American Masters – Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft

Film Interviewees

Air date: 05/26/2017

American Masters – Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft          

Premieres nationwide Friday, May 26, 9-10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)


Film Interviewees (in alphabetical order)


José Andrés, chef/restaurateur

Spanish-American chef and restaurateur José Andrés is based in Washington, DC and has opened iconic small-plate Spanish restaurants throughout the country, including minibar and é. He is a dean at the International Culinary Center in New York and was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2016.

Daniel Boulud, chef/restaurateur

French-born culinary entrepreneur Daniel Boulud has won multiple James Beard Awards as both a chef and restaurateur; he is most known for his eponymous New York restaurant Daniel, awarded three Michelin stars in 2010.

Anthony Bourdain, chef/television host

Chef, author, and TV personality (CNN’s Parts Unknown and No Reservations),  Anthony Bourdain attributes much of his success to the affirmation he initially received from Jacques Pépin upon the release of his tell-all book, Kitchen Confidential. Bourdain wrote the introduction to Pépin’s recently re-released memoir, The Apprentice.

Ann Bramson, book editor/family friend

Ann Bramson served as editor of Jacques Pépin’s seminal book, La Technique, and several of his subsequent titles. She bears witness to his early years as a cookbook author, new father and burgeoning food educator.

Tom Colicchio, chef/restaurateur

Chef and owner of the Craft restaurant group and head Judge on Bravo TV’s Top Chef (on which Pépin makes a frequent guest appearances), Tom Colicchio learned to cook from Jacques Pépin’s seminal work, La Technique. He regards Pépin as his mentor.

Dana Cowin, former editor-in-chief, Food & Wine

Dana Cowin, for 21 years the editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine, has collaborated with Jacques Pépin on a variety of books, media appearances and other projects over the years.

Barbara Fenzl, cooking school owner

Beginning in the 1980s, Barbara Fenzl became a frequent employer of Jacques Pépin as a culinary instructor at Les Gourmettes Cooking School in Phoenix, which she founded. She is also a cookbook author, magazine writer, and hosted her own cooking show on PBS.

Paul Freedman, historian, Yale University

Yale historian Paul Freedman’s recently released book, Ten Restaurants that Changed America, highlights two restaurants that were milestones in Jacques Pépin’s career –Le Pavillon and Howard Johnson’s. He provides cultural and historical perspective for the American culinary landscape and Pépin’s place in it.

Carla Hall, chef/television host

Currently co-hosting The Chew, Carla Hall gained national attention on Top Chef, where she cooked a “last meal” for Jacques Pépin – roast squab and peas.

Susie Heller, culinary producer

Susie Heller, a James Beard-award winning cookbook author and producer, served as Jacques Pépin’s culinary producer on seven of his cooking series, including Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home. She is a longtime friend of the Pépin family.

Danny Meyer, restaurateur

Danny Meyer is a renowned New York–based restaurateur and CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group; his restaurants include Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Café and Shake Shack. In addition to authoring the best-selling book Setting the Table, he has won James Beard Awards both as Restaurateur and Humanitarian of the Year.

Claudine Pépin, daughter

The only child of Jacques and Gloria Pépin, Claudine first joined Jacques on-camera as a college student during the film of today’s Gourmet, and later collaborated as co-host with her father on several of his television series, including Jacques Pépin’s Kitchen: Cooking with Claudine, Encore with Claudine, and Jacques Pépin Celebrates. She is married to chef and educator Rollie Wesen; their daughter, Shorey, continues the tradition with guest appearances.

Gloria Pépin, wife

Though notoriously camera shy, Gloria Pépin, Jacques’ wife of 50+ years, has granted us a rare interview for this production, with insights into Jacques’ life and character that only a wife of 50+ years can provide.

Jacques Pépin, chef

Legendary chef, cookbook author, memoirist and pioneer of food television, Jacques Pépin is the subject of the documentary.

Rachael Ray, television host

At the helm of the eponymous empire that includes television shows, a magazine, branded products and two foundations, Rachael Ray has hosted Jacques Pépin multiple times on her daily talk show on CBS and is one of his most high-profile fans.

Marcus Samuelsson, chef/restaurateur

Chef and owner of Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem, Marcus Samuelsson is the youngest chef to ever win three stars from the New York Times.

Jean-Claude Szurdak, pastry chef/longtime friend

Jacques Pépin’s best friend for almost 70 years, Jean-Claude met Jacques when both were called to cook for the president of France in the late 1950s. He followed Jacques to the US, pursued a career as a pastry and catering chef, and has made many guest appearances on Pépin’s cooking shows.

Fareed Zakaria, journalist

Host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, award winning author, journalist and Washington Post columnist, Fareed Zakaria learned to cook from Jacques Pépin’s shows and books. He previously wrote a wine column for and has a unique perspective on Jacques as an American entrepreneur.