Roy Gilbert

Jacques Pepin, French From Connecticut


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Jacques Pepin and Julia Child were serving up mashed sweet potatoes during a televised cooking show just before Thanksgiving in 2000.

Julia noticed the sweet potatoes had no marshmallows on them. “I rather like marshmallows,” she said.

“You do, I’m not crazy about it,” said Jacques.

“That’s because you’re French, you’re not grown up on marshmallows,” she said.

“I’m French from Connecticut,” he replied.

Jacques Pepin’s journey to the upscale town of Madison, Conn., began in an obscure French village before World War II. As a young man who loved to cook, he arrived in America at an ideal time and in an ideal place to ignite the Foodie Revolution. Julia’s Kitchen Jacques Pepin

In 1959, there were no celebrity chefs, no cookware shops and no television cooking shows.Newspapers assigned women to run the food page, a second-class section that aimed bland American recipes at housewives. Gourmet was the only magazine devoted to food, and publishers produced maybe a dozen cookbooks a year.Chefs were just blue-collar stove jockeys. DurIng his first months in New York in 1959, Jacques Pepin didn’t know a single white American chef in New York. They were all German, Italian, French or Swiss.He’d arrived in the city on a lark and got a job in a renowned French restaurant. Somehow he found himself among the tiny group of cooks and writers who made up the food world. Within six months of his arrival, he knew the Big Three: Craig Claiborne, James Beard and Julia Child. Jacques Pepin A Lark He’d […]

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