posted, you'll also get to know more about his other job and achievements.

                                    It's a very good read.

                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                      I loved the book too. I had to laugh at first when I heard him say on air that he worked at "HoJo's". But, it was a great job for him at the time.

                                  2. For Pepin fans, you should consider dining at L'ecole, the restaurant at the French Culinary Institute in NYC. I've been there twice in two years (almost a year ago last), and not only have I spotted Jacques Pepin, I had a friendly chat with him both times.He really is a charming fellow.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: E Eto

                                      Years ago an executive chef who worked for me was an FCI graduate. An escapee from the ad business, he had gone to FCI to facilitate a job change and had chosen that school because of the program. During each unit, one day a week, a student from the class had to demostrate the proper way to prepare whatever the focus of the unit had been for the rest of the class. While they were doing their preparation demonstration, one of the FCI instructors would observe, comment, correct and critique as the demo went along. It was my exec. chef's turn to do the demo during the egg class and he was supposed to demonstrate the correct way to make an omelet. He had no idea who the FCI chef instructor would be to do the observation of demostration, but just about lost it when Jacques Pepin walked in.

                                      My chef said he screwed up the first omelet so bad just because it was Pepin. But, he also said that JP was extremely patient, gave very good feed back and was actually very encouraging. My chef had to remake the omelet something like 18 times. He said that after the 3rd or 4th failure he lost his fear of JP and became engrossed in the learning process. He said it was the best private cooking lesson he's ever received and, I'm here to tell you, boy could he make a great omelet :-)

                                    2. When is the new series airing, does anybody know?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        All the KQED.org site says is that it will air this fall. But they have finished taping.

                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          From the article linked by the OP.

                                          "Essential Pepin," which begins airing in October."

                                        2. He was one of the first TV chefs I watched regularly (Today's Gourmet was one of the best cooking shows ever). He's humble, easy-going, and breaks cooking up into manageable tasks that give even novices the confidence to attempt something complicated. I must have made his almond cake with mango coulis a dozen times until I could get mine as tall as the one in the picture.

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: Isolda

                                            Never seen anyone use jam as often as he does.

                                            1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                              He can get by with using products like jam because he doesn't talk about 'tablescapes' :)

                                              1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                But when he does, it's just right. His apple tart (which has apricot jam in it) is delicious. I make that a lot here, and very often, don't need to sprinkle any sugar on it.

                                                1. re: Isolda

                                                  Apricot jam is widely used as a glaze in pastries. It's not just Jacques.

                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                    I don't make a strawberry tart without it... makes it shine.

                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                      I know, I was just responding to PoppiYYZ, who said JP used a lot of jam. But in the apple tart to which I was referring, he actually puts a dollop of jam inside each peeled, cored, halved Golden Delicious apple and then turns it upside down on the tart dough. You get a more intense jam hit this way, which is what makes that tart a bit different (a lot more delicious) than the melt-and-brush-on-the-jam style of tart.

                                              2. So happy to hear this. I think he is a great teacher. Does anyone else remember the episode where he set his towel on fire? He put it out and carried right on. Love it!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: sharonanne

                                                  He is an expert re putting a towel onto his belt. I've never seen anyone compare to the swiftness in which he does this. One hand!

                                                2. I love watching him on tv

                                                  1. I am a huge Jacques devotee and fully believe that he is such a great instructor, that he is the chef that other chefs learn from, especially pertaining to technique. His skill is so great that he doesn't sound condescending even when showing the most basic things, like the kitchen towel in the apron string. Must see tv.