I’ve long been a fan / admirer / pupil of Jacques Pepin. I enjoy spending time with him in the kitchen. Any kitchen. What he brings to the table is not only a wide knowledge of food and technique, but an ingrained frugality. There is rarely any frivolity in his menus.
That is not to say that there isn’t a touch of whimsy floating about. If you watch any of his cookery shows for very long, you will no doubt catch bits and pieces of his humor, his cheekiness, his love of the kitchen – and people.
Chef Pepin’s menus encompass using the best of what is available and wasting very, very little. It comes from his background in France growing up during World War II when food, among everything else, was exceptionally scarce.
As a result, he learned how to stretch the proverbial penny until it squeaked, making meals out of what might seem nothing into something rich, satisfying, comforting, delicious.
I encourage you to spend some time with Chef in his kitchen. Listen carefully and learn as much as you can. He is eager to teach you, help you, mentor you so you, too, can make wonderful food for those you love.
Truly, Happy Cooking!