Jacques Pepin Featured At The 7th Annual Newport Wine & Food Festival
A chef, cookbook author, and cooking teacher, Jacques Pépin has published 26 books and hosted 11 acclaimed public television cooking series. A new book and PBS-TV series, both titled ESSENTIAL PEPIN, debuted in October 2011. The book encompasses more than 700 recipes from Pépin’s long career, some of which he will demonstrate on the accompanying television series.
Pépin was born in Bourg-en-Bresse, near Lyon. His first exposure to cooking was as a child in his parents’ restaurant, Le Pelican. At age thirteen, he began his formal apprenticeship at the distinguished Grand Hotel de L’Europe in his hometown. Subsequently he worked in Paris, training under Lucien Diat at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée. From 1956 to 1958 Pépin was the personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle.
Moving to the United States in 1959, Pépin first worked at New York’s historic Le Pavillon restaurant and then served for ten years as director of research and development for the Howard Johnson Company, while attending Columbia University. He received his B.A. degree from Columbia University School of General Studies in 1970 and went on to earn a master’s degree in French literature at Columbia University in 1972. In 2010, he delivered the commencement address at Columbia University graduation ceremonies and received an honorary Doctor of Culinary Arts degree from Johnson and Wales University. Pépin was previously awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of New Haven.
A former columnist for the New York Times, Pépin is a contributing editor to FOOD & WINE magazine. He regularly participates in that magazine’s FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen as well as at other culinary festivals and fund-raising events worldwide. He has been a guest on top-rated television programs, including Today, Good Morning America, and The Late Show with David Letterman.
In 2009 Pépin received the Governor’s Award of Excellence for Culture and Tourism from Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell. In October 2004 he was awarded France’s highest civilian honor, induction into the Legion of Honor. He has also received two other high honors from the French government: he was named a Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1997 and a Chevalier de L’Ordre du Mérite Agricole in 1992. Since 1998 he has been Dean of Special Programs at the French Culinary Institute (New York), and he is also an adjunct faculty member at Boston University. Pépin is a founder of the American Institute of Wine and Food and a member of the International Association of Cooking Professionals. He and his wife, Gloria, live in Madison, Connecticut.