Jacques Pepin, Julia Child and My Dad

This September is “The French Connection” on Kitchen Chat. I will remember my father and Julia Child and honor Chef Jacques Pepin. Please look for my upcoming September Kitchen Chat podcasts with Chef Jacques Pepin and Eric Spivey, who is the chairman of the Julia Child Foundation.  And how perfect that Jacques Pepin will be the first recipient of a special Julia Child Foundation Award!

My late father was a major influence in my life.  He was a Renaissance Man, a college president, a highly acclaimed lyric tenor and an amazing gourmet home chef.  My biggest regret was not going into the kitchen with my dad to learn how to cook.  By hosting Kitchen Chat, I am honoring my dad’s legacy while discovering and sharing what his joy of cooking was all about.

September 19th will mark the 25th anniversary of my father’s passing.  He had a massive heart attack at the Charles de Gaulle Airport on September 19, 1990.  It was just months before my wedding.  Moving forward with my special day was bittersweet; however, my dad had planned all the details of the wedding during my visit to Florida a week before he died.  He selected the menu, chose the venue and even walked me down the aisle in a “practice run” at The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach.  In front of the altar, he gave me a kiss on the cheek and said, “This is where I give you away with my blessing.”  I treasure those moments and memories.  Since I don’t have a picture of my dad with me in my wedding gown, my Poinsettia Ball photo with him is especially meaningful.

My Dad and I at the Poinsettia Ball

The Poinsettia Ball with my dad

The kitchen was always the happy place for my dad.  He would sing and whistle as he created delicious masterpieces.  He always loved collecting cookbooks and watching television cooking shows. French cuisine was top on his list.  I will never forget the morning when he went into work late so he could make crepes for my French class.  His culinary heroes were of course Julia Child and Jacques Pepin.

It was very special to interview Eric Spivey, chairman of the Julia Child Foundation and to learn more about Julia Child’s passion to educate, communicate and celebrate all things culinary.  Julia Child’s legacy remains strong through her foundation which will honor Jacques Pepin on October 22nd in Washington, DC.  You can check for ticket availability for the Julia Child Foundation gala here.

For Christmas 2014, my sweet husband gave me an early holiday gift – a trip to Connecticut to meet Jacques Pepin who was interviewing Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief of Food and Wine Magazine.  Dana had just been on Kitchen Chat. These are treasured pictures! And speaking of pictures, you will really enjoy the artwork of Jacques Pepin!

Thank you for joining me in my kitchen.  Please visit often and also like my Kitchenchat Facebook page!  Let’s enjoy this joyful culinary journey together.  Please leave a comment with any questions you might have for Chef Jacques Pepin and Eric Spivey.  Also, here is a link to a guest post I wrote about my father on Michael Hyatt’s blog  And always remember to take a moment and Savor the day!

Photos with Jacques Pepin and Dana Cowin

Photos with Jacques Pepin and Dana Cowin


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