Do you want to learn basic techniques and classic recipes for cooking French cuisine? Claudine Pepin’s new book Kids Cook French is for all ages.
As the daughter of the legendary Chef Jacques Pepin, Claudine developed a palate for fine food at an early age. Although Claudine is following in her father’s culinary footprints, she is making her own unique imprint along the way. Her cookbook features the traditional family French recipes, yet provides a modern twist to help make them even more approachable. Boeuf Bourguignon will only take three hours with Claudine’s recipe instead of a day and a half. And the pages of the cookbook feature the beautiful artwork of Jacques Pepin. Proceeds from his artwork go to culinary scholarships.
As many of you know, the main reason I host Kitchen Chat is to honor my late father. My biggest regret in life was not going into the kitchen with him to learn how to cook. He was an incredible gourmet home chef. This interview with Claudine Pepin was especially meaningful to me. She assured me that it wasn’t until she was in her twenties that she actually started cooking with her dad, Jacques Pepin. That insight provided such comfort to me. I was actually in my twenties when my father passed away.
In addition to cooking tips, Claudine Pepin shares ways to encourage kids to eat healthy. “We are not part of the clean plate club,” she explains, “Veggies are a ‘must,’ meat is a ‘some,’ and starch is ‘negotiable.’” Claudine encourages parents to be the best example by eating healthy every night and to try to eat together at the table. Claudine says, “Taste buds come from home.” Claudine’s tip for roast chicken is to first cook it upside down and finish cooking it breast side up.
Claudine Pepin also encourages kids who have a passion for cooking to start by learning the basics and to not always order from the kids menu. It’s important for them to learn to recognize and familiarize themselves with the flavors, textures and types of food. One of her favorite recipes in Kids Cook French is Eggs Jeannette, a special recipe for deviled eggs that Claudine’s French grandmother would prepare. Claudine says, “I’ve never met an egg that I never liked.”
During our kitchen chat, Claudine also shares special memories of eating dinners at Julia Child’s house. I really enjoyed my conversation with Claudine Pepin. This was a special milestone in my own culinary journey, and I am so delighted that you are joining me on this exciting journey.
Savor the day!