French Chef Jacques Pépin, in conversation with Adam Gopnik
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Chef Jacques Pépin reflects with Adam Gopnik on his life and times as a French chef and emissary of French cooking in America in the half-century since his arrival in New York in 1959. Their conversation will also explore more broadly the influence of French cuisine on American tastes and cooking habits since the 1960s and thoughts on the state of the culinary arts in France and the U.S. today.
Jacques Pépin left school in France at age 13 to become an apprentice chef, and cooked for three French heads of state as France's "First Chef" before coming to the U.S. in his 20s, where he would become a great celebrity "French Chef" in America. Along the way, he also successfully tested into and graduated from Columbia's School of General Studies, and earned a master's degree and embarked on a Ph.D. in French literature at Columbia before deciding to return to his first love of cooking. Thankfully so: he has been widely influential in revolutionizing American cooking, bringing French techniques and recipes into American kitchens through his television series and his best-selling cookbooks, including Essential Pépin, Jacques Pépin's New Complete Techniques and Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home with his friend Julia Child. Currently he is Dean of Special Studies at the International Culinary Center in New York and teaches gastronomy at Boston University. His honors include several awards from the James Beard Foundation, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Legion of Honor.
Adam Gopnik is the author of several books including The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food and Paris to the Moon, and an essayist and staff writer for The New Yorker.
Columbia Maison Francaise
515 W. 116th street, Buell Hall, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10027
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