• Birth—December 18, 1935
• Where—Bourg-en Bresse, France (near Lyon)
• Education—B.A. (1970), M.A. (1972), Columbia University
• Awards—Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des lettres;
Chevalier de L'Ordre du Merite Agricole; Legion d'honneur;
• Currently—lives in Madison, Connecticut, USA
Jacques Pepin is the author of twenty-one cookbooks, including the best-selling The Apprentice and the award-winning Jacques Pepin Celebrates and Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home (with Julia Child).
He has appeared regularly on PBS programs for more than a decade, hosting over three hundred cooking shows. A contributing editor for Food & Wine, he is the dean of special programs at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. Before coming to the United States, he served as personal chef to three French heads of state. (From the publisher.)
Pepin was born in Bourg-en-Bresse near Lyon, and began cooking in his parents' restaurant, Le Pelican, at the age of 12. He went on to work in Paris, training under Lucien Diat at the Plaza Athénée. He eventually served as a personal chef for Charles de Gaulle and two other French premiers. Upon immigration to the United States in 1959, Pepin turned down a job offer at the Kennedy White House, and instead accepted a position as the director of research and new development for the Howard Johnson's chain of hotels. He stayed at Howard Johnson's for ten years.
Demonstrating interests beyond cooking, Pepin earned a bachelor's degree from the Columbia University School of General Studies in 1970, followed by a Master of Arts in 18th Century French poetry from Columbia in 1972.
Pepin has been featured in several highly acclaimed television shows and written eighteen books.
His celebrated 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 Pepin. Recently relaunched on PBS ten years after its initial run, the series included a new introduction by Pepin 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.
Pepin also co-starred in award-winning 1999 PBS series Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home with Julia Child. Their work together was honored with a Daytime Emmy in 2001.
A third series had Pepin cooking with his daughter, Claudine, wife of chef Rolland Wesen.
His show Jacques Pepin: Fast Food My Way (based on his 2004 book of the same name) ran on PBS, as did a follow-up show, Jacques Pepin: More Fast Food My Way. All of his programs have been produced by KQED-TV in San Francisco.
A time line of his life, based on his 2003 autobiography The Apprentice, is available on the KQED website.
Pepin was a guest judge on the Bravo television show Top Chef on season five, airing in 2008. He stated that his ideal "final meal" would be roast squab and fresh peas.
Pepin serves as Dean of Special Programs at the French Culinary Institute, part of the new 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 along with professor Kyri Claflin of Boston University's history department. Pepin also writes a quarterly column for Food & Wine and offers an amateur class each semester based on varied culinary topics.
Pepin currently resides with his wife, Gloria, in Madison, Connecticut. (From Wikipedia.)
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