By Jonathan Segura | Jul 08, 2022 | Publishers Weekly
Read the extensive full article here.
Excerpts from the Publishers Weekly Article. [*]
“Jacques Pépin may be creeping up on 87, but he still keeps a chef’s hours: never in bed before midnight, never up before “the stroke of nine,” as he said recently on a drizzly Friday afternoon in the dining room of his Madison, Connecticut, home. The dean of cooking—whether French, American, or really anything that calls for a sauté pan and a hot stove—is a disarmingly polite and friendly presence.
He makes sure his guests’ glasses are full before his is. He speaks in such a way that his sentences tend to be spiritually punctuated with a nearly imperceptible Gallic shrug, not of indifference, but of, well, je ne sais quoi. He has a small black poodle, Gaston, who sits on his lap and gets a thorough petting and the occasional peck as Pépin talks about his life, career, food, painting, and what he’s doing instead of going to bed early like most other people his age: maybe a bit of reading, or watching “whatever’s on Netflix.
The author of more than 30 cookbooks, a longtime host of PBS cooking shows, a dear friend of Julia Child, and most recently the star of 270-and-counting pandemic cooking web videos, Pépin isn’t a man to sit still. This September, Harvest is publishing Art of the Chicken, a nifty mélange of chicken and egg recipes illustrated with Pépin’s own paintings of chickens.
It’s arguably his most personal cookbook to date, and it isn’t really a cookbook. It’s a memoir in recipes (those who’ve read his sublime memoir, The Apprentice, will recognize some of the greatest hits that get replayed here), but one shouldn’t pick it up looking for “recipe” recipes. There aren’t any. There are no measurements. There are no ingredients lists. Instead, there’s a story about where each dish comes from, and then, before you know it, chicken parts are being sautéed in butter until barely browned, they are tossed in thyme (how much? Use your best judgment), and pans are deglazed with a “good splash of white wine.” That’s “Maman’s chicken,” or one way his mother cooked chicken at home. His mother, a restaurateur and chef in Lyon, did it differently for the paying guests.
*Quotation above is taken directly from the website cited and is the property of that source. It is meant to inform the reader and to give credit where it is due.