A letter of gratitude to Jacques Pepin.
As I embark on teaching a French cuisine course for the first time, I want to say “Thank you, Jacques Pepin.” You are the teacher of all teachers when it comes to so many things French, including a great pate à choux.
Your recipes always work, and for that I’m eternally grateful. As my Saucy Guy partner always says, “His recipes are foolproof.” They are perfect for me, a self-declared non-baker, who bakes only what she likes to eat and only as part of a practice in the discipline of measurements and mental clarity. Your recipes always give me confidence and calm reassurances at every stage. The final products always look good enough for any local patisserie.
I never thought I would say this, but I may be “foie gras-ed out.” My friend, Jaimee, would probably come to Wisconsin to check my temperature if she read this. Maybe my friend Millie would too.
In days past, I used to dream of having more time in Chicago to dine on Graham Elliot’s foie gras lollipops. I used to hope to see foie gras on more common menus in other places. Locally, in Wisconsin, I ordered it most recently when I saw a chef’s rendition of a foie gras crême brûlée. It was beautifully done, so much so that we ordered two. It isn’t part of the culinary lexicon of most Wisconsin commercial kitchens, only the bold and higher-end establishments. Its scarcity has always made me want it more.