Pépin’s Heart and Soul in the Kitchen

On a book tour for his latest cookbook, Heart & Soul in the Kitchen, Jacques Pépin took some time to entertain a gaggle of Phoenix ladies (and a couple hommes) at Elements restaurant at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain.  We sipped on Ruinart champagne and were treated to a lovely four course meal prepared by Chef Beau MacMillan while listening to Jacques’ stories of his incredible 50 year career in the food and wine industry.  An author of 25 cookbooks, personal chef to three heads of state of France (including General Charles de Gaulle), close friend of Julia Child and star of numerous television shows, Jacques Pépin is a culinary icon.  To say I am in awe of this man, would be an understatement.  He is the portrait of class and humility.  For all of his accomplishments, he calls himself a “cook”, not a “chef”.  “For all we do is mash potatoes.”  Well, some better than others.  Bravo, Jacques, for inspiring a generation of cooks while being true to yourself and your passion.

 

Chef Beau MacMillan of Elements presenting us with a gorgeous seafood spread.

Chef Beau MacMillan of Elements presenting us with a gorgeous seafood spread.

 

Must have a close up of that spread

Must have a close up of that spread.

 

A photo of Chef MacMillan and Jacques circa 1990

Chef MacMillan had a photo of him and Jacques circa 1990.

 

Jacques' reaction to seeing that photo

Said photo being shown to Jacques and guests.

 

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Smoked Salmon and Caviar on Potato Pancake with Dill Crème Fraîche.

 

Foie Gras and Black Truffle Bisque

Foie Gras and Black Truffle Bisque.

 

Braised Chicken with Potatoes, Carrots, Mushrooms, and Peas

Braised Chicken with Potatoes, Carrots, Mushrooms, and Peas.

 

Mignardise served in a mini cast iron stove

Mignardise served in a mini cast iron stove.

 

Did I also mention Jacques is an artist? He loves to decorate menus and presented one to our hostess. Some of his menus are shown on the inside sleeve of the cookbook.

Did I also mention Jacques is an artist? He loves to decorate menus and presented one to our hostess. Some of his menus are shown on the inside sleeve of the cookbook.

 

Me and Jacques.

Jacques et moi.  Quelle joie!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season.

xoM

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