Jacques Pépin is a world renowned chef, award winning TV personality, and cookbook author. He has collaborated with the celebrated chef Julia Child and worked on several TV shows. He has won multiple prestigious awards such as the Daytime Emmy Award , Chevalier de L'Ordre du Mérite Agricole, etc. The French government also rewarded Pepin with their highest civilian order Légion d'honneur. He has also to his credit won, 24 James Beard Foundation awards
Pépin was born in 1935 in Lyon, France to Jeanette Pépin and Jean-Victor Pépin. He has two siblings and his parents were restaurateurs. From his childhood Pépin worked at the family restaurant and that’s how his love for food began. Later, the chef moved to Paris and trained at the famed Plaza Athénée.
He then worked as a personal chef to French diplomats and was moved to the United States where he initially started working in a restaurant. Jacques was later introduced to the famous Julia Child and they together collaborated on an award winning show. T
he renowned chef has also written several books and columns. He has also featured as a guest and judge on several culinary shows. Pépin has completed his B.A from Columbia University’s School of General Studies and an M.A from Columbia graduate school of Arts and Science majoring in French literature. He is married to Gloria Pépin and has a daughter Claudine.
After Pepin moved to the United States to work, he was introduced to the iconic Julia Child. One of Pépin’s customers was Howard Johnson who later hired him to work at his chain of restaurants. Pépin eventually quit his job and went on to open La Potagerie, an exclusive soup restaurant. However it soon shut down its operations. After a stint in the then newly constructed WTC, the chef moved on to head the French Culinary Institute.
His book La technique is deemed as the Bible of French cooking. The success of the book led him to venture into TV. Therefore, in 1997, CBS aired the show “The complete Pépin” which became a knockout hit. The show was relaunched ten years later on PBS with additional tips from Pépin. His collaboration with his lifelong friend Julia Child in “Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home” won a Daytime Emmy award.
Following this he has done multiple shows such as “Jacques Pépin: Fast Food My Way”, “Jacques Pépin: More Fast Food My Way”, etc. The acclaimed chef has also featured as a judge on the hit show Top chef during its fifth season. He was also a guest on the show Wahlburgers. Currently, Pépin teaches online classes for the Department of Gastronomy in Boston University.
He also features as a regular columnist in “Food and Wine”. Pépin has many honorary titles to his credit. Boston University awarded him the Doctor of Humane letters degree. He also received the Doctor Of Humane Letters from Columbia University. Martha Stewart hosted the New York Food and wine festival for which Pépin received the first dinner as a tribute.