Friday, November 4, 2011

I'm A Fan

There are few famous chefs that I truly admire. I love Jamie Oliver, his style and his food, and I respect what he's trying to do for school food. I chuckle at Guy Fieri, even though most of the food he goes in search of is not to my taste - I just dig the 'do. But most of the celebrity chefs leave me cold. Either they are too smug, or too obviously coiffed, or smarmy, or something.

But Jacques Pépin has always been a favorite of mine. I have a video of him cooking with Julia Child that never fails to make me laugh - they had a wonderful rapport in the kitchen, even if she was always sneaking more butter into his recipes. I watch him as much for his skill and his frugality as for his recipes, and he never fails to impress the heck out of me.

So, when we were back east last week, helping to clear out My Beloved's mother's house after Hurricane Irene burst in with eighteen inches of sea water, I was thrilled to see a notice in the local bookshop that Jacques Pépin was giving an author's talk about his latest book, Essential Pépin, in the very town where we were staying. Needless to say, I reserved places for me and My Beloved. We took a break from packing up water-soaked books and linens to go to the local Congregational church for his talk.

I came away even more impressed. He is as charming in person as on television, but also warmer, sweetly diplomatic and gentlemanly. Faced with an audience question about his favorite restaurant in the Mexican town where he goes each winter, he deflected it with the answer that he usually cooks at home, having been to the farmers market. Pressed for an answer, he smiled and said, "You must just try them all until you find the one you like best."

He answered questions for perhaps half an hour and then started signing books. The organizer assured us that photographs with him were allowed, so here I am, flushed with excitement, next to one of my heroes. I'm always tongue-tied around famous people, so all I said was "Thank you" but it's a moment I won't soon forget. I'm a fan for life.

12 Comments:

Blogger Pink Granite said...

What fun!
Congratulations!
;o)
- Lee

Friday, November 04, 2011  
Blogger namastenancy said...

I am so sorry to read about the destruction of your mother-in- law's home. I never think about how disasters elsewhere can impact people I know. But your photo of you with Jacques is just lovely; you are beaming with joy. What a wonderful event!

Friday, November 04, 2011  
Blogger Hungry Dog said...

Lucky you! I adore Jacques Pepin, he's a class act in every way. Sorry to hear about your MIL's home, hope she is safe and sound.

Friday, November 04, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Lee, major fun! Made my week!

Nancy, yes, it was sad, as that old house has been our "home base" for years and we hate to see it in disrepair. However, it will rise again!

Hungry Dog, "class act" is exactly the right description of M. Pépin. MIL went to heaven about three years ago, so it was only her house that was damaged. But, we all love that old place and mourn to see it so sad. It can all be repaired, however, it just costs time and $$.

Friday, November 04, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Tres wonderful!
If you haven't already read it, Pepin's memoir, The Apprentice, is absolutely captivating.

Friday, November 04, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, thanks for the tip. I will look for it!

Friday, November 04, 2011  
Blogger Chilebrown said...

I only got as far as your first line. "There are few famous chefs that I truly admire." I thought you would say Cookiecrumb and your Beloved.

Friday, November 04, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Chilebrown, I do admire them, but neither is famous, thank heavens.

Friday, November 04, 2011  
Blogger Chilebrown said...

'Au Contraire'

I just wanted to say that because.

Friday, November 04, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Chilebrown, sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

Friday, November 04, 2011  
Blogger Greg said...

I missed this post but caught up with your photo on facebook. Such fun!

Monday, November 07, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, it really was a thrill for me. Made my day, week and month!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011  

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