Talking With Jacques Pépin: Popular French-Born Star Calls Himself An American Chef

The French chef discusses his life and why he calls Connecticut home

Jacques Pépin, here in his Madison, Connecticut kitchen.

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.


To read the rest of the interview with Jacques Pépin in the Hartford Courant, click here.