Beginners and professionals: meet Jaques Pépin, a true master of the art of cooking and especially a grandmaster of cooking techniques.
From the proper way to crack an egg and separate it to his legendary technique of deboning a chicken, almost anyone can improve their cooking by following Jaques Pépin’s advice.
Born in France in 1935, Pépin has been constantly perfecting his skills for over 70 years now, teaching countless top chefs the skills of their trade. In his truly unique career as a chef in France, he has cooked for three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle. As a young man, he moved to America, where he also became deeply involved in literature and art, and where he lives today.
In his charming, entertaining and personal way, he was soon not only a successful chef of his restaurants, he also appeared early on in talk shows and cooking programs. Among his close friends, by the way, was the almost equally legendary Julia Child, of whom it is said that America learned to cook sophisticated food through her in the first place (we’ll have to introduce her to you in more detail, too).
When he was seriously injured in a dramatic accident in 1974 and almost lost an arm, he gave up working as a restaurant chef and has since devoted himself mainly to teaching the art of cooking. His books “La Technique” and “La Methode” have become absolute classics because you can learn exactly all the tricks and techniques cooks need from countless pictures. He is not so much interested in demonstrating crazy tricks of the Michelin star cuisine, but in using very simple methods to teach everyone how to cook really well.
Even if you’re not a fan of big cookbooks, you can still learn from Pépin: on Instagram and on the website of the Jaques Pépin Foundation you will find an extensive video cookbook available for members (Cook with Jacques Pépin & Friends). There a numerous videos explaining everything in so much detail you will find all difficult techniques easy to master. You might also find a special course under A Legacy of Technique, laying the foundation for cooking professionally.
Sneak peek: there’s also a video here that’s over 3 hours long (Essential Techniques Compilation) that shows all the major cooking techniques, it’s a real pleasure to watch. The video is available on Youtube since mid-2020, since then it has already reached over 2 million views – no wonder!
Fun fact: the pictures between the chapters were painted by Jaques himself. He draws and paints really well. If you feel like reading about Jaques’ second passion, you’ll find exciting things in this article.