Jacques Pépin Cooks With His Granddaughter

Spend the day with the legendary French chef Jacques Pépin and his granddaughter, Shorey, as they whip up fish tacos (one of his favorite dishes!), take you on a kitchen tour and remind you why family meals matter.
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Jacues Pépin and granddaughter Shorey

When he needs a garnish, Pépin heads to the garden where he grows his own herbs.

Step inside Jacques Pépin’s kitchen and the first thing you’ll notice is that it’s extremely organized: Cooking utensils are lined up in precise rows, sheet pans are stored below the counter in racks, and pots of all sizes hang on the walls. Then you spot Pépin’s artwork. His paintings fill the space with color, and his hand-painted tile border spells out his cooking philosophies (“Great cooking favors the prepared hands”; “Happiness is in the kitchen”). 

1: Pépin hugging Shorey 2: Pépin's Poodles 3: Pépin's painting

1) Shorey lives an hour and a half away from her Papi, so it’s always a happy reunion when she sees him.
2) Say bonjour to Gaston and Paco, Pépin’s beloved poodles.
3) Pépin also paints—mostly still lifes, but he’s also done portraits of chickens: You can buy prints at jacquespepinart.com.

4: Fish frying 5: La Pétanque game 6: Shorey in kitchen

4) Freshness is paramount to Pépin, which is why he seeks out locally caught fish.
5) Rousing games of pétanque, a French version of bocce, are a family tradition.
6) Shorey adores chocolate—it was the first thing the two made together on camera.

7) Pépin and Shorey forage for the wild mint that grows around the property. 8) With pots and pans hanging on the walls, Pépin’s tools are always close at hand. 9) Pépin made this sweet lily of the valley bouquet for his wife of 51 years, Gloria.

7) Pépin and Shorey forage for the wild mint that grows around the property.
8) With pots and pans hanging on the walls, Pépin’s tools are always close at hand.
9) Pépin made this sweet lily of the valley bouquet for his wife of 51 years, Gloria.

Overlooking a pond and Pépin’s own vegetable garden, his Connecticut home is a gorgeous spot to just hang out and cook—what Jacques and Shorey, his 13-year-old granddaughter, are doing today. They’re making a taco feast from their book, A Grandfather’s Lessons, out this month.

Jacques Pépin and Shorey making tacos

"I want to teach her respect for ingredients, so we go to the garden, to the beach. We pick wild leeks and mushrooms and collect eggs directly from the chickens." –Jacques Pépin

Since she started cooking with Pépin at age 2, and first appeared on his popular PBS show Essential Pépin at 6, Shorey’s gotten quite a culinary education. “What we do on television is what we do at home,” Shorey says. “He talks me through the whole thing.” And as important as the food is the banter: Watch these two in action and it’s instantly apparent that they love each other’s company. 

"Of course, I think she is brilliant, but it is the prerogative of a grandfather to boast about his granddaughter." –Jacques Pépin

Their rapport is so strong, in fact, that Pépin’s daughter, Claudine (Shorey’s mom), suggested they write this cookbook together. Its mission? To encourage readers to make preparing meals a family affair, as it is in Pépin’s home. “The kitchen brings people together,” he says. “So it’s important for families to have a connection with it.” 

Hand painted menu

For 50 years, Jacques has kept hand-painted menus for when they have guests over. “I can look up what we had for Shorey’s mom’s fourth birthday,” he says. (Birthday cake and chocolate mousse!)

Jacques Pépin and Shorey eating at outside table

Shorey has many passions: She’s a gymnast, a cat lover and a Harry Potter fanatic. She has 6 wands!

Jacques talks! Read Shorey's Q&A with her grandfather.

Fish Tacos

Jacques Pépin's Fish Tacos

Pépin may be a master chef but he’s no snob about cooking methods. He uses a microwave to heat his tortillas (above) and melt the chocolate for the Chocolate, Nut & Fruit Treats (below).

Try Jacques Pépin's Fish Tacos

Chocolate, Nut & Fruit Treats

Jacques Pépin's Chocolate, Nut & Fruit Treats

Try Jacques Pépin's Chocolate, Nut & Fruit Treats

Avocado, Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

Avocado, Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

Try Jacques Pépin's Avocado, Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

Read All About It!

A Grandfather's Lessons In the Kitchen with Shorey

Jacques and Shorey’s cooking adventures continue in A Grandfather’s Lessons, out September 12.