Jacques Pepin celebrates his 80th birthday with his most personal PBS series ever

By on September 10, 2014

Jacques Pépin’s Final Cooking Series Begins Productionjacques pepin

Produced by KQED, Jacques Pépin: Heart & Soul will be his most personal television series. Pépin reflects on his 60 years in the kitchen with never-before-seen footage, and introduces new recipes and techniques with family and friends.

Series culminates with Pépin’s 80th birthday special featuring Lidia Bastianich, Rick Bayless and Ming Tsai.


Jacques Pépin

SAN FRANCISCO, September 10, 2014KQED announces production on Jacques Pépin’s final cooking series will begin on October 8 at its San Francisco studios. Like his previous series, Jacques Pépin: Heart & Soul will feature Pépin teaching the skills necessary for success in the kitchen, sharing favorite recipes and demonstrating the timeless cooking techniques that make him a master. But it will also reveal more about Pépin to viewers than ever before. Pépin will reflect back to his earlier days in the kitchen and in front of the camera with never-before-seen footage from Pépin at home and favorite clips from his earlier series. The 26-episode series is set to broadcast on PBS stations in fall of 2015. A companion cookbook will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October 2015. KQED will be producing a mobile-friendly website for the series which will feature recipes, clips and full episodes.

The production slate includes a PBS pledge special commemorating Pépin’s 80th birthday that will be produced in front of a live audience at Farallon Restaurant. This program will feature a celebratory feast prepared for Pépin by guest chefs Lidia Bastianich, Rick Bayless and Ming Tsai and will premiere in December 2015.

Each episode of Heart & Soul will feature creative recipes that combine Pépin’s culinary history and travel experiences with his expert teaching skill. Viewers will see simple dishes for the novice and more involved creations for the seasoned cook along with frugal tips. On occasion, family and friends are invited to cook alongside Pépin or join him in the dining room. 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. Viewers will hear Pépin reminisce on these times as well as on his friendships with Julia Child and other chefs, and also recall the little ‘problems’ that have occurred during recordings in the studio.

“The opportunity to reflect on my time in the kitchen and in front of the camera is such a gratifying experience for me,” said Pépin, “I am able to share new recipes with viewers while also sharing special moments of my life — and I get to have my family and friends join me for this wonderful experience. I feel fortunate to have this opportunity and to be collaborating with my long-time production partner, KQED, onHeart & Soul.”

“We are thrilled to be producing Jacques’ final television series” says Michael Isip, KQED’s chief content officer and series executive producer, “KQED has been Jacques’ television home for a quarter century and we’re honored to have produced 14 series with him, providing a national platform for Jacques to teach the art of cooking. Heart & Soul is the perfect culmination of our work because Jacques’ career has been all about sharing his love of food and family.”

Heart & Soul will highlight Pépin’s 60 years in the kitchen which include his apprenticeship as a 13-year-old, cooking in some of Paris’ most revered establishments such as Meurice and Plaza Athenée and cooking for French President Charles DeGaulle. It will also touch on a key period of Pépin’s life when he crossed the Atlantic and entered the kitchens of New York at Le Pavillon, and his 10 years as director of research at Howard Johnson’s.

Jacques Pépin is the host of Jacques Pépin: Heart & Soul. Tina Salter is the series producer, Paul Swenson is the director and Michael Isip is the executive producer and chief content officer. Jacques Pépin: Heart & Soul is produced by KQED and distributed by American Public Television (APT).

Heart & Soul is made possible by the generous support of KitchenAid, OXO, Vine Connections (La Posta Wines, Crios by Susana Balbo Wines,Vina Casa Silva), Bertolli Olive Oil and Riedel Crystal.

ABOUT KQED PUBLIC TELEVISION
KQED Public Television, the PBS affiliate that serves Northern California, is one of the country’s most popular public television stations. It brings the values of public media to homes around the Bay Area with Emmy Award–winning programming that inspires, informs and entertains, including Downton Abbeyand Sherlockfrom MASTERPIECEAmerican ExperienceAmerican MastersGreat PerformancesPOVIndependent LensNOVA and Nature. KQED produces local series like Check, Please! Bay AreaKQED NEWSROOMSan Francisco OperaTruly CA and ImageMakers, as well as popular programs for national broadcast such as Film School ShortsEssential Pépin and QUEST. KQED also distributes programming to public media stations across the country including Roadtrip Nation and Joanne Weir’s Cooking School. For more information, please visit kqed.org/tv.

ABOUT JACQUES PÉPIN
Jacques Pépin 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. Pépin 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. Pépin lives in Connecticut with his wife Gloria and two poodles, Paco and Gaston.

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Press Contacts:
Evren Odcikin, manager, marketing and communications, evren@kqed.org, 415.553.8451
DeLinda Mrowka, executive director, marketing and communications, dmrowka@kqed.org, 415.553.2145

About Linda Eckhardt

Linda West Eckhardt, is an award winning journalist, food writer, and nutritionist. Her more than 20 cookbooks have garnered prizes including the James Beard prize for the best cookbook for a text she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Their next book, The High Protein Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, remains a best seller after 12 years. That book was designed to accompany low carb diet plans. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child award. Her award winning radio work with Jennifer English, for a national show on the Food and Wine radio network, was nominated for a James Beard Prize for a show called, “I Know What You Ate Last Summer.”