Talking With Jacques Pépin: Popular French-Born Star Calls Himself An American Chef
At 6, Jacques Pépin was taken by his mother on the handlebars of her bicycle for a 45-kilometer ride away from his home near Lyon, France, to live with a farmer's family where he would be safe from the bombings of World War II.
The farmer's wife took the sad and lonely boy to the barn, sat him on a stool and taught him how to milk a cow, then told him to taste the fresh, foamy, buttery liquid. It was a Proustean moment that the celebrated chef, now 81, can still recall vividly.
It's a moment recreated in PBS's "American Masters" profile on Pépin, which will be broadcast May 26.
Pépin is honored to be a French-born "American Master" in the series, which also pays tribute in May to food legends Julia Child, Alice Waters and James Beard.