Chef Jacques Pépin


Photo provided by Boston University Metropolitan College

Renowned Chef Jacques Pépin has released his 28thcookbook and 13th companion PBS-TV series, Jacques Pépin: Heart & Soul in the Kitchen. The book was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; the 26-show public television series was produced by KQED-TV in San Francisco, CA.

Born in 1935 in Bourg-en-Bresse, France, near Lyon, Pépin always found the kitchen to be a place of both comfort and excitement. He helped in his parents’ restaurant, Le Pélican, and, at age 13, began an apprenticeship at the Grand Hôtel de L’Europe. He subsequently worked in Paris, ultimately serving as personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle.

After moving to the United States in 1959, Pépin first worked at Le Pavillon, an historic French restaurant in New York City. From 1960 to 1970, he was director of research and new development for Howard Johnson’s and developed recipes for the restaurant chain. At the same time, he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Columbia University.

Pépin is a former columnist for The New York Times and his articles have appeared in countless food magazines, especially Food & Wine. He is the recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from five American universities, was awarded France’s highest civilian honor, La Légion d’Honneur, in 2004, as well as the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres in ’97 and the Mérite Agricole in ‘92. He has received 16 James Beard Foundation Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. Recent awards include the American Public Television’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which he received in November, 2015, and the inaugural Julia Child Award, which was presented to him at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in October, 2015. A longtime close friend of Julia Child, he starred with her in a PBS series called Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, which won both an Emmy Award and a James Beard Foundation Award in 2001.

For the past 30 years, Pépin has taught in the Culinary Arts Program at Boston University and, since 1989, he has served as dean of special programs at the International Culinary Center in New York City. He and his wife, Gloria, have called Connecticut home since 1975.