Today, I had the privilege to meet a great influence on my cooking life...Monsieur Jacques Pepin. Through his no-nonsense books and public television shows I learned as much (if not more!) than any course or working experience was ever able to teach me. I regularly reach for his 1976 classic book La Technique, as a reference. Pepin's style in the kitchen is relaxed and accessible, and so is his divine cookery. If you are interested in cooking, I suggest you get yourself to youtube or call your local PBS affiliate and watch every episode of his PBS series "More Fast Food..MY Way." Monsieur Pepin also advised me that one of his recent pulications, The Essential Pepin is outfitted with a very informative DVD. If you have ever fantasized, even for a moment, about learning to cook by working in a restaurant, please be advised that the only "learning" that will take place is by you paying hyper-close attention, making sure you are never tired or lazy, and surviving the wrath of a stressed-out chef or kitchen manager. Knowing this information about restaurant learning should assure you that having a DVD that walks you step-by-step through specific cooking techniques is almost as valuable as dropping 30K at a culinary school. I am going to make sure I own it, posthaste. My enthusiasm for cooking, though never really waning, just got a humongous shot in the arm and sent it clear up to the moon.
As Monsieur Pepin would say on TV..." 'appy cooking! "