French chef Jacques Pépin to win an Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award

You can thank him - and Julia Child - for all the cooking shows that invaded your TV in the past 15 years. He will be honored in Los Angeles this May 3rd.

Out of all the awards Jacques Pépin received in his career, this one is the most unexpected. The daytime Emmy – which recognizes outstanding achievement in daytime television broadcasted from 2 a.m. till 6 p.m. - will honor Jacques Pépin for his incredible influence on daytime television in America.

“The Daytime Emmy Awards recognize both the excellence and vibrant diversity of daytime television programming. Chef Jacques Pepin epitomizes both, uniquely shaping the culinary genre which has grown to become one of the mainstays of our medium,” said the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) president & CEO Adam Sharp.

Being the first chef to receive this award, he is today widely attributed to having introduced the cooking show to your television set, along with Julia Child. “Daytime television has been forever changed by the culinary efforts of Jacques Pepin,” said David Michaels, senior vice president and executive producer of the Daytime Emmy Awards. “Pepin’s body of work helped inspire not just millions of cooks at home, but also the myriad staples of culinary television we now see.”

Jacques Pépin start appearing on TV in the late 80’s, usually as a guest, most famously with Julia, with whom he co-starred later in the PBS show Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, for which they both received a Daytime Emmy Award in 2001. He went on to present other cooking shows, still on PBS, The Complete Pepin in 1997 and Jacques Pepin: Fast Food My Way from 2004 until 2009 (based on his 2004 book of the same name) then “Jacques Pépin: More Fast Food My Way” which is still broadcasted on PBS’ Create.

From Bourg-en-Bress to New York

Pépin was born in Bourg-en-Bresse, near Lyon in France.  After World War II, his parents, Jeannette and Jean-Victor Pépin, owned the restaurant Le Pélican, where Pépin worked and became known for his love for food.  He went on to work in Paris, training under Lucien Diat at the Plaza Athenee. During his military service from 1956 to 1958, Pépin was the personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle.

A documentary about his life, “Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft,” aired as part of the PBS series American Masters, premiering May 26, 2017.

Pépin serves as Dean of Special Programs at The International Culinary Center, founded as the French Culinary Institute, in New York City. He is an active contributor to the Gastronomy department at Boston University, where he teaches an online class on the cuisine and culture of France along with Professor Kyri Claflin of Boston University’s history department. Pépin also writes a quarterly column for “Food & Wine” and offers an amateur class each semester based on varied culinary topics.

In addition to the Daytime Emmy Award won alongside Julia Child, Pépin has received three of the French government’s honors: He is a Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1997) and a Chevalier de L’Ordre du Mérite Agricole (1992). In October 2004, he received France’s Légion d’honneur.  He has also received 24 James Beard Foundation awards.

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