Jacques Pépin, celebrated host of award-winning cooking shows on national public television, master chef, food columnist, cooking teacher, and author of nineteen cookbooks, 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. He subsequently worked in Paris, training under Lucien Diat at the Plaza Athénée. From 1956 to 1958, Mr. Pépin was the personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle.
Moving to the United States in 1959, Mr. Pépin worked first at New York's historic Le Pavilion restaurant, then served for ten years as director of research and new development for the Howard Johnson Company, a position that enabled him to learn about mass production, marketing, food chemistry, and American food tastes. He studied at Columbia University during this period, ultimately earning an M.A. degree in 18th-century French literature in 1972. Deciding then to devote much of his time to writing, he authored two groundbreaking step-by-step books on French culinary technique, La Technique (1976) and La Methode (1979). These two classic volumes have been combined and updated in a new one-volume version published in 2001 by Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, NY. These works, and others that followed, earned him a place in the James Beard Foundation's Cookbook Hall of Fame in 1996, an honor bestowed each year on one author whose contributions to the literature of food have had a substantial and enduring impact on the American kitchen.
Mr. Pépin joined Julia Child on the popular series "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home" which premiered in the fall of 1999 and continues to air regularly on many stations across the country. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. has published a companion cookbook; a video set of the entire series is also available.
Mr. Pepin's seventh public television series, the new "Jacques Pepin Celebrates!," debuted in October, 2001. A companion cookbook was published by Alfred A. Knopf to coincide with the debut of the series. His earlier series include two that he taped with his daughter, "Jacques Pépin's Kitchen: Cooking with Claudine" (1996) and "Jacques Pépin's Kitchen: Encore with Claudine" (1998). Both of these 26-episode series were winners of James Beard Awards.
A former columnist for The New York Times, Mr. Pépin writes a quarterly column for Food & Wine. He also participates regularly in that magazine's prestigious Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and at other culinary festivals and fund-raising events worldwide. In addition, he is a popular guest on such commercial TV programs as "The Late Show with David Letterman," "The Today Show," and "Good Morning America."
Mr. Pépin is the recipient of two of the French government's highest honors: he is a Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1997) and a Chevalier de L'Ordre du Mérite Agricole (1992). The Dean of Special Programs at The French Culinary Institute (New York), he also is an adjunct faculty member at Boston University. He is a founder of The American Institute of Wine and Food, a member of the IACP, and is on the board of trustees of The James Beard Foundation.
He and his wife, Gloria, live in Madison, Connecticut.
His website address: http://www.jacquespepin.net