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Chef Jacques PépinChef Jacques Pépin

Celebrity Chef Jacques Pépin

Jacques Pépin is world renowned as the host of his acclaimed and popular cooking programs on public television, and as a prolific author, respected instructor, and gifted artist.

Born in Bourg-en-Bresse near Lyon, Pépin’s first exposure to cooking was as a child in his parents' restaurant, Le Pelican. At age 13, he began his formal apprenticeship at the distinguished Grand Hôtel de l’Europe in his hometown. Trained in Paris, Pépin served as the personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle.

Moving to the United States in 1959, Pépin worked first at New York's historic Le Pavillon restaurant, then served for 10 years as director of research and new development for the Howard Johnson Company, a position that taught him 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.

Pépin shared the spotlight with Julia Child in an earlier TV series. Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home was the 2001 winner of The James Beard Foundation’s Award for Best National Cooking Show; the duo received a 2001 Daytime Emmy Award from The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. A former columnist for The New York Times, Pépin writes quarterly for Food & Wine, and travels to culinary festivals and fund-raising events worldwide.

Pépin is the recipient of three of the French government’s highest honors: he is a Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’ Honneur, 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 International Association of Cooking Professionals, and is on the board of trustees of James Beard Foundation. He and his wife, Gloria, live in Madison, Connecticut.