Jacques Pepin is one of America's best-known chefs. He is the author of 24 books, including a best-selling memoir, The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen. He has also hosted nine public television cooking series, the most recent of which is called More Fast Food My Way. Pepin was born in rural France and his first exposure to cooking was in his parents' restaurant, Le Pelican. He began his formal apprenticeship at the age of thirteen and went on to work in Paris as the personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle. He moved to the United States in 1959 and studied at Columbia University. Pepin is a former columnist for The New York Times and now writes a quarterly column for Food & Wine. He received France's highest civilian honor, the French Legion of Honor, in 2004. He lives in Madison, Connecticut.
Question: What is your outlook?
Jacques Pepin: I am usually an optimistic person. I think that the problem that we have now are solvable. I think that we can solve them. I think that we can solve anger in the world if we put our head to it. I think that if we entertain the notion that other people may be as right as we are, or may be right and we are wrong, then we can establish dialogue with other countries more than we have been doing – certainly in the last 10 or 15 years. And then we can cure a great deal of ill. You know if people . . . there is no people ________ in the world. Everyone is the same. Any country that you go, any people have the same . . . the same goal to have a good life, to have a family, to feed the family, to be together and so forth. You know people aren’t different from one country to another, so we can talk to one another if we put our mind to it.
Recorded on: 09/04/2007