Ever wondered who internationally celebrated French-born American cookbook writer/chef/television personality Jacques Pépin is? Unlike most celebrities who became famous for appearing on the television, music stage, political arena, sports centers, and whatnots; Pépin rose to prominence due to his devotion, dedication, and passion for food. Famed for his French cooking style, the chef has graced the American and French television since the late 1980s. In addition to this, he has authored a lot of cookbooks, many of which became best sellers.
For his contribution and usefulness to food lovers, Jacques has received three distinctive awards, which include Legion d’Honneur (the highest French order of merit for civil and military merits, 2004); Order of chivalry L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (an Order of France, 1997), and L’Ordre du Mérite Agricole (bestowed on him by the French Republic for outstanding contributions to agriculture, 1992).
Brief Bio (Age)
The renowned cook is the middle son of his parents Jeanette Pépin and Jean-Victor Pépin’s three children. He was born on December 18, 1935, in Bourg-en-Bresse, France. The internationally recognized chef is a product of Columbia University’s School of General Studies, from where he obtained his B.A degree in 1970. He bagged his M.A. in French literature two years later from the Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Jacques’s culinary career began in his parents’ restaurant, Le Pelican, in France, which started operating immediately after World War II. His mother is a chef and his father was the owner of the restaurant. It was at Le Pelican that he became known for his love and interest in food. Jacques would later move to Paris, where he was trained by renowned culinary writer and chef Lucien Diat (born Louis Felix Diat) at the Plaza Athénée. He began his military service in the year 1956 and for the next two years, he served three French heads of state as their personal chef.
Fast forward to 1959, Pépin decided to leave Paris for the United States of America. He got his first job in the United States in a restaurant called Le Pavillion. While he working there, his paths crossed with those of American food critic/food journalist/New York Times food editor, Craig Claiborne, who introduced him to Amherst, Canadian-born cookbook writer/ food critic Helen McCully, who began to teach him some aspects of food he never knew. Shortly after, Jacques became friends with American TV personality/chef Julia Child through McCully, who he joined forces with for many years.
Pépin was launched into immense popularity in the year 1961 when he landed a job with Howard Johnson’s restaurants alongside fellow Frenchman Pierre Franey. The owner of the restaurant, Howard Johnson, used to patronize Jacques’ former working place, Le Pavillon. He decided to hire Jacques to help him develop food lines for his restaurants.
Over the years, the celebrated chef Pépin has hosted many popular television shows, including The Complete Pépin (which originally aired in 1997 and was relaunched in 2007), Jacques Pépin: Fast Food My Way, Jacques Pepin: Heart & Soul (2015–2016), Jacques Pépin: The Apprentice — Then & Now, and Jacques Pépin: More Fast Food My Way. In 2008, Jacques emerged as a guest judge on season five of Top Chef, a Bravo television’s food show.
What Is His Net Worth?
Being a phenomenal chef/television personality, Jacques has made quite a fortune from his age-long food career. Presently, he has a net worth of $20 million, which is likely to increase if he keeps making more appearances in the showbiz circle.
Jacques Pépin’s Wife and Daughter
The Bourg-en-Bresse-born chef is not just an amazing foody but also a husband, father, and grandfather. He got married to Gloria Pépin on September 17, 1966. Their only child, a daughter called Claudine Renee Pépin was born on 16th December 1968. Over half a century and counting, the television personality has been in love with his wife. He often cooks with his wife, daughter, and recently his granddaughter.
A graduate of International Relations from Boston University, Jacques’s daughter is best known for Jacques Pepin’s Kitchen: Cooking with Claudine (1996). She got married to Rolland “Rolley” Bailey Wesen on March 23, 2003, two years after they met at a dinner party. Claudine and Rolland gave the chef his first grandchild, Shorey Wesen, in 2004. Jacques has also been spotted severally in the kitchen with his granddaughter. Recently, he published a book titled: A Grandfather’s Lessons: In the Kitchen with Shorey.
Interesting Facts About The French Chef
1. Jacques Pépin currently resides in Connecticut with his wife of many years.
2. His daughter, Claudine is the author of the book, Kids Cook French.
3. The chef was decorated with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on May 22, 2011, by Boston University.
4. In 2015, Pépin suffered a minor stroke at his Connecticut home but was treated at a nearby hospital.