The Story of the Umbrella in Jacques Pepin’s Signature

The Artistry of Jacques Pepin Umbrella Signature
Jacques Pepin Working in His Studio by Tom Hopkins

Photograph by Tom Hopkins

“Pépin means umbrella in French, you know…”

In an interview in the Chicago Tribune, A kitchen fit for a chef, reporter Mary Ellen Fillo says:

“Most striking about the space is the hint it gives to Pepin’s other passion…art. The walls are lined with his original oil paintings, all signed simply ‘Jacques,’ with the ‘J’ serving as a handle of an umbrella.

Copies of his simple, almost fanciful drawings of foods and other culinary images were made into decorative tiles that are interspersed with the white ceramic tiles on the soffit above the sink and one of several work areas.

‘Coming to America,’ the title of one tile, marks his relocation to the United States from Bourg-en-Bresse, near Lyon, France, where he was born to a family who owned a restaurant. Under what appears to be a blue-tinged ocean wave is a caricature of a clove of garlic, drawn to resemble an octopus.

Jacques emphasizes this: “Pépin means umbrella in French, you know…”

So, each of Jacques’ paintings is adorned with his name embellished with an umbrella.

Learn more about how Jacques uses other signatures on his artwork.

Umbrella Signature Gallery