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Jacques Pépin | Heart & Soul

Posted by WMHT Web Editor on

Watch Saturdays at 3pm through August 6, 2016 on WMHT-TV

For more than 60 years, beginning with his formal apprenticeship at 13-years-old, Jacques Pepin has worked in the kitchen. He left his home for Paris, cooking in some of most revered establishments, like Meurice and Plaza Athenée, and eventually cooking for French President Charles DeGaulle. Soon after leaving for the kitchens in New York, Jacques ended up at Howard Johnson’s as the director of research. There he broadened his palate, honed some new skills and settled into his life all in preparation for decades of food, teaching and television.

Now, more than ever, Jacques is renowned as a chef and as the host of acclaimed and popular cooking shows on public television. He is a respected instructor, a prolific author, having written more than 25 books, and a gifted artist. A former columnist for The New York Times and contributing editor to Food & Wine magazine, he is the Dean of Special Programs at the International Culinary Center in New York and has taught at Boston University for more than 25 years. He is the winner of numerous James Beard Foundation and International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) awards for both his television series and for his books. He earned a place in the Beard Foundation’s Cookbook Hall of Fame in 1996 and received their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. Jacques holds the highest honor bestowed by the French Government, the title of CHEVALIER DE L’ORDRE NATIONAL DE LA LEGION D’HONNEUR. He has also shared the spotlight with Julia Child in a PBS series that still appears on public television stations. The series, Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, received a 2001 Daytime Emmy Award from The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Jacques lives in Connecticut with his wife Gloria and two poodles, Paco and Gaston.

"Jacques Pépin is the best chef in America." – Julia Child

"Jacques Pépin is The Master. The undisputed authority on…well, just about everything relating to food. If Jacques Pépin tells you this is the way to make an omelet — or to roast a chicken, then for me, the matter is settled.” – Anthony Bourdain

About Heart & Soul

Jacques Pepin: Heart and Soul is a reflection of Jacques’ history. The 26-episode series is set to broadcast on PBS stations in fall of 2015.  It will culminate with a pledge special celebrating Jacques’ 80th and will be produced in front of a live audience at Farallon Restaurant. This program will feature a celebratory feast prepared for Jacques by guest chefs Lidia Bastianich, Rick Bayless and Ming Tsai and will premiere in December 2015. A companion cookbook will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October 2015.

The series will reveal more about Jacques as we see him at home, travel back in time with him as he reflects on his early experiences in front of the camera and viewers will see Jacques cooking in the kitchen, sharing favorite recipes and demonstrating the timeless cooking techniques that make him the master. He will reminisce on his deep friendships with Julia Child and other chefs and share some of the little ‘problems’ that have occurred during his spells in the studio. Heart & Soul also highlights his passion for using the best provisions for meals, whether it is through tending his garden, foraging in the woods behind his home or on the nearby beach.

Each episode sits on the solid foundation of Jacques’ sound technique, creative recipes and sociable teaching skill.  Occasionally family or guests are invited to cook alongside Jacques or join him in the dining room including his daughter, Claudine, granddaughter, Shorey and best friend, Jean Claude. Chefs from across the nation will, too, make a contribution either from their own kitchen, through archival footage or on-camera acknowledgement of Jacques’ tutelage and influence. 

Episodes

“Fête Des Boules” | TBA
Jacques and his best friend Jean-Claude work up an appetite in the summer sun playing the traditional French game of boules. Jacques cooks up a party menu of favorites to share. He begins with crab chips with salmon caviar, bursting with decadent flavors and textures. Then the freshest of eggs are whisked to become an egg and herb treats appetizer. The party continues with a crowd-pleasing camembert with pistachio crust, a garden-fresh tabbouleh salad and a tomato, mozzarella and onion salad before Jacques finishes his festive menu with a grand smoked ham glazed with maple syrup, cooked and carved to perfection!

“All In The Family” | TBA
Making memories with family is at the heart of Jacques’ kitchen, and daughter Claudine joins him at the stove to cook the classic recipes from his mother’s restaurant. Parisian potage, a simple soup with flavors of yesteryear, reminds Jacques of his beloved Lyon in France. The father-daughter duo continue with poulet á la crème paired with a perfectly pureed side of rice soubise. Granddaughter Shorey arrives just in time to make dessert, carefully watching as Jacques teaches her how to peel and segment an orange for instant orange cake, a perfect citrus ending. 

“Toast To Julia” | TBA
Jacques raises a glass – and a fork! – to his beloved friend Julia Child as he shares recipes and anecdotes from their past. First, sole vin blanc, one of Julia’s favorites, begins with a fish filleting lesson, and a healthy pour of white wine for the sauce. Next, Jacques mixes together an aromatic assortment of spices for a pan-roasted rack of lamb with spice crust served on a crown of fried potatoes cooked to a golden brown crisp and accompanied by a stew of peas and fennel with lardons. Lastly, Jacques shows us how to finish a large menu with a light fruit dessert by making wine sherbet finale in honor of his friend Julia.

“Cooking From Le Pelican” | TBA
Jacques, alongside his daughter Claudine, recreates his mother’s restaurant recipes from Le Pelican, in Lyon, France. The duo begins with a country-style eggs and swiss chard gratin, including a quick step-by-step béchamel demonstration. Jacques goes on to cure his own meat for a belly-warming dish of kale, sausage, ribs and lima bean stew, followed by a springtime stew of radishes made with aromatic walnut oil. Braised veal breast with pearl onions and artichoke, a hearty medley, continues as Jacques and Claudine serve it all up with style, just as ma mère would have done. To end there’s a sweet and juicy dessert of melon and blueberries studded with sage sprigs.

“Chef In Training” | TBA
A basket of fresh bread is a staple on Jacques’ dining table, so he begins the show with an easy fast fougasse. Then using seafood for a unique twist, he makes salmon rillettes to top the fougasse with a tasty bite. While working at the Russian Tea Room in New York, Jacques recalls serving a spice-rubbed poussins á la russe, now a favorite dish of his granddaughter Shorey. He prepares it today as the main course, accompanied by broiled maple sweet potatoes coated with sugary goodness. To close, Shorey arrives for a tutorial from her grandfather on how to make her favorite breakfast food, crêpes with Nutella, lemon or jam. 

“Autumn Leaves” | TBA
It’s easy to fall in love with Jacques’ seasonal menu, starting with a fresh, smooth tomato velvet soup – the name speaks for itself! Then, sliced tomato gratin made with ripe, ruby-red tomatoes and coarse rustic bread, is Jacques’ go-to late-summer dish. He continues with a tender grilled lamb shasklik that includes easy, make-ahead instructions and a colorful red cabbage, pistachio and cranberry salad with bleu cheese. Jacques goes on to transform pizza dough into an apple galette, baked to crispy perfection!

“La Cocina Olé” | TBA
Annual trips to Mexico and visits with fellow chef Rick Bayless are the inspiration for Jacques’ tasty garlic and pasilla soup. Jacques continues the Mexican-themed menu as he demonstrates his chicken with chili sauce and achiote rice, a recipe that boasts bright, bold aromas and textures. Finally, Jacques puts leftover bananas to good use for his simply scrumptious banana gratin dessert. 

“Cooking For The President” | TBA
Jacques’ illustrious cooking career includes time in the Élysée Palace cooking for the French President. At the young age of 22 and alongside his best friend, pastry chef Jean-Claude Szurdak, Jacques cooked classic dishes for the de Gaulle family. Now he replicates them for us beginning with a first course of morel and shrimp eggs en cocotte. The two chefs continue their Presidential menu with a meaty main course of veal chops dijonnaise served on a bed of simple and delicious peas with basil. Together they prepare a decadent chocolate soufflé for a perfectly sweet and splendid ending.

“Taste Bud Temptations” | TBA
Classic French cuisine didn’t include raw fish when Jacques was growing up, but now both he and his wife Gloria indulge their appreciation for the natural delicacy with his first recipe of tuna tartare with bagel chips and radishes. Tuna makes a second appearance on the show in the canned version when Jacques combines four simple ingredients to make tuna mascarpone cream, a perfect party appetizer. Jacques then prepares a Spanish tortilla in a step-by-step demonstration, a pièce de résistance for any brunch menu. Jacques’ granddaughter Shorey stops by to help make a strawberry confiture and a velvety caramelized pear custard. The perfect way to end the meal!

“Global Gastronomy” | TBA
Jacques brings together culinary treasures from exotic cuisines around the world. He starts in Asia with Japanese-inspired broiled salmon with miso glaze followed by a colorful feast of chirashi sushi. This smorgasbord of seafood is followed by authentic, vibrant South American flavors in an easy-to-follow recipe of grilled chicken tenders with chimichurri. Jacques then takes our taste buds across the Atlantic to Europe for a spirited ending of sabayon with Madeira and grapes

“Offal Good” | TBA
In Jacques’ kitchen, nothing goes to waste! Today, he espouses the virtues of offal and prepares a menu of several underutilized “variety meats,” including one of his wife’s favorites, chicken livers in mushroom port sauce. Jacques then recreates a classic from his childhood in France using offal – tripe and pigs’ feet ragout. This hearty, slow-cooked dish flavored with a fragrantbouquet garni is accompanied by pommes persillé. Finally, he demonstrates the best techniques for curing and cooking beef tongue and tops it with a ravigote sauce. 

“Catch O’ The Day” | TBA
Jacques’ summer itinerary always includes friends, fishing, and cooking the wonderful bounty from the sea. He begins with a grilled striped bass with olive topping and then, as he loves all mollusks, he takes the time to demonstrate shucking clams two ways. The result is top neck clams with vinegar and scallion sauce, a tasty appetizer and Gloria’s linguine with clam sauce, direct from his wife’s preferred list. For the final seafood selection, he masterfully fillets and poaches fish for a delectable cod in light cream sauce.

“Julia Remembered” | TBA
Jacques takes a stroll down memory lane as he lovingly prepares dishes once enjoyed with his dear cooking companion Julia Child. Jacques’ retrospective menu begins with a shucking lesson, the first steps towards an oyster chowder with potatoes, spinach and corn. Jacques then recreates Julia’s classic South of France eggplant-tomato gratin, a dish with layers of rustic flavors. He recalls going head-to-head with Julia for a winning hamburger royale using fresh ground beef and all the fixin’s. 

“Gloria’s Favorites” | TBA
Jacques dedicates today’s dishes to his wife Gloria and their many years spent together in the kitchen. He kicks off with an extravagant, yet easy and elegant PRESSED CAVIAR CANAPE. Jacques then pops the top from a bottle of beer to make a simple batter for his CORN FRITTERS topped with SMOKED SALMON. And while the oil is still hot, he browns FRIED EGGPLANT FANS to a perfect crispy crunch using a tempura batter. Next comes a quick bowl of Vietnamese HANOI CHICKEN SOUP served with zesty accoutrements. Finally, he utilizes often-overlooked offal for Gloria’s memorable PORK KIDNEYS WITH MUSHROOM AND VERMOUTH SAUCE. 

“Shorey’s Petite Appetite” | TBA
Shorey, Jacques’ granddaughter, joins him in the kitchen, bringing her petite yet progressive palate in tow! She follows along as Jacques prepares one of her favorites, escargots in baked potatoes. The two continue, creating stuffed tomatoes – a Pépin heirloom recipe passed down through several genera-tions. Jacques then shares an afterschool favorite from his childhood, appropriately named pain de quatre heures or “the four o’clock bread,” filled with hazelnuts and chocolate. A crunchy bite of chocolate-pistachio brittle brings the lesson to a close and a smile to their faces. 

“Cuisine De Ma Cherie” | TBA
In honor of their love, Jacques prepares a meal of his wife Gloria’s favorites. First he creates a tasty herbed omelet with shrimp. He then goes on to combine cilantro with Gloria’s favorite ingredient, rice, to make cilantro rice, which pairs perfectly with a stew of calamari with saffron and cucumber, onion and mint salad. The whole meal is followed with a Pépin spin on a classic dessert, rice pudding with dried cherries and blueberry sauce. 

“Sweet Endings With Shorey” | TBA
Jacques’ granddaughter Shorey is back in the kitchen and she’s all grown up … but she’s never too old for dessert! And it all starts with a little butter, freshly made for a quick tartine de confiture. Fresh fruit recipes follow with peaches marty and rhubarb-honey coupe with creamy yogurt sauce. Shorey’s love of chocolate isn’t forgotten with chocolate pistachio biscotti, which proves to be a perfect lesson in baking, as Jacques guides her measurements and mixtures. Finally, Shorey and Jacques shape mini chocolate truffles to round out their confectionary creations. 

“Viva México!” | TBA
Jacques spends some of the winter months at his home-away-from-home, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Time basking in the sunshine and savoring the local flavors along with an occasional visit from friend Rick Bayless has inspired him to take us on a culinary adventure, beginning with a refreshing hibiscus flower cocktail. He continues with a duo of superlative seafood dishes of Yucatán ceviche and fillet of sole Riviera with pico de gallo. From sea to pasture, beef fillet mini steaks with mushrooms and shallots makes for a substantial main course. Finally, he ends with a frozen fruit dessert of grapefruit granité with mango and mojito cocktail.

“Kitchen Companions” | TBA
There’s never a dull moment when Jean-Claude joins Jacques in the kitchen! The dynamic duo team up to create a flavor-filled feast, beginning with octopus stew with onions, paprika and wine served over a creamy polenta. Jean-Claude goes on to prepare the molds while Jacques blends up a velvety mixture for a corn soufflé to go alongside Jean-Claude’s favorite venison in sweet-and-sour sauce. Prunes in red wine make for the perfect classical ending. 

“Ocean Harvest” | TBA
Seaside living has, without a doubt, influenced Jacques’ repertoire of recipes to include the freshest fish caught close to his own backyard. On today’s show, Jacques showcases four sophisticated seafood servings, starting with an expertly executed tuna á la minute. He then skips the beef and substitutes shrimp for a healthy approach to a classic, with shrimp burgers on zucchini. He goes on to garnish his flaky grilled bacalao with an assortment of zesty Mediterranean olives for a light and easy dish that cooks in minutes. Then pasta and shrimp with pressed caviar shavings cooked al dente, or “to the tooth,” make for a decadent dish, delivered with aplomb!

“Cooking Clever” | TBA
Budget-friendly dishes made with inexpensive ingredients are packed full of flavor when Jacques steps in. The result? Unforgettable meals. Today, Jacques prepares mussels with cream and chives on soft polenta for an easy seafood dinner. Classic Italian spaghetti á la Bolognese includes Jacques’ special tip to make a delicious, hearty and flavorful sauce. Another seasonal favorite, tomato and potato salad with mustard sauce is perfect when tomatoes are ripe and is served on spicy arugula. Finally, a delicate sautéed radicchio salad ends on a savory-bitter note. 

“Heirloom Favorites” | Saturday, July 9 at 3pm
Jacques cooks down memory lane, sharing anecdotes from his childhood along the way. First, there’s a quick tutorial on how to skin a salami. Next, a classic dumpling dish renowned in Lyon, France, follows as Jacques recreates his family’s recipe of ricotta quenelles, poached to perfection. He goes on to show off more of his knife skills, filleting a whole fish in preparation for flounder with lemon butter. Then another family favorite: Jacques simmers a satisfying sauté of rabbit with mushrooms and cream. And for dessert, he brings his mother’s apples in lemon sauce recipe back to life with fresh and simple ingredients.

“Just Ducky!” | Saturday, July 16 at 3pm
It’s a family reunion as Jacques’ daughter Claudine lends a helping hand in the kitchen. Together they sip wine, reminiscence and cook some of Claudine’s favorite duck recipes, including duck liver mousse with apples and sautéed duck breast with arugula salad and cracklings. Claudine and Jacques share the cutting board to chop up duck skin and whisk up a vinaigrette for this delectable dish. Granddaughter Shorey joins in the fun as she and her beloved Papi whip up a zesty batch of lemon mousseline before sitting down to enjoy this family feast at the dining room table. 

“Cuisine Économique” | Saturday, July 23 at 3pm
Jacques demonstrates how home cooking using quality ingredients doesn’t have to break the bank! This style of cooking, learned from his mother, brings together inexpensive ingredients that inspire creative dishes. Black lentil salad with eggs includes a lesson on how to properly boil an egg every time. Jacques adds fresh vegetables to the hearty dish of pork neck and bean fricassee. Then spinach and ricotta lasagna follows as a low-cost classic comfort dish that Jacques pairs with a bold yet budget-friendly red wine.

“Wonders Of The Sea” | Saturday, July 30 at 3pm
Arriving in New York with a repertoire of French recipes and techniques, Jacques joined the team at Howard Johnson to learn about American food. Today, he shares his expansive knowledge of that cookery, combining it with his traditional French training. Starting with a simple seafood salad, packed with a smorgasbord of marine favorites, then, continuing with the fish theme, making a spicy shrimp with cocktail sauce. He follows with some crispy, Creole-inspired blackfish beignets with spicy sauce, perfect for any brunch or light supper menu. 

“Menu Memories” | Saturday, August 6 at 3pm
Jacques and daughter Claudine reminiscence about past menus enjoyed as a family, but first, Jacques teaches Claudine how to properly sharpen a knife in preparation for filleting a side of salmon for his salmon scaloppini with sorrel sauce. Jacques and Claudine go on to blend aromatic herbs, chunky vegetables and a dash of red wine to make a hearty dish of lamb breast navarin. While the lamb is braising, the two ‘go green’ with a green salad with mustard dressing using Jacques’ favorite leaf: Boston lettuce. Finally, they prepare a caffeine-packed coffee panna cotta, the perfect pick-me-up dessert.