Chef Jacques Pepin: Cooking with the Family

“Food and conversation in the kitchen is the glue that holds the family together.” Chef Jacques Pepin, Kitchen Chat

What a joyful addition to my kitchen with some of the Jacques Pepin collection from Sur La Table

In his latest cookbook, A Grandfather’s Lessons: In the Kitchen with Shorey, Chef Jacques Pepin shares recipes and tips as he cooks alongside his granddaughter.  As he says, “The kitchen is the common denominator where we all speak the same language.”  Cooking is a bridge that connects all generations, and  Chef Pepin has cooked with his daughter Claudine Pepin and his granddaughter, Shorey for many years.  For young chefs who are still developing knife skills, Pepin suggests using egg slicers as a safe alternative.  Isn’t that a brilliant idea!  On a side note, I am really enjoying my purchases from Sur La Table that feature Chef Pepin’s artwork on dinnerware, aprons and many other items.  Pictured in this photo is a copy of his painting that benefits The Culinary Trust for International Association of Culinary Professionals.  He has such a heart for charity.

A photo with Chef Jacques Pepin taken by Tom Hopkins before the Julia Child Foundation Gala at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

The dedication page of Chef Pepin’s new cookbook made me cry:  “To my son-in-law, Rollie, and all fathers who cook with their daughters to create unique and unforgettable memories.”  This captures the true essence of my journey and purpose of Kitchen Chat.  This platform has been a tangible way for me to honor my late father, who was an incredible home chef.  He admired Jacques Pepin and had a copy of his first cookbooks, La Methode and La Technique that were published in the late 1970s.  My dad passed away from a heart attack at the Charles de Gaulle Airport on September 19, 1990 – mere months before my wedding.  My biggest regret in life was not going in the kitchen with him to cook alongside him.  I was always too busy as a child and teenager.  Through my chef interviews on Kitchen Chat, I have learned the skills and tips that my dad tried to teach me.  But my most important lesson on this culinary journey has been discovering and understanding my dad’s joy of cooking.  He admired Jacques Pepin and had a copy of his first cookbooks, La Methode and La Technique that were published in the late 1970s.

My Dad and I at the Poinsettia Ball. This photo is very special to me since I am in a white gown.  He died in Paris just months before my wedding.

Here are Chef Jacques Pepin’s three tips for the home chef:

  1. Drink a glass of wine before you cook.  This will help relax you.
  2. Play some nice music
  3. Be flexible when you go to the market.  Always look for nice ingredients.

Check out Chef Pepin’s latest book for more inspiration.

Savor the day!

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