10 Nosy Questions for Jacques Pepin - My Table - Houston's Dining Magazine
We recently caught up with Jacques Pepin and peppered him with questions. political science and philosophy and did graduate work in international relations at Boston Julia Child's th birthday is being celebrated in the U.S. this year. Chef Jacques Pépin places silverware on a plate with an omelet at his . This sort of thing never came up during those years with Julia Child. A CLASSIC Jacques Pépin, with Julia Child in , says she was "unflinchingly . But these were small issues, trifles without much depth.
It was only - there was one salad in the supermarket.
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Yeah, there was no lettuce. There was no leeks, no shallots. And I remember going to Midtown, Manhattan, and asking at a supermarket - where are the mushrooms? They say aisle five, and that was canned mushrooms. They didn't have any fresh mushrooms at the time, so it was quite a different world. And you didn't immediately jump back into the ocean and start swimming back to France? No, the beef was incredible. The beef was incredible and the lamb and the lobster.
And the girls were beautiful in New York, too. Is that not right? You worked for Howard Johnson. And the clam chowder - yeah, it was terrific. I improved the recipe. It was very good. It was family restaurant and good price. And they did an incredible Manhattan. I learned a lot. Can you tell us, as one of the most acclaimed chefs really in the world - what is the secret to the correct hamburger? Well, mine, I do it with brisket.
You know, Jewish brisket Oh, I know it well. Big, fat Jewish brisket OK, you do it, OK. So I ground that and it has the right amount of fat to this - and it's, like, very juicy. You take the juice out of it. And I like it with iceberg lettuce and onion and tomato. And I toast my bread, and I rub it with garlic after they are toasted. And I make the best hamburger you ever have in your life. That sounds pretty awesome. When you go into a restaurant, is the restaurant terrified to cook for you?
No, they are not. They are not, no. If you ever get a restaurant - go to a restaurant where you don't know the owner and the food is bad, do you send it back? Do you say something? The chef come and, you know - and he ask me - what do you think? And I usually say - you know what? That's - that's very good.
Yeah, take it the way you want. We actually - we had a question for you. I'm going to ask it. Let's assume that you knew the world was about to end What would you choose for your last meal? Well, if it's my last meal, it's going to be very, very, very, very long.
Julia and Jacques: The Masters of the Kitchen
Like, three months or unintelligible. Well, chef Jacques Pepin, it is a pleasure to talk to you. We have asked you here to play game we're calling You are Jacques Pepin, famous chef. But what do you know about jockstraps?
Jockstraps - famous undergarment. Jockstraps, we're going to ask you three questions about Jockstraps, you know what they call them in France - le strap du Jacques ph. Yeah, he's got it. Get two of these questions right and you will win our prize for one of our listeners.
Bill, who is chef Jacques Pepin playing for? Marcela Marin of Los Angeles, Calif. Here we go, chef, your first question. Now, the jockstrap as we know it was first developed and sold back in specifically for what purpose?
Was it A - to provide support and comfort for men wearing Turkish pantaloons, which were the rage at that time B - for racing-horse jockeys, right, to provide protection and stability because it actually was strapped to the saddle, or C - for, quote, "bicycle jockeys," riding on the bumpy cobblestone streets of Boston.
I would say that it would be the Boston jockey - I've been to Boston. Right, and the roads are terrible. It was, in fact, the bicycle jockeys. I mean, apparently, there were enough people riding bicycles in Boston and complaining that this company started making these straps for them. And that is why - this is true - the company that invented the jockstrap and still sells the most of them is called Bike.
Believe me, I know my jockstraps. This sort of thing never came up during those years with Julia Child, did it? Next question - once the jockstrap was invented, competitors decided to improve it. Which of these was invented in the early 20th century? Was it A - the cast-iron jockstrap, B - the electric jockstrap or C - the opium-infused jockstrap. Oh, wow, wow, wow, - I think I would I would go for the opium one. The opium one - that would be fun, but it was, in fact, the electric jockstrap.
Does not hurt a lot? I know it comes as a shock, but yes, it was It's called the Heidelberg Electric Belt.
Is There Anything Left to Say About Julia Child? A Great Deal, in Fact - PopMatters
It was supposed to cure insomnia, erectile dysfunction and other problems via electricity through the jock. Interested readers can pore over numerous biographies about the woman who brought French cooking to America, then turn to memoirs by her friends and colleagues.
Child herself contributed the charmingly discreet autobiography My Life in France, co-written with her grand-nephew, Alex Prud'Homme. Given the above, readers may assume another Julia Child biography can only revisit well-known material. Happily, The French Chef in America does nothing of the kind. This fresh look at Child's life and work focuses on the period between the 's and early 's, an era Prud'Homme calls "Julia's Second Act: While nobody could accuse her of cultivating a public facade, Child was by nature discreet, keeping interpersonal squabbles and personal pain under wraps.
Only now, when most of the persons involved have died, does Prud'Homme disclose the darker moments of his great-Aunt's life.
Rather, it completes the picture of a singular, remarkable American woman. Permitted to visit the White House kitchens, Child peers over executive Chef Henry Haller's amazingly calm shoulder as he prepares a meal for the visiting Japanese Prime Minister and his wife.
Taping completed, the Childs fly to France for a much-needed vacation. Their rest was cut short when Child found a lump in her breast. Neither lumpectomy nor cosmetic reconstruction were commonplace in ; doctors treated the "lima bean-sized" malignancy by cutting off Child's entire breast.
In letters to friends, Child calls the experience a "nuisance". She does not mention the hospital stay or, once home, sobbing in the tub over her lost breast. Beginning on a such a dire note is misleading, for The French Chef in America, like its subject, is often delightful.
Not My Job: 3 Questions For Chef Jacques Pépin About Jockstraps : NPR
Prud'Homme's insider proximity affords readers wonderfully detailed descriptions of the Childs and their residences, particularly their three-story home in Cambridge. On entering the house, one felt as if " It was the decoration that gave that impression. The front hallway led to one of Paul's handcarved wooden chests, while nearly every wall was decorated by his etchings, photographs, and paintings. Paul Child was a polymath -- painter, photographer, oenophile and skilled handyman.
That he was utterly indispensable to his wife was no secret. He did everything from shooting Julia's cookbook photographs to washing the dishes.
Naturally quieter and more retiring than his gregarious wife, Child preferred to remain in the background. Nevertheless, Prud'Homme writes of his great-aunt: The first required selflessness while the latter required selfishness; maintaining a balance wasn't easy.
5 Questions: Chef Jacques Pépin whips up a new show -- and an enduring story of Julia Child
During the procedure, Child's brain was deprived of oxygen, leaving him permanently impaired. Prud'Homme recalls visiting his great-uncle in France: Julia, outwardly unfazed, would calm him down. Over time, Child's health grew perilously frail, forcing Julia to place him in assisted living. Louisette Bertholle, third author, had bowed out shortly after the book went to press.