USA - Jacques Pépin
Superstar chef inducted into the Chaîne
Currently the Executive Culinary Director with Oceania
" The dishes that matter are those that are cooked with love "

A legend in the culinary world, Jacques Pépin has been the chef for three French Heads of State (including President Charles de Gaulle). He has written 29 cookbooks including two ground-breaking ones on French culinary techniques.

Honours received from the French government include Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole (1992), Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1997), and Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur.

He has been awarded over 16 James Beard Awards, including a “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2005. He is a recipient of an Emmy Award for his television show, written a column for The New York Times and another for Food & Wine magazine, and continues to teach at Boston University.

Chef Pépin is currently the Executive Culinary Director with Oceania. He teaches at Boston University and furthermore has become an artist of note. He lives with his wife, Gloria, in Connecticut, has written with and appeared on television with their daughter, Claudine, and granddaughter Shorey.

Born in 1935 in Bourg-en-Bresse, France, Jacques Pépin was the second of three sons. His parents owned the Restaurant Le Pélican where his mother did the cooking. It was perhaps destiny that saw him apprenticed in the kitchen there at age 13. Four years later, he moved to Paris and trained under Lucien Diat at the Plaza Athénée in Paris before moving on to Maxim’s and then the equally famous Fouquet’s.

After working as a chef in the French Navy, Jacques became the personal chef to three French heads of state. However, he moved to the United States in 1959 where he met James Beard and Julia Child.

He was hired by Howard Johnson’s to develop the line of foods for their chain. He spent nearly 10 years as their Director of Research and Development. During this time, he earned his Bachelor and then Master of Arts degrees from Columbia University.

Chef Pépin left Howard Johnson’s in 1970 to open a restaurant, La Potagerie. When it closed in 1975 he took charge of food operations at the then newly-opened World Trade Center. In 1988, he became Dean of Special Programs at the French Culinary Institute (now known as International Culinary Center).

In 1993, Julia Child and Jacques recorded a culinary television special for PBS, “Cooking in Concert”, at the Performance Center at Boston University. They collaborated on another special and then began a 22-episode series, “Julia and Jacques cooking at home”.

Jacques Pépin was inducted into the Chaîne by Bailli Délégué Harold Small on April 29, 2018. The Ceremony took place at the Union League Café, in New Haven, Connecticut, owned by his long-time friend, Maître Rôtisseur Jean-Pierre Vuillermet. Participants in the special event included Bailli Provincial Northeast Mont Stern and Ginnie Kagan, Bailli of Connecticut.

Marie Addario
Chargée de Presse

Notable Jacques Pépin quotes:

- The food you serve always tastes better than the food you eat alone.

- All the great chefs I know - Thomas Keller, Jean-Georges Vongerichten - they are technicians first.

- I'll eat whatever is there. Pizza. I love hot dogs anywhere. I've got nothing against any of that. If I feel like eating, I eat. I don't feel guilty about it at all.

- Children never lie...I remember my daughter standing in her crib the first time I gave her caviar. I put it on bread. She ate it and said, “More, Papa!”

- The dishes that matter are the dishes that are cooked with love.