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”).
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.
"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.”
Jacques talks! Read Shorey's Q&A with her grandfather.
Chocolate, Nut & Fruit Treats
Avocado, Tomato & Mozzarella Salad
Read All About It!
Jacques and Shorey’s cooking adventures continue in A Grandfather’s Lessons, out September 12.