Wednesday, May 29, 2024 May 29, 2024
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Restaurant News

Jacques Pépin Does Dallas


Last night chef Jacques Pépin charmed the houndstooth chef pants off of almost every person in the SRO crowd at the Central Market Cooking School in Dallas. Unlike other egomaniacal, narcissistic chefs who fill the hours of endless cooking shows on TV, Pépin is as lovely, gracious, and enthusiastic about teaching as he was thirty years ago.

He was in town to demonstrate recipes from his new book, More Fast Food My Way, and demonstrate he did. Not only did he prepare five dishes in less than one hour, he answered questions, told a few jokes, and walked the aisles to shake the hand of every attendee. After class, he stayed to personalize books and take photos with guests.

When the crowd was gone, he didn’t ask to be whisked away to a hot new restaurant in town, he sat down with the cooking school staff and shared a family-style meal while he told stories about getting started in the U.S. after he was French Prime Minister Charles de Gualle’s personal chef. He also informed the group that he will appear on an upcoming Ugly Betty episode (maybe tonight) as Daniel’s son’s French grandfather, who has come to reclaim his grandson.

His best advice of the night? “I wrote a book called La Technique. I don’t know if you can find it because it’s discontinued,” said Pépin. “We took 34,000 pictures for that book. There are 3,000 pictures and everything you need to know about cooking techniques in that book. Read it or watch the tapes and you won’t have to pay $41,000 to attend the French Culinary Institute.”

How great is that? BTW, Jacques, I found a few copies and I ordered one in your honor.