Jacques and Claudine Pépin
As a child, Claudine Pépin, daughter of the legendary chef and TV personality Jacques, never knew there was anything special about her family meals until she visited a friend’s house and came to realization that, “Wow, they don’t eat like we do.”
“Food was much more of a focus in our house than it was in other people’s homes,” says Claudine. “For me, the simplest things are the ones I go back to. My father has potatoes in the garden and we go and get them, rub off the skin and fry them in butter. And then he roasts a chicken—which is definitely a family staple—and you have those little potatoes and a green salad with a garlicky vinaigrette. I’m in heaven.”
The tradition continues with Claudine’s 10-year-old daughter, Shorey, whose favorite is her grandfather’s crêpes. She requests them every time the family visits the grandparents in Connecticut, though she does have a few dislikes. She tells Claudine, “Mom, there are four things I don’t like: asparagus, head cheese, tripe and sweet potatoes.” And Claudine is just fine with that.