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Hardcover Chez Jacques : Traditions and Rituals of a Cook: With 100 Recipes Book

ISBN: 1584795719

ISBN13: 9781584795711

Chez Jacques : Traditions and Rituals of a Cook: With 100 Recipes

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Book Overview

Jacques Pepin (born December 18, 1935) is a French chef working in the United States. Pepin was born in Bourg-en-Bresse near Lyon, and began cooking in his parents' restaurant, Le Pelican, at the age of 12. He went on to work in Paris, training under Lucien Diat at the Plaza Athenee. He eventually served as a personal chef for Charles De Gaulle and two other French premiers. Upon immigration to the United States in 1959, Pepin turned down a job offer...

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Cooking Cooking Holiday Cooking

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Beautiful and Useful Book

When Jacques was on Emeril recently, they talked about his new book. I was not anxious for a coffee table book but when they said it contained his favorite recipes that he frequently makes at home, I had to have it. The recipes are delightful, the art is amazing (I had no idea he was such a great artist), and the very personal straight opinions are interesting and educational. A must have for anyone who enjoys Jacque's talent and instructional recipes. The book is beautifully done. Would make a great Christmas gift for anyone who loves to cook.

Pepin's handsome, lovely book will bring joy to your life and table

Jacques Pepin needs no introduction to American cooking enthusiasts. He is probably the most well known TV cooking personality after Julia Child, not counting Emeril, who is probably better known as an entertainer to feedbag eaters who like to watch food being cooked than he is as a chef speaking about and showing cuisine to cooks who like cooking. After living for over thirty years in the USA Pepin still radiates and personifies "French Chef" to many Americans. That more of his professional life has been spent in America than in France, and that his food has become a smooth hybrid of classical French and contemporary American sensibilities, and so would not be seen as really "French" by audiences in France, is beside the point. He brings, in every moment of his being, and in his approach to culture and life, a timeless French appreciation for not only the better but also the more genuine things in life. Pepin's charm and indelible Frenchness are not his only assets. There are many charming people in the world, many of them French, presenting themselves smoothly all the time. What makes Pepin different is his biography and the singular grace, humility, good humor, common sense and perceptive understanding that he has shown in translating the essentials of the classical French cooking in which he was schooled into the world of the America that he immigrated to in the early 1960s. That America, a food-industrial complex wasteland at the time, where home cooking was thought to be "woman's work" or lowly paid labor, and the foods available at grocery stores were depressing, austere, bland and, for the most part, overly processed by a food industry that had only recently turned from mass manufacturing rations for soldiers, was ripe for the encouragement and the example shown by the likes of Child, Beard and Pepin. It's easy to dismiss Pepin as a TV chef, or his food as just "home cooking". But this book shows the richness of his background, the charm and warmth of his family and family story, the charm and rusticity of his many lovely amateur paintings, and the simple human joys of his lifestyle. It conveys, through several essays, his knowledge of food and food culture. The dishes involved are not meant to be fine cuisine but instead everyday fare. That does not make them humble or ordinary. It makes them wonderful expressions of how to bring joy to the table with both everyday elements and a sensibility that appreciates and values that joy being brought to that table, for himself, for his family and for his friends. They are all well worth looking at, and this book, a handsome and lovely book that succeeds in a world of people trying to make lovely and handsome books, is well worth the price and worth having for the inspiration its author brings to the reader.

Like a conversation with Monsieur Pepin

Leafing through this book is like sitting down and having a long conversation with Monsieur Pepin. His knowledge and charm are in every delightful story about how and why he loves a particular dish, from fried chicken to escargot, and the photography by Tom Hopkins is superb. Together they have created a coffee table book that you will want to have on your lap more than on your table... preferably with a glass of rose on the side. I highly, highly recommend this book.

Pleasure to read

More than a collection of recipes and description of techniques this book explains the creativity and personal history behind each recipe in entertaining and captivating vignettes. Useful as a traditional cookbook in recreating the dishes described, this book is also a pleasure to sit and read as a journal or personal history of one man's cooking career. The stories readily bring you into personal experiences and thoughts allowing you to enjoy the pleasure of the author existentially.

Superb Reflections on Cooking. Buy it NOW!

`Chez Jacques, Traditions and Rituals of a Cook' by Cooking teacher extraordinare, Jacques Pepin is one of those culinary books for which foodie readers pray for, and celebrate when they arrive. As a veteran of very high end professional cooking in France (he was personal chef to French president Charles DeGaulle) and the United States; bourgeoisie American cooking as a research chef for Howard Johnson's; teacher to professional chefs at the French Culinary Institute and author of the very best manual of professional techniques available in English; and penultimate teacher to home cooks (second only to Julia Child) on his PBS cooking shows, Pepin may easily be the most important living teacher of cooking in America. After all that gushing over Pepin's credentials, a brief word of warning is necessary. This is a far more important book on the teaching and the learning about how to cook and about the nature of cooking itself than it is a book of recipes. Thus, if you are reluctant to lie out a premium price for only 100 recipes, check out one of his many other books, especially the delightful `Fast Food My Way' or `Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home'. One of the most endearing insights I get from Pepin's book is that there is simply no perfect way to write a recipe. There are only good approaches for all the various different cookbook audiences. Pepin's own example of this is his contrast between the 7,500 recipes in the `Repertory of Cooking', all of which consist of little more than a few statements giving the principle features of a dish and the recipes in Julia Child's classic `Mastering the Art of French Cooking', where 15 pages are devoted to the recipe for a French baguette (and I suspect that with all this instruction, it will still take the average amateur more than one try to get it right). Another of the great validations I get from Monsieur Jacques is the notion that one does not start experiencing real satisfaction as a cook until you can cook without consulting a recipe. I have been working on the task of enjoying cooking for the last five years, and it seems slow in coming. I don't fully relish the task unless I am making a dish for which I have mastered all the steps and need no list of ingredients in front of me. It is at this point where, according to Pepin, we graduate from following instructions to the task of intently realizing a particular taste. In these and most other regards, Pepin agrees with and even goes beyond the insights in my other favorite books on the nature of cooking, Tom Colicchio's `How to Think Like a Chef' and Daniel Boulud's `Letters to a Young Chef'. Other similar books are Eric Rippert's `Return to Cooking' and Michel Richard's recent `Happy in the Kitchen'. And, the same sentiments with an English accent are in Nigel Slater's `Kitchen Diaries'. In spite of my warning about the price per recipe ratio, I do not want to give the impression that the recipes are in any way an afterthought or less valuable
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