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Jacques Pépin Showcases Paintings in Retrospective

Jacques Pépin Showcases Paintings in Retrospective

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You can see the Emmy-winning chef's artwork on display in Connecticut

While Rick Bayless is dabbling in theater and writing, Jacques Pépin is showcasing his art talent with a retrospective at a Connecticut gallery.

Art Essex gallery on 10 Main Street in Essex, Conn., will be showcasing Pépin's watercolors, ink washes, and collages until Nov. 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays. The reception is this Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., for locals wishing to get a glimpse of the Emmy-winning chef's works.

Some of the pieces have been used as illustrations for Pépin's cookbooks, but gallery owner George Billis points out menu paintings, including "A lesson in Economy," "Nearly Vegetarian," "Cooking Like a Pro," and "Cuisine d'Amour." The latter, we imagine, would be perfect for Valentine's day.

Other works include Wayne Thiebaud-esque sketches of cakes and desserts, plus city collages and watercolor fishes. Check out some works below, then head over to Art Essex Gallery's site for more (the works, for you fancy Pépin fans, are on sale).

Jacques Pépin, Cuisine d'Amour Menu, 1996, $950.

Jacques Pépin, After the Holidays Menu, 1996, $950

Episode Descriptions

Episode 101: FÊTE DES BOULES [watch video]
Jacques and his best friend Jean-Claude work up an appetite in the summer sun playing the traditional French game of boules. Jacques cooks up a party menu of favorites to share. He begins with Crab Chips With Salmon Caviar, bursting with decadent flavors and textures. Then the freshest of eggs are whisked to become an Egg And Herb Treats appetizer. The party continues with a crowd-
pleasing Camembert With Pistachio Crust, a garden-fresh Tabbouleh salad and a Tomato, Mozzarella And Onion Salad before Jacques finishes his festive menu with a grand Smoked Ham Glazed With Maple Syrup, cooked and carved to perfection!

Episode 102: ALL IN THE FAMILY [watch video]
Making memories with family is at the heart of Jacques&rsquo kitchen and daughter, Claudine joins him at the stove to cook the classic recipes from his mother&rsquos restaurant. Parisian Potage, a simple soup with flavors of yesteryear reminds Jacques of his beloved Lyon in France. The father-daughter duo continues with Poulet à la Crème paired with a perfectly pureed side of Rice Soubise. Granddaughter, Shorey, arrives just in time to make dessert, carefully watching as Jacques teaches her how to peel and segment an orange for Instant Orange Cake, a perfect citrus ending.

Episode 103: TOAST TO JULIA [watch video]
Jacques raises a glass &ndash and a fork! &ndash to his beloved friend Julia Child as he shares recipes and anecdotes from their past. First, Sole Vin Blanc, one of Julia&rsquos favorites, begins with a fish filleting lesson, and a healthy pour of white wine for the sauce. Next, he mixes together an aromatic assortment of spices for a pan-roasted Rack Of Lamb With Spice Crust served on a crown of Fried Potatoes cooked to a golden brown crisp and accompanied by a stew of Peas And Fennel With Lardons. Lastly, Jacques shows us how to finish a large menu with a light fruit dessert by making Wine-Sherbet Finale in honor of his friend Julia.

Episode 104: COOKING FROM LE PELICAN [watch video]
Jacques, alongside his daughter Claudine, recreates his mother&rsquos restaurant recipes from Le Pelican, in Lyon, France. The duo begins with a country-style Eggs And Swiss Chard Gratin, including a quick step-by-step béchamel demonstration. Jacques goes on to cure his own meat for a belly-warming dish of Kale, Sausage, Ribs And Lima Bean Stew, followed by a springtime Stew Of Radishes made with aromatic walnut oil. Braised Veal Breast With Pearl Onions And Artichokes, a hearty medley, continues as Jacques and Claudine serve it all up with style, just as ma Mère would have done. To end there&rsquos a sweet and juicy dessert of Melon And Blueberry Medley studded with sage sprigs.

Episode 105: CHEF IN TRAINING [watch video]
A basket of fresh bread is a staple on Jacques&rsquo dining table, so he begins the show with an easy Fast Fougasse. Then using seafood for a unique twist, he makes Salmon Rillettes to top the fougasse with a tasty bite. While working at the Russian Tea Room in New York, Jacques recalls serving a spice-rubbed Poussins (or Cornish Hens) à la Russe, now a favorite dish of his granddaughter Shorey. He prepares it today as the main course, accompanied by Broiled Maple Sweet Potatoes coated with sugary goodness. To close, Shorey arrives for a tutorial from her grandfather on how to make her favorite breakfast food, Crepes with Nutella, lemon or jam.

Episode 106: AUTUMN LEAVES [watch video]
It&rsquos easy to fall in love with Jacques&rsquo seasonal menu, starting with a fresh, smooth Tomato Velvet soup -- the name speaks for itself! Then, Sliced Tomato Gratin made with ripe, ruby-red tomatoes and coarse rustic bread, is Jacques&rsquo go-to late-summer dish. He continues with a tender Grilled Lamb Shasklik that includes easy, make-ahead instructions and a colorful Red Cabbage, Pistachio and Cranberry Salad with Bleu Cheese. Jacques goes on to transform pizza dough into an Apple Galette, baked to crispy, perfection!

Episode 107: LA COCINA OLÉ [watch video]
Annual trips to Mexico and visits with fellow chef Rick Bayless are the inspiration for Jacques&rsquo tasty Garlic and Pasilla Soup. Jacques continues the Mexican-themed menu as he demonstrates his Chicken with Chili Sauce and Achiote Rice, a recipe that boasts bright, bold aromas and textures. Finally, Jacques puts leftover bananas to good use for his simply scrumptious Banana Gratin dessert.

Episode 108: COOKING FOR THE PRESIDENT [watch video]
Jacques&rsquo illustrious cooking career includes time in the Élysée Palace cooking for the French President. At the young age of 22 and alongside his best friend, pastry chef, Jean-Claude Szurdak, Jacques cooked classic dishes for the de Gaulle family. Now he replicates them for us beginning with a first course of Morel and Shrimp Eggs in Cocotte. The two chefs continue their Presidential menu with a meaty main course of Veal Chops Dijonnaise served on a bed of simple and delicious Peas with Basil. Together they prepare a decadent Chocolate Soufflé for a perfectly sweet and splendid ending.

Episode 109: TASTE BUD TEMPTATIONS [watch video]
Classic French cuisine didn&rsquot include raw fish when Jacques was growing up, but now both he and his wife, Gloria indulge their appreciation for the natural delicacy with his first recipe of Tuna Tartare with Bagel Chips and Radishes. Tuna makes a second appearance on the show in the canned version when Jacques combines four simple ingredients to make Tuna Mascarpone Cream, a perfect party appetizer. Jacques then prepares a Spanish Tortilla in a step-by-step demonstration, a piéce de résistance for any brunch menu. Jacques&rsquo granddaughter Shorey stops by to help make a Strawberry Confiture and a velvety Caramelized Pear Custard. The perfect way to end the meal!

Episode 110: GLOBAL GASTRONOMY [watch video]
Jacques brings together culinary treasures from exotic cuisines around the world. He starts in Asia with Japanese-inspired Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze followed by a colorful feast of Chirashi Sushi. This smorgasbord of seafood is followed by authentic, vibrant South American flavors in an easy-to-follow recipe of Grilled Chicken Tenders with Chimichurri. Jacques then takes our taste buds across the Atlantic to Europe for a spirited ending of Sabayon with Madiera and Grapes.

Episode 111: OFFAL GOOD [watch video]
In Jacques&rsquo kitchen, nothing goes to waste! Today, he espouses on the virtues of offal and prepares a menu of several underutilized &ldquovariety meats,&rdquo including one of his wife&rsquos favorites Chicken Livers in Mushroom Port Sauce. Jacques then recreates a classic from his childhood in France using offal &ndash Tripe and Pigs' Feet Ragout. This hearty, slow-cooked dish flavored with a fragrant bouquet garni is accompanied by Pommes Persillé. Finally, he demonstrates the best techniques for curing and cooking Beef Tongue and tops it with a Ravigote Sauce. (Web extra recipe: Tomato Tatin)

Episode 112: CATCH O&rsquo THE DAY [watch video]
Jacques&rsquo summer itinerary always includes friends, fishing and cooking the wonderful bounty from the sea. He begins with a Grilled Snapper with Olive Topping and then, as he loves all mollusks, he takes the time to demonstrate shucking clams two ways. the result, Top Neck Clam with Vinegar and Scallion Sauce, a tasty appetizer and Gloria's Linguine with Clam Sauce direct from his wife&rsquos preferred list. For the final seafood selection, he masterfully fillets and poaches fish for a delectable Cod in Light Cream Sauce.

Episode 113: JULIA REMEMBERED [watch video]
Jacques takes a stroll down memory lane as he lovingly prepares dishes once enjoyed with his dear cooking companion Julia Child. Jacques&rsquo retrospective menu begins with a shucking lesson, the first steps towards an Oyster Chowder with Potatoes, Spinach and Corn. Jacques then recreates Julia&rsquos classic South of France Eggplant-Tomato Gratin, a dish with layers of rustic flavors. He recalls going head-to-head with Julia for a winning Hamburger Royale using fresh ground beef and all the fixin&rsquos. (Web only video recipe: Cherry Crumble)

Episode 114: GLORIA&rsquoS FAVORITES [watch video]
Jacques dedicates today&rsquos dishes to his wife Gloria and their many years spent together in the kitchen. He kicks off with an extravagant, yet easy and elegant, Pressed Caviar Canape. Jacques then pops the top from a bottle of beer to make a simple batter for his Smoked Salmon on Corn Fritters. And while the oil&rsquos still hot, he browns Fried Eggplant Fans to a perfect crispy crunch using a tempura batter. Next comes a quick bowl of Vietnamese Hanoi Chicken Soup served with zesty accoutrements. Finally, he utilizes often overlooked offal for Gloria&rsquos memorable Pork Kidneys with Mushroom and Vermouth Sauce.

Episode 115: SHOREY&rsquoS PETITE APPETITE [watch video]
Shorey, Jacques&rsquo granddaughter joins him in the kitchen, bringing her petite yet progressive palate in tow! She follows along as Jacques prepares one of her favorites, Escargots In Baked Potatoes. The two continue, creating Stuffed Tomatoes &ndash a Pepin heirloom recipe passed down through several generations. Jacques then shares an afterschool favorite from his childhood, appropriately named Pain De Quartre Heures or &ldquoThe Four O&rsquoclock Bread,&rdquo filled with hazelnuts and chocolate. A crunchy bite of Chocolate Pistachio Brittle brings the lesson to a close and a smile to their faces.

Episode 116: CUISINE DE MA CHERIE [watch video]
In honor of their love, Jacques prepares a meal of his wife Gloria&rsquos favorites. First he creates a tasty Herbed Omelet with Shrimp. He then goes on to combine cilantro with Gloria&rsquos favorite ingredient, rice, to make Cilantro Rice which pairs perfectly with a Calamari Stew with Saffron and Cucumber, Onion and Mint Salad. The whole meal is followed with a Pépin spin on a classic dessert, Rice Pudding with Dried Cherries and Blueberry Sauce.

Episode 117: SWEET ENDINGS WITH SHOREY [watch video]
Jacques&rsquo granddaughter Shorey is back in the kitchen and she&rsquos all grown up&hellip! But she&rsquos never too old for dessert! And it all starts with a little butter, freshly made for a quick Tartine de Confiture. Fresh fruit recipes follow with Peaches Marty and Rhubarb-Honey Coupe with Creamy Yogurt Sauce. Shorey&rsquos love of chocolate isn&rsquot forgotten with Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti that proves to be a perfect lesson in baking, as Jacques guides her measurements and mixtures. Finally, Shorey and Jacques shape Mini Chocolate Truffles to round out their confectionary creations.

Episode 118: VIVA MÉXICO! [watch video]
Jacques spends some of the winter months at his home-away-from-home, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Time basking in the sunshine and savoring the local flavors along with an occasional visit from friend, Rick Bayless, has inspired him to take us on a culinary adventure, beginning with a refreshing Hibiscus Flower Cocktail. He continues with a duo of superlative seafood dishes of Yucatán Ceviche and Fillet of Sole Riviera with Pico de Gallo. From sea to pasture, Beef Fillet Mini Steaks with Mushrooms and Shallots makes for a substantial main course. Finally, he ends with a frozen fruit dessert of Grapefruit Granité with Mango and Mojito Cocktail.

Episode 119: KITCHEN COMPANIONS [watch video]
There&rsquos never a dull moment when Jean-Claude joins Jacques in the kitchen! The dynamic duo team-up to create a flavor-filled feast, beginning with Octopus Stew with Onions, Paprika and Wine served over a creamy polenta. Jean-Claude goes on to prepare the molds while Jacques blends up a velvety mixture for a Corn Soufflé to go alongside Jean-Claude&rsquos favorite Venison in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce. Prunes in Red Wine, makes for the perfect classical ending.

Episode 120: OCEAN HARVEST [watch video]
Seaside living has, without a doubt, influenced Jacques&rsquo repertoire of recipes to include the freshest fish caught close to his own backyard. On today&rsquos show, Jacques showcases four sophisticated seafood servings, starting with an expertly executed Tuna á la Minute. He then skips the beef and substitutes shrimp for a healthy approach to a classic, with Shrimp Burgers on Zucchini. He goes on to garnish his flaky Grilled Bacalao (Salt Cod) Steaks with Olive Sauce with an assortment of zesty Mediterranean olives for a light and easy dish that cooks in minutes. Then Pasta and Shrimp with Pressed Caviar Shavings cooked al dente, or &ldquoto the tooth,&rdquo make for a decadent dish, delivered with aplomb!

Episode 121: COOKING CLEVER [watch video]
Budget-friendly dishes made with inexpensive ingredients are packed full of flavor when Jacques steps in&hellip the result -- unforgettable meals. Today, Jacques prepares Mussels with Cream and Chives on Soft Polenta for an easy seafood dinner. Classic Spaghetti à la Bolognese includes Jacques&rsquo special tip to make a delicious, hearty and flavorful sauce. Another seasonal favorite, Tomato and Potato Salad with Mustard Sauce, is perfect when tomatoes are ripe and is served on spicy arugula. Finally, a delicate Sautéed Radicchio salad ends on a savory-bitter note.

Episode 122: HEIRLOOM FAVORITES [watch video]
Jacques cooks down memory lane, sharing anecdotes from his childhood along the way. First, there&rsquos a quick tutorial on how to skin a salami. Next a classic dumpling dish renowned in Lyon, France, follows as Jacques recreates his family&rsquos recipe of Ricotta Quenelles, poached to perfection. He goes on to show-off more of his knife skills, filleting a whole fish in preparation for Flounder with Lemon Butter. Then another family favorite, Jacques simmers a satisfying Sauté of Rabbit with Mushrooms and Cream. And for dessert he brings his mother&rsquos Apples in Lemon Sauce recipe back to life with fresh and simple ingredients.

Episode 123: JUST DUCKY! [watch video]
It&rsquos a family reunion as Jacques&rsquo daughter Claudine lends a helping hand in the kitchen. Together they sip wine, reminiscence and cook some of Claudine&rsquos favorite duck recipes, including Duck Liver Mousse with Apples and Sautéed Duck Breast with Arugula Salad and Cracklings. Claudine and Jacques share the cutting board to chop up duck skin and whisk-up a vinaigrette for this delectable dish. Granddaughter Shorey joins in the fun as she and her beloved Papi, whip up a zesty batch of Lemon Mousseline before sitting down to enjoy this family feast at the dining room table.

Episode 124: CUISINE ÉCONOMIQUE [watch video]
Jacques demonstrates how home cooking using quality ingredients, doesn&rsquot have to break the bank! This style of cooking learned from his mother, brings together inexpensive ingredients that inspire creative dishes. Black Lentil Salad with Eggs includes a lesson on how to properly boil an egg every time. Jacques adds fresh vegetables to the hearty dish of Pork Neck and Bean Fricassee. Then Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna follows as a low-cost classic comfort dish that Jacques pairs with a bold yet budget-friendly red wine. (Web only video recipe: Carrots and Chives)

Episode 125: WONDERS OF THE SEA [watch video]
Arriving in New York with a repertoire of French recipes and techniques, Jacques joined the team at Howard Johnson to learn about American food. Today, he shares his expansive knowledge of that cookery, combining it with his traditional French training. Starting with a Simple Seafood Salad, packed with a smorgasbord of marine favorites, then, continuing with the fish theme, making a Spicy Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce. He follows with some crispy, Creole inspired Blackfish Beignets with Spicy Sauce, perfect for any brunch or light supper menu.

Episode 126: MENU MEMORIES [watch video]
Jacques and daughter, Claudine reminiscence about past menus enjoyed as a family, but first, Jacques teaches Claudine how to properly sharpen a knife in preparation for filleting a side of salmon for his Salmon Scaloppini with Sorrel Sauce. Jacques and Claudine go on to blend aromatic herbs, chunky vegetables along with a dash of red wine to make a hearty dish of Lamb Breast Navarin. While the lamb is braising, the two &lsquogo-green&rsquo with a Green Salad with Mustard Dressing using Jacques&rsquo favorite leaf &ndash Boston lettuce. Finally, they prepare a caffeine-packed Coffee Panna Cotta, the perfect pick-me-up dessert.

Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul - Jacques' Final Cooking Series Begins Production at KQED

Jacques Pépin. Photo by Tom Hopkins

Starting in October, KQED will begin production on Jacques Pépin's final TV cooking series, Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul. In addition to sharing his favorite recipes and cooking techniques, this series will be an intimate retrospective of Jacques' career that will include never-before-seen footage of Jacques at home and favorite clips from his earlier series.

&ldquoThe opportunity to reflect on my time in the kitchen and in front of the camera is such a gratifying experience for me,&rdquo said Pépin, &ldquoI am able to share new recipes with viewers while also sharing special moments of my life &mdash 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, on Heart & Soul.&rdquo

The 26-episode series is set to broadcast on KQED and other PBS stations in fall of 2015. There will be a companion cookbook published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and KQED will be producing a mobile-friendly website for the series which will feature recipes from the show as well as episode videos of the complete series.

KQED will also be taping a pledge special commemorating Jacques' 80th birthday that will be produced in front of a live audience at Farallon Restaurant. This program will feature a celebratory feast prepared for Jacques by guest chefs Lidia Bastianich, Rick Bayless and Ming Tsai and will premiere in December 2015 to coincide with Jacques' 80th.

Bay Area Bites will be sharing behind-the-scenes photos and videos from the production process and will also be a source of information about Jacques' local Bay Area events.

Here is the preview video about the new series Jacques Pépin: Heart & Soul:

Here is the KQED press release:

Jacques Pépin&rsquos Final Cooking Series Begins Production

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&rsquos 80th birthday special featuring Lidia Bastianich, Rick Bayless and Ming Tsai.

September 10, 2014, San Francisco, CA - KQED announces production on Jacques Pépin&rsquos 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&rsquos 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&rsquos 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 &lsquoproblems&rsquo that have occurred during recordings in the studio.

&ldquoThe opportunity to reflect on my time in the kitchen and in front of the camera is such a gratifying experience for me,&rdquo said Pépin, &ldquoI am able to share new recipes with viewers while also sharing special moments of my life &mdash 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, on Heart & Soul.&rdquo

&ldquoWe are thrilled to be producing Jacques&rsquo final television series&rdquo says Michael Isip, KQED&rsquos chief content officer and series executive producer, &ldquoKQED has been Jacques&rsquo television home for a quarter century and we&rsquore 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&rsquo career has been all about sharing his love of food and family.&rdquo

Heart & Soul will highlight Pépin&rsquos 60 years in the kitchen which include his apprenticeship as a 13-year-old, cooking in some of Paris&rsquo 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&rsquos 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&rsquos.

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.

KQED Public Television, the PBS affiliate that serves Northern California, is one of the country&rsquos most popular public television stations. It brings the values of public media to homes around the Bay Area with Emmy Award&ndashwinning programming that inspires, informs and entertains, including Downton Abbey and Sherlock from MASTERPIECE, American Experience, American Masters, Great Performances, POV, Independent Lens, NOVA and Nature. KQED produces local series like Check, Please! Bay Area, KQED NEWSROOM, San Francisco Opera, Truly CA and ImageMakers, as well as popular programs for national broadcast such as Film School Shorts, Essential Pépin and QUEST. KQED also distributes programming to public media stations across the country including Roadtrip Nation and Joanne Weir&rsquos Cooking School. For more information, please visit

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&rsquoORDRE NATIONAL DE LA LEGION D&rsquoHONNEUR. 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.

The Turkey

This sage-infused roast turkey is stuffed with a bacon-enriched dressing brimming with wild rice, hazelnuts, and oysters. Get the recipe for Sage-Brined Roast Turkey with Oyster Dressing » Todd Coleman

Turkey Confit

Bon Appétit With Jacques Pépin

Pépin is a master of his craft. (Photos courtesy of PBS)

Jacques Pépin. A name that rolls off the tongue with the memories of watching the celebrated French chef on television from your own kitchen. The quintessentially classic culinary master has been a household name for decades as one of television’s first celebrity chefs. Even now, he finds new ways to become inspired by food every day.

“Creating new dishes, that’s a difficult thing to do,” said Pépin, who was born in 1935 in Bourg-en-Bresse, France. “I go to the market every day and get inspired by eating with friends and reading. I always give the example, you may have one chicken, but you could make 20,000 recipes with chicken, whether it is southern fried, French or Chinese.”

Although cooking is in his blood (his parents owned the restaurant Le Pelican), Pépin’s experience with food began at the age of 6, when he would help his mother in the kitchen. He left school when he was 13 and worked as an apprentice before moving to Paris at 17 to train as a chef.

“As an apprentice you did a lot of cleaning and cutting vegetables. We were not allowed to go to the stove for a year, so you pluck poultry, clean fish and prepare vegetables and back then I had already done that with my mother,” said Pépin. “When I cook, I like to follow the seasons and I always see what the market has.”

The famous culinary duo of Julia Child and Jacques Pépin.

In 1959, Pépin moved to the United States. One year later, he met Julia Child, a fellow chef who would not only influence his professional career, but grow to become a true lifelong friend as well.

“I met Julia in New York through a friend,” said Pépin of his beloved late friend. “We mostly spoke French because she just came back from France.”

Pépin and Child’s culinary partnership proved to be one of the most successful pairings of the time. In 1999, they starred in the series Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home on PBS, which later won an Emmy.

“Julia lightened me up on television. We had fun,” he said. “People want to teach you and there’s a lot of shows that don’t have that as priority. I see chefs cooking and feel like I don’t know anything about cooking. I don’t think food has ever been as exciting as it is now.”

On PBS, Pépin is the subject of the film special American Masters – Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft. The internationally recognized chef said the honor “blew his mind” and that to be “in the company of Einstein and Hemingway is crazy.”

“They have not done many things on food so it’s very exciting,” said Pépin, who has done 13 series for the station. “This honor is going to the top of the list, but next month I’m getting a PhD from Columbia University,” he added, having received a BA and MA from the prestigious university.

When asked how he felt about chefs gaining celebrity status, Pépin said it was fantastic to see, as chefs were once at the bottom of the scale.

“Any good mother would want her child to marry a doctor, not a cook,” he said. “It’s terrific, and we enjoy the flight.”

Of his personal favorite dishes, Pépin is a lover of soups, stews and foie gras, but said that as he gets older, his tastes have changed, reflecting more simple cuisine.

“When you’re a young chef, you tend to add more to the dish and when you get to an age like me, you take away more and embellish less,” he said. “A recipe is like a sheet of music: you give it to five different people to perform and you hear five different songs.”

Pépin is currently working on a cookbook with his granddaughter, Shorey, as well as a show including recipes from the book. He currently writes a food column for Food & Wine magazine and has written more than two dozen cookbooks. The chef continues to host his show on PBS and will never stop sharing his love of food and passion for his craft, from his kitchen to yours.

Jacques Pépin will be appearing at the Gold Coast Arts Center for an event which will include a tasting of his recipes, a preview screening of the upcoming PBS film, American Masters – Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft and a Q-and-A with Chef Pépin himself, on Thursday, May 4. The Gold Coast Arts Center is located at 113 Middle Neck Rd., in Great Neck.

The Paintings of Jacques Pepin

Jacques Pépin is famous for his skills in the kitchen, but it turns out that he's just as comfortable in the artist's studio. A retrospective of his paintings and drawings--which he's been producing since the late 1960s--is opening tomorrow at the Art Essex Gallery in Essex, Connecticut.

Art Essex owner George Billis told the New Haven Register that Pépin's most recent works have been collages, and dropped this amazing anecdote:

"As we selected pieces for the show to be framed, Jacques, with his loyal dog Paco by his side, turned to me and said, ɽo you really think people will like my artwork?' I replied, 'Your artwork is an extension of your creative culinary magic -- yes, people will love your artwork!"

We couldn't have said it better ourselves. Here's a small sample of Pépin's work in the show, which will stay up until November 18:

Ham and Leek Quiche

Did you know that French cooking doesn’t have to be intimidating? Just ask Claudine Pépin, the daughter of beloved chef Jacques Pépin’s. This dynamic father-daughter duo just released a cookbook entitled Kids Cook French that features simple classic dishes that parents can make together with their kids. Read on below for an easy recipe for Ham and Leek Quiche from this new book that even boasts illustrations by Jacques Pépin himself.

1 leek, washed and chopped (about . cups [134 g] raw)
4 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter
4 ounces (115 g) premium deli ham, diced (about 1 cup)
4 ounces (115 g) Swiss cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 1/4 (295 ml) cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 sheet (10 x 10 inches [25 x 25 cm]) unsweetened puff pastry (such as Pepperidge Farm)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

2. Cut the leek in half lengthwise and wash thoroughly between each of the leaves. Cut off the top part of the leek that is dark green and leathery. (Lighter-green leaves are perfectly tender and delicious). Cut off the bottom, including the roots and about 6 mm of the white stem. Chop medium to fine, about 1 cm.

3. Saute the leeks with butter and a pinch of salt on medium-low heat, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. You may need to add a little water to prevent browning. Set aside to cool.

4. Dice the ham and grate the cheese.

5. Whisk together the 3 eggs and the 2 egg yolks. After they’re well beaten, add the cream, salt, and pepper. Stir in the grated cheese and the cooked leeks. Butter the glass pie pan with 1 to 2 teaspoons of butter.

6. Roll the 10 x 10-inch (25 x 25 cm) puff pastry to 12 x 12 inches (30 x 30 cm), about 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick. Gently press the rolled puff pastry into the buttered pie pan.

7. Use a paring knife to trim the hanging corners/edges. Press the scrap pieces onto the pastry in the pan to fill in any gaps. Prick the bottom of the dough evenly with a fork in 8 to 10 places.

8. Fill the pie shell with the egg, cream, cheese, and leek mixture, then evenly distribute the ham. Stir gently for even distribution.

9. Place the quiche on a sheet tray and into the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes on 350°F (180°C), then lower the heat to 300°F (150°C) and bake for 1 hour, until the top is slightly browned, puffed in the middle, and a cake tester comes out clean. The crust should be thoroughly browned across the bottom.

10. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Do your kids like quiche? Leave us a comment below.

This recipe comes to us courtesy of the new book, KIDS COOK FRENCH [Quarry Books, February 2015, $21.99 US / $23.99 CAN] by Jacques Pépin’s daughter, Claudine Pépin. This book is a fun, interactive cookbook for both parents and kids that introduces them to the art and joy of cooking. Finding inspiration from the very first page, parents will soon be helping kids to learn how to make their own meals while learning better eating habits and embracing the importance of French culture. Buy the book at

Catching Up With Jacques Pépin

By Veronica Meewes,

Jacques Pépin, it turns out, might be more Texan than most of us. After all, the iconic chef has been named an honorary Texan by three different government officials over the years. “I’ve been working on my Texas accent,” he says with a smile, his inflection just as French as ever.

Pépin visited Austin this week, for the first time since the IACP conference was held here in 2011, to speak at the Long Center with his daughter Claudine, then enjoyed a dinner in his honor at Launderette. Both ticketed events benefited the Austin Food & Wine Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting Austin’s culinary community through grants and educational programming.

“We’re so delighted to have helped bring the legendary Chef Pépin to Austin to experience our city’s amazing culinary scene,” says Mariam Parker, AWFA’s executive director. “Chef Pépin’s appearances will fund two to three culinary grants that will go right back into supporting culinary innovation and projects for our community.”

Before his show, Pépin signed books and took photos with a group of thrilled fans whose ages spanned multiple generations. Each one had been touched by his life’s work in a different way. “My mother has Alzheimer’s and lives with me,” said Stephanie McClenny of Confituras, a local artisanal preserves company. “We watch your shows every night and cook your recipes together, so I wanted to thank you.”

“No, thank you,” said Pépin who went on to share his thoughts on the significance of food memories with a packed audience at the Long Center. The talk was inspired by a piece he wrote for his 80th birthday celebration this winter, and a subsequent essay in The New York Times.

“There is something evanescent, temporary and fragile about food,” he began. “You make it, it goes, and what remains are memories.”

Growing up surrounded by twelve women who opened twelve different restaurants, Pépin was the first male in his family to enter the industry. His mother, aunts, and cousins helped create a lifetime of food memories and he touched on some of those that afternoon: picking fingerling potatoes fresh from the garden with his mother, truffle-hunting with his father, relishing the delicious simplicity of crusty bread and creamy salted butter.

Fifty years ago, when Pépin married his wife Gloria, a New Yorker of Cuban-Puerto Rican heritage, he began a tradition of writing out and illustrating menus for each meal they shared, whether it was just the two of them or an entire family get-together. All guests present sign the menu, which is then added to the collection 10 books deep. (And some of these menus are now available as prints and can be found on a website dedicated to his artwork.)

When Pépin published La Technique in 1976, he was one of the first chefs to introduce classic French culinary techniques to American audiences – and made them even more accessible to home cooks through a number of PBS series through the years. After all, he can recall a time before these methods and dishes were hardly haute.

“Prior to nouvelle cuisine in the Seventies, I never once saw something on a plate in a restaurant,” remembers Pépin. “Even at home, my mother put the dish on the table and we helped ourselves. Now, no one would ever think of not serving everything on a plate.”

So it makes sense that this master chef – and lover of home-cooked meals – has embraced the casual atmosphere of fine dining in cities like Austin.

“Cooking is more than a physiological function,” says Pépin. “It has to do with whoever you are with, the memory it brings, the sharing of the food, so in a casual way it is better.”

The breezy, mod dining room of Launderette, just named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Restaurants of 2016, was the perfect setting for the benefit dinner after Pépin’s show. Chef Rene Ortiz and his team prepared a four-course menu which nodded to French classics (chicken galantine with black truffle, sauce aligot, and foie gras) while maintaining the cool, California-inspired edge for which they are known (striped bass crudo with salsa verde, red grapes, cucumber, and fennel). Pastry chef Laura Sawicki ended the meal with petits fours and a fitting floating island dessert, made with peaches, peach leaves, and bleu cheese.

“The experience of collaborating with such a global icon was truly amazing,” said Ortiz. “We were all so excited to have Chef Pépin at the restaurant there was so much camaraderie in the kitchen. Jacque's reaction toward the food, in his words, was ‘magnifique’!”

After an all-too-brief Austin visit, Pépin headed back to his home in Connecticut, where he’s working on his latest project: an upcoming series with his 12-year-old granddaughter Shorey, which will combine food, family, and lessons on etiquette.

Even after 67 years in the food world, Pépin doesn’t seem to have trouble finding the inspiration and energy to dive into one project after another. He explains it with a shrug and this simple reasoning: “Well, I’m hungry all the time!”

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Arts Guide: Exhibitions around the world

EMIRATES PALACE HOTEL -- To April 30: "The Arts of Islam: Treasures From the Nasser D. Khalili Collection." Furthering Abu Dhabi's aim to become a "global cultural hub," the display brings together artworks from the Islamic section of the famous collection, often displayed in the West, but being shown for the first time in the Middle East. The exhibition of 500 items, selected from the 20,000 in the collection, showcases both the secular and religious arts of Islam -- covering calligraphy, miniature painting, carpets and textiles as well as items relating to horsemanship and falconry -- and documents the interaction between the Islamic and European worlds. Of note, the earliest visual record of Mecca, a watercolor dating to 1834. --


NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA -- To Feb. 24: "Modern Britain 1900-1960: Masterworks From Australian and New Zealand Collections." Drawing from public collections across the two countries, the exhibition brings together, chronologically, more than 250 artworks -- paintings, sculptures and works on paper -- by 93 well-known British artists (Sickert, Bacon, Freud, Moore) or lesser-known ones (Percy Wyndham Lewis, Edward Burra and Laura Knight). --

ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES -- To Feb. 3: "Sidney Nolan: A New Retrospective." The widely traveled Australian painter's (1917-92) prolific output is estimated at several thousands paintings. More than 100 are displayed here chronologically. They include the Australian landscapes the Ned Kelly series depicting the 19th-century bushranger and murderer in a surrealistic version of his famous suit of armor the African and the European paintings (Nolan died in Britain) and the late Chinese landscapes and abstractions. Nolan's diversity of styles and themes reflect his exploration of the known and the unknown, and their interpretation through imaginative, theatrical, realistic or abstract paintings. The works will travel to Melbourne and Brisbane. --


ALBERTINA -- To April 6: "Monet bis Picasso: Die Sammlung Batliner." There is no underlying concept here, just curatorial pride at presenting, in a well-documented chronological display, works by some of the best-known artists of the early 20th century. The Batliner private collection started with classic Modern art and expanded to include contemporary art. Its 500 works have been transferred to the Albertina on permanent loan and about half are on display: Monet, Degas, Cézanne, Matisse and Picasso launch the exhibition that progresses to the Surrealists and the Russian avant-garde and concludes with Karel Appel, Rothko and Barnett Newman. --

BA-CA KUNSTFORUM -- To Feb. 3: "Der Kuss der Sphinx: Symbolismus in Belgien." Departing from the Realism and Impressionism that prevailed in the last two decades of the 19th century, Symbolist painters let their imagination be fed by reality, dreams and doubt. Started in France and closely linked to literature, the movement flourished in Belgium. Focusing on Fernand Khnopff (1858-1921), the show assembles 100 paintings, drawings and sculptures and offers an insight into the painters' world of aestheticism and mysticism. --

KUNSTHALLE WIEN -- To Feb. 3: "True Romance: Allegorien der Liebe von der Renaissance bis Heute." Attempting to document the interpretation of the phenomenon of love in the arts, the exhibition brings together paintings from the Renaissance (when interpretations of love often referred to ancient myths) to today's art when love is expressed -- to the viewer's puzzlement -- by a bulb installation (Tim Noble), graffiti (Cy Twombly) or an spill formation of silver-wrapped candy (Felix Gonzales-Torres). The exhibition will travel to Munich and Kiel,

-- To Feb. 17: "¡Viva la Muerte! Kunst und Tod in Lateinamerika." "Our cult of the dead is a cult of life," the Mexican author and Nobel Prize winner Octavio Paz said, advocating that Latin Americans enjoy a specific familiarity with death. The show is, maybe somewhat dissuasively, presented as "a theater of cruelty unfolding the various facets of violencia in an aesthetically condensed manner." It brings together contemporary paintings, sculptures, photographs and videos that reflect the association between Eros and Thanatos and range from the sensational to the documentary. --

MUSEUM MODERNER KUNST, MUMOK -- To Feb. 10: "China: Facing Reality." In cooperation with the National Museum of China, Beijing, the museum displays more than 200 Chinese artworks that document the relationship between art and social reality. Contrasting the individual and the collective seems to be the recurrent theme in the works of the "cynical realists," Fang Lijun, Yue Minjung, Zhang Ziaogang and Liu Xiadong (whose works reach record prices in Chinese art sales) who started working at the end of the 1970s. The generation that followed uses digital photography, video, film and computer animation to express concern about identity in a society oscillating between tradition and determined innovation. --


KOEKELBERG BASILICA -- To March 15: "Leonardo da Vinci: The European Genius." The ambitious exhibition focuses on Leonardo (1452-1515) as the epitome of the European Renaissance man: artist, inventive engineer and humanist, as exemplified by a few paintings, codices and replicas of his machines. Of note, a portrait of Mary Magdalene painted on wood that was only recently attributed to the artist. --

MUSÉE DU CINQUANTENAIRE -- To April 27: "De Gilgamesh à Zénobie: Arts Anciens du Proche-Orient et de l'Iran." A selection of artworks from the museum's vast collection of art from the Middle East and Iran, a region that has been in turmoil for decades. The Louvre has loaned a dozen additional works. They document the oft-forgotten contributions of the Middle Eastern cultures to human civilization in various fields: writing, counting, economics, and aesthetic rules. Bronzes from Luristan, cylinder-seals, Sumerian sculptures, cuneiform tablets, weapons and other silver artifacts are in the show. --

MUSEES ROYAUX DES BEAUX-ARTS -- To Jan. 27: "Rubens: Lɺtelier du Génie." The 60 works on loan from the Louvre, the Prado and the Met, among others, complement the museum's holdings of Rubens's works, painted either alone or in collaboration with Brueghel the Elder and Cornelis de Vos. They cover the Flemish painter's (1577-1640) most creative period after 1614 at his large workshop in Antwerp. -- -- To March 30: "Alechinsky from A to Y." b With the collaboration of the Cobra artist (b. 1927), the museum has been assembling a selection of his paintings, drawings, engravings and book illustrations that document his method of developing images through transformation and mutation, and the diversity of his technique: painting, drawings and "infeuilletables" (books made of stone or porcelain). In the mid-1960s, Alechinsky adopted what has become his trademark: a central subject surrounded by predellas. -- i

PALAIS DES BEAUX-ARTS, BOZAR -- To Feb. 3: "Autour du Globe: Le Portugal dans le Monde aux XVIe et XVIIe Siècles." Prince Henry the Navigator may not have sailed farther than Ceuta but he launched sailors on voyage routes to Africa in the mid-1400s, the first tack into the building of the Portuguese trading empire. Focusing on the two centuries that followed the discovery of America, the exhibition first brings together maps, navigational instruments and manuscripts that attest to the Portuguese knowledge of geography and navigation, as well as paintings, sculptures, manuscripts and other objects created in those ports where the Portuguese anchored in Africa, Brazil and Asia.--


BARBICAN CENTRE -- To Jan. 27: "Seduced: Art and Sex From Antiquity to Now." Attempting to define the fine line between art and pornography, the exhibition explores the representation of sex in art, from Roman marbles, Japanese shunga or erotic prints, Baroque paintings, 19th- and 20th-century photography and contemporary art. Works by 70 artists, such as Carracci, Fragonard, Utamaro, Klimt, Schiele, Bellmer, Bacon and Marlene Dumas, to mention a few, are on display. Viewers will be entertained by the bronze fig leaf placed on Michelangelo's David before Queen Victoria's visit. The show is not open to under-18s. -- www.

BRITISH MUSEUM -- To April 6: "The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army." Focusing on one of the main archaeological discoveries of the 20th century, the exhibition brings together 12 of the famous terra-cotta warriors from Xiɺn, China, as well as figures of acrobats, musicians and bureaucrats that have been excavated since 1998. They were buried alongside China's First Emperor, Qin Shihuangdi, who unified the country in 221 B.C. (The emperor's tomb mound itself is still sealed and to be explored). The show examines the emperor's life and achievements, as well as his quest for eternal life. The exhibits will travel to Atlanta in November.--

COURTAULD INSTITUTE OF ART -- To March 9: "Medieval Ivories From the Thomson Collection." The Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto, is being rebuilt under the aegis of the American architect Frank Gehry. It will house the full collection of medieval ivories from which 45 items have been selected for the exhibition. They include statuettes, folding diptychs, boxes and various instruments, both religious and secular, that attest to the skill of carvers of ivory, a hard and resistant material. (The sale of ivory is protected by strict legislation but not banned, contrary to conventional wisdom). --

ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS -- To Jan. 27: "An American's Passion for British Art: Paul Mellon's Legacy." Paul Mellon, the scion of a powerful American banking family was an enlightened collector of British art. He donated his collection to Yale University, and funded the building that would house it. On loan from the Yale Center of British Art, the 150 paintings, drawings, prints and books range from early Americana to paintings by the most famous British artists (Reynolds, Gainsborough, Stubbs, Constable, Turner and Blake). The show also includes a selection of watercolors, a medium much favored by British artists from the 19th century (Bonington, Paul Sandby, Turner). --

TATE BRITAIN -- To Feb. 3: "Hockney on Turner Watercolours." The Turner (1775-1851) oil paintings usually draw crowds here this time, the watercolors have been put under the limelight, with the help of David Hockney (b. 1937), who has selected some color studies and provides commentary. About 150 works document the artist's use of the medium to depict landscapes, seascapes and architecture. --

-- To Feb. 10: "Allen Jones." Like other Pop artists of his generation, Jones drew upon popular culture for his imagery. He is best known for controversial depictions of female figures based on the style of 1940s and 1950s fetish magazines. There is also an important technical side to his work, much of which has been in opposition to the formalist doctrine of abstract painting. His work has become increasingly complex in terms of the space he creates and, since the 1980s, paintings of parties, performers and the theatre even suggest a narrative. This is especially clear in his latest, multi-part works. --

-- To April 18: "From Russia: French and Russian Master Paintings, 1870-1925, From Moscow and St. Petersburg." The display offers about 120 French and Russian paintings on loan from the Pushkin Museum and Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, and the Hermitage and Russian Museums in St. Petersburg. The quality of the paintings attests to the tastes of bold collectors and patrons such as Pavel Tretyakov, Sergei Shchukin and Ivan Morosov. The exhibition is organized in four sections: works by Russian realists (Repin, Levitan) juxtaposed with contemporary French painters of the Barbizon school (Millet, Daubigny) Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings a focus on Diaghilev, who promoted exchange of art between France and Russia (Benois, Bakst) and, works devoted to the rapid evolution of styles in France and Russia in the early decades of the 20th century. --

TATE MODERN -- To March 1: "Popular Painting From Kinshasa." Contemporary African art is a curatorial trend. "Africa Remix," a wide-ranging exhibition of African works, traveled throughout Europe and to Japan a couple of years ago. The Guggenheim Bilbao displayed the works of 25 African artists this winter. By contrast, this is a very small exhibition of eight paintings, from the Tate collection, by five Congolese painters, collectively known as the "School of Popular Painting," who live and work in Kinshasa. The works by Chéri Samba, Chéri Chérin, Bodo, Moke and Cheik Ledy (all born in the 1950s and ❠s) reflect the artists' interest in the political and social situations of their local communities. --


BEIJING WORLD ART MUSEUM -- To end 2008: "The Great Civilizations." International collaboration between European and American institutions, such as the Metropolitan Museum, the Philadelphia Museum, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and the Turin Museum, among others, has resulted in 300 artworks being sent to Beijing. The exhibition, which is supposed to acquaint the Chinese public with world art, documents the principal ancient civilizations from Mesopotamia, India, Egypt, Greece and Rome and the Maya civilization of Mexico.

PALACE MUSEUM -- To April 10: "Monk Paintings: Paintings by Four Monks in the Qing Dynasty." The four prominent monk painters active in the early decades of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), Hongren, Kuncan, Bada Shanren and Shitao, converted to Buddhism under different circumstances. Developing their own personal style, they gained spiritual comfort through painting and calligraphy. The "Four Monk Painters" (as they are traditionally known) received praise in their day and exerted great influence over their contemporaries. The exhibition showcases 77 works by the four artists. --


LOUISIANA MUSEUM FOR MODERNE KUNST -- To Jan. 27: "Lucian Freud." "I paint what I see, not what you hope that I see," said Freud (b. 1922). The display of his figurative work includes about 60 paintings and 20 works on paper created over the past 60 years. In the 1940s, the artist experimented with strange juxtapositions of people and plants starting in the ❐s, Freud took to painting portraits and nudes after his friends, family and lovers. The very personal angle of vision adds an expression of inner beauty to the raw depictions of the models. The exhibition will travel to The Hague. --


CENTRE POMPIDOU -- To Feb. 11: "Lɺtelier dɺlberto Giacometti." A large monographic show that gathers 600 works, including 200 sculptures, 60 paintings, 170 drawings as well as photographs and miscellaneous documents. The exhibition is arranged chronologically and thematically to document Giacometti's creative process as a multi-faceted artist. --

GALERIES NATIONALES DU GRAND PALAIS -- To Jan. 28: "Courbet." A large monographic exhibition that brings together 120 paintings and 30 works on paper by the French artist (1819-77). Departing from classical subjects explored by other artists, Courbet drew inspiration from his native Franche-Comté region in eastern France. After staging himself in emotional self-portraits, he created realistic group scenes featuring ordinary people ("A Burial at Ornans, 1849-50"), and landscapes and seascapes, that are juxtaposed with contemporary photography. He also explored the female nude: the famous "Origin of the World, 1866," a close-up of a woman's sex, on loan from the Musée d'Orsay, is paired here with the painting by André Masson that hid it from view when it hung in the home of the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. Three dullish depictions of a trout conclude the show: They were painted after the artist's imprisonment and exile following the French Commune. --

MUSÉE DU LOUVRE -- To Jan. 28: "Polidoro da Caravaggio: Dessins du Louvre." Nothing much is known - even by Giorgio Vasari - about Polidoro da Caravaggio (c. 1499-c. 1543) who painted in Rome, Naples and Messina and was trained in Raphael's studio. The exhibition offers the one easel work to be found in a French collection, as well as a series of drawings that reflect a feverish, monochromatic vision of the world. --

MUSÉE MARMOTTAN MONET -- To Feb. 3: "A lɺpogée de l'Impressionisme: La Collection du Dr. G. de Bellio." A selection of artworks that once belonged to the Romanian-born Georges de Bellio and are now held in public and private collections. The 19th-century collector befriended and supported Monet and Pissarro as they were struggling to sell their controversial paintings he also treated them with homeopathy. The display features works by Monet, Manet, Morisot, Renoir and Sisley, as well as drawings by 18th-century French painters first acquired by Bellio when he started his collection. --

PINACOTHÈQUE -- To March 2: "Chaïm Soutine: Le Fou de Smilovitchi." Soutine (1893-1943) is not easy to apprehend, as one will realize after seeing the show which, unfortunately, is held in a claustrophobic venue whose colored walls clash with the paintings. Soutine left his native Lithuania in 1912 to study in Paris, and was soon acquainted with the members of the Ecole de Paris, the amorphous group of foreign (often Jewish) artists living in Montparnasse. Most of the paintings -- portraits, landscapes, still lifes and a couple of the butcher's carcasses -- are small and tortured in the Expressionist fashion, and the colors, even when bright, seem toned down. Modigliani and Van Gogh were obvious sources of inspiration. --

CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES -- To March 9: "Quand Versailles Était Meublé dɺrgent." Before a megalomaniac Louis XIV of France had the silver melted to finance his wars at the end of the 17th century, visitors to the Palace were dazzled by the luxurious silver furniture that filled the Hall of Mirrors and the state rooms. On display are similar furniture items -- tables, seats, mirrors, chandeliers and candlesticks, and vases -- commissioned by other European courts in the early 18th century. Installed in a succession of rooms, they recreate the glittering ambiance of the royal reception rooms. --


KUNST- UND AUSSTELLUNGSHALLE DER BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND -- To Jan. 27: "Ägyptens Versunkene Schätze." The hundreds of artifacts -- monumental statues, jewelry and cult items -- that were extracted from the seabed off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt, by the French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio, have already delighted many in Berlin and Paris. They chart 1,500 years of Egyptian history from the Pharaohs, to Alexander the Great and to the Roman era. The exhibition also offers insights into the world of underwater archaeology. --

SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE -- To Jan. 27: "Kunstmaschinen Maschinenkunst." Art is man-made, they say. Can it also be machine-made? The exhibition displays "art machines" conceived by such artists as Damien Hirst, Olafur Eliasson, Rebecca Horn and Jon Kessler, among others, that transform art space into production space. The public may take home some of the works produced, for instance sheets by Hirst and Eliasson, but will be left pondering about the quality of art when the responsibility of creativity is passed on to a machine. --

STÄDEL MUSEUM -- To Feb. 17: "Cranach der Ältere." More popular and financially more successful than his contemporary Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), Cranach (1472-1553) exerted a great influence on German imagery, particularly through his early landscapes and his interpretations of classical religious themes. His erotic scenes probably inspired Picasso and Giacometti. As a painter of the Reformation, Cranach made his contribution to the Lutherian doctrine with his portraits of the church reformer, while remaining loyal to his Catholic clients with images of the Virgin. More than 100 works are in the show and will travel to London. --

ALTE PINAKOTHEK -- To Feb. 24: "Parmigianino: The Madonna." The Mannerist painter (1503-40), who worked in Parma, Rome and Bologna, created many depictions of the Virgin Mary and Child. Approximately one-third of his surviving paintings portray the Madonna, in formats ranging from small private devotional pictures to major altar pieces. The exhibition assembles selected paintings and drawings by Parmigianino and Bedoli (a contemporary to whom Parmigianino's Munich Madonna was once attributed). The Graphisches Sammlung simultaneously displays Parmigianino's etchings on loan from the Georg Baselitz's collection. --

PINAKOTHEK DER MODERNE -- To Jan. 27: "Max Beckman: Exil in Amsterdam." After his paintings were branded as "degenerate art" by the Nazis in 1937, Beckmann (1884-1950) moved to Amsterdam where he lived for 10 years before settling in the United States. There, the German artist created five of his nine triptychs, as well as the "Day and Dream" graphic series in which he observed everyday life in the Dutch city. The works include the "Carnival," "Acrobats," "Actors" and "Perseus" triptychs. --


BENAKI MUSEUM -- To March 9: "Stephen Antonakos: A Retrospective." The Greek-American artist (b. 1926) has played an influential role in the evolution of light art and has remained faithful to neons as a medium for the past four decades. (Dan Flavin is the best-known representative of an art form that uses neons and other forms of light to create permanent or ephemeral artworks). The 250 works include Antonakos's major neon works as well as drawings and models for his Chapels and Meditation Rooms. --

HERAKLEIDON -- To May 4: "Toulouse-Lautrec and the Belle Époque in Paris and Athens." A display of about 70 original posters, prints and drawings by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901). Like Degas who depicted race tracks and ballet, the French artist drew his inspiration from leisurely activities held in dance halls, cabarets, theaters and brothels, all of which he frequented assiduously. Toulouse-Lautrec's works are complemented by works on paper by Greek artists of the last two decades of the 19th century that possibly reflect the influence of French Belle Epoque artistic trends. --

FLAGSTAFF HOUSE MUSEUM OF TEA WARE -- To Feb. 18: "2007 Tea Ware by Hong Kong Potters." If your "tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky. " go and enjoy 90 imaginative creations by contemporary potters who answered a call to "promote ceramic art and tea-drinking culture." --

HERITAGE MUSEUM -- To April 7: "The Animated Spirit: The Art of Lam Wu Fui." The museum is pursuing its exploration of artists who worked in the tradition of the early 20th-century Lingnan School, whose members advocated the fusion of Western and Japanese art concepts with Chinese techniques. Subject matters remained traditional -- landscapes, animals, birds and fish. Lam Wu Fui (b. 1945), whose signature theme is cranes set against snow-draped forests, is presenting about 30 recent traditional paintings of animals and birds set in a highly atmospheric mood.--

HONG KONG MUSEUM OF ART -- To April 6: "Made in Hong Kong: Contemporary Art Exhibition." Hoping to refute the argument that Hong Kong is a cultural desert, the museum has brought together a diversity of artistic talent that bears the marks of the territory's character. Seven artists, some of them sometimes exhibited outside of Hong Kong, are in the show: Chow Chun-fai (mixed media), Chu Hing-wah (works on paper, sculpture), Kevin Fung (sculpture), Frog King (performance), Kum Chi-keung (mixed media), Wan Qingli (ink on paper) and Vincent Yu (photo). --

HONG KONG MUSEUM OF HISTORY -- To March 24: "The Development of Banks in Shanghai and Hong Kong." An historical and curatorial approach to banks. Bank memorabilia - signboards, banknotes, receipts, saving boxes and bank equipment - on loan from the Shanghai Bank Museum document the development and prosperity of these establishments in both cities. --


SZEPMUVESZETI MUZEUM -- To Jan. 27: "Picasso, Klee, Kandinsky: Masterpieces of the Swiss Rupf Collection." The collection of Hermann Rupf and his wife included 250 paintings of the first half of the 20th century when they donated it to the Kunstmuseum in Bern in 1954. The Rupfs had befriended Klee and bought his works they had been helped in their acquisitions by the Paris art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, and they had used their personal taste to select abstract art. Since then, the Foundation has expanded to include about 900 works. Documenting the trends and characteristics in European modern art are Fauve paintings by Derain and Friesz Cubist works by Braque, Picasso, Gris and abstract works by Klee and Kandinsky, to name just a few. --


THE ISRAEL MUSEUM OF ART -- To March 1: "Made in China: Contemporary Art from the Estella Collection." Six years after "China: One Hundred Treasures," a display of artworks covering 5,000 years, from neolithic bronzes to Ming porcelains, the Museum presents another facet of the Chinese art scene. This show features works by 60 artists, some of them highly popular -- and expensive -- in galleries and auction rooms, on loan from the Estella Collection, New York, that owns 250 artworks in all media by contemporary artists from China. While Chinese tradition and Socialist Realism, which prevailed into the 1970s, are still obvious influences, new media and techniques are gaining ground. Ink drawings, graphic art, painting, sculpture, photography, video, performance art and installations by Cai Guo-Qiang, Yue Minjun and Zhang Xiaogang, and Qiu Zhijie, to name only the better-known artists, are on display. --


MUSEO ARCHEOLOGICO NAZIONALE -- To March 31: "Alma-Tadema e la Nostalgia dellɺntico." Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912) visited Pompei in 1863. From then on, he painted realistic and precise light-filled scenes inspired by the ancient Roman world (complete with costumes and artifacts), becoming one of the main representatives of the "neo-Pompeian" movement. Fourteen paintings by Alma-Tadema are juxtaposed with objects excavated at the site and complemented by paintings and sculptures by contemporary local artists also inspired by Pompei.

GALLERIE BORGHESE -- To Feb. 3: "Canova e la Venere Vincitrice." This is the second of a series of ten monographic exhibitions (the first paid homage to Raphael) to be mounted in ten years at the Galleria. The 50 sculptures on display document the relationship between the sculptor Antonio Canova (1757-1822), Prince Camillo Borghese and the Bonaparte family, best illustrated by the "Venere Vincitrice," an idealized and glorified reclining figure of Pauline Borghese, Napoleon's sister, that was commissioned by her princely husband and completed by 1808. The show also documents Canova's working techniques with clay sketches, drawings, paintings and temperas. The series will continue with displays, until 2014, of the works of Correggio, Bacon, Caravaggio, Dosso Dossi, Tiziano, Cranach, Bernini, and Domenichino. -- (in Italian)

PALAZZO RUSPOLI, FONDAZIONE MEMMO -- To Jan. 27: "Da Cranach a Monet: Capolavori dalla Collezione Pérez Simón." A museum is to be built in Mexico City for the private collection of about 1,000 paintings, sculptures and works on paper, spanning the 14th to 20th centuries. In the meantime, a representative selection of these works is touring museums worldwide: Italian and German paintings of the 14th to 16th centuries Dutch and Flemish paintings of the 17th century and European, Impressionist and post-Impressionist easel works. --

PALAZZO DEL QUIRINALE - To March 2: "Nostoi: Capolavori Ritrovati." More than 65 archaeological masterpieces -- vases, statues, Etruscan items -- that have come back (thus the Greek word of the title, nostoi, meaning return) to Italy after lengthy negotiations with the American museums and art collections worldwide to which unscrupulous dealers had sold the works. --

SCUDERIE DEL QUIRINALE -- To Jan. 27: "Pop Art! 1956-1968." Fifty years after its birth (possibly with the exhibition of Richard Hamilton's famous collage, "Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?"), Pop Art -- as a form of art interpreting, criticizing or admiring the consumer and mass media society and its icons -- is revisited with about 90 paintings, sculptures, collages by 50 artists, including celebrated American and British works as well as lesser-known French, Italian, Spanish and German interpretations of the themes and figures. The display is arranged in four thematic sections: objects and brands iconic figures from show business and the political world reinterpretation of comic strips and ads, and, finally, the body as a recurrent theme in the artists' inspiration. --

PINACOTECA GIOVANNI AND MARELLA AGNELLI -- To Feb. 3: "Why Africa? The Piggozzi Collection." One of the largest of its kind, the Pigozzi collection of African art, created in 1989, continually expands through the acquisition of works by sub-Saharian African artists. About 100 paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and installations are on display, including works by Chéri Samba (several of his paintings figure at the current Venice Biennale), Frederic Bruly Bouabré, the late photographer Seydou Keïta, and Esther Mahlangu who draws her inspiration from ceremonial patterns of the South African peoples, among others. The works are mostly figurative, inspired by current topics, but always reveal a deep bond between the artists and their native continent. --


NAGOYA/BOSTON MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS -- To April 6: "Printed Treasures: Highlights From the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston." Part of the Japanese holdings of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston are temporarily returning to their country of origin. From its collection of about 50,000 woodblock prints, about 120 ukiyo-e prints have been selected spanning the early days of block print to the late Edo period (19th century). Works by Suzuki Harunobu, Utamaro, Sharaku, Hokusai, Hiroshige and Kuniyoshi are the highlights of the display. --

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ART -- To Feb. 11: "The 30th Anniversary: Collection of the National Museum of Art, Osaka." Over the past 30 years, the museum has built an eclectic collection of about 5,700 paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs. From this vast corpus, about 400 have been selected: works by 20th-century western artists -- Picasso, Cézanne, Fontana, Tony Cragg, among others -- and by Japanese artists -- Foujita, Yoshihara, Miwa Yanagi and Katsura Funakoshi, to name a few. --

HARA MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART -- To Feb. 11: "Pipilotti Rist: Karakara." Rist (b. 1962) is "an artist who climbs walls in order to see new horizons," the curators say. The audio-video installations by the Swiss artist date to 1994, including one that needs the "collaboration of the toilet visitor" (read a visit to. ). Rist's video projection, "Under the Sky," commissioned by the Centre Pompidou, Paris earlier this year, is part of the show. --

TOKYO NATIONAL MUSEUM -- To Feb. 24: "Courtly Millennium: Art Treasures From the Konoe Family Collection." Yomei Bunko, the historic collection of the Konoe household, one of the most eminent of the Japan court families, was established in 1938. It features about 200,000 objects, including 8 National Treasures and 59 Important Cultural Properties. The exhibition brings together a few of the masterpieces -- works of calligraphy, scrolls, pictures, miscellaneous objects -- spanning the Heian period (11th c.) to the late Edo period (19th c.). --

MUSEU DE ARTE DE MACAU -- To March 16: "Testemunhos do Império Qing." The gathering of artworks, on loan from the Palace Museum in Beijing, seeks to document the history of the Qing dynasty through its cultural relics. They are presented in five chronological sections that highlight the main stages in the more than two centuries when the Qing imposed Manchu rule on China. --


ANTIGUO COLEGIO DE SAN ILDEFONSO -- To January: "René Burri: Un Mundo." The exhibition -- already seen in La Havana -- brings together about 380 photographs by the Swiss photographer (b. 1933). As a member of Magnum, Burri captured the major events and key figures (Che Guevara, Callas, Picasso, Nixon) of the second half of the past century. More than just simple reportage, Burri's work offers a meditation on the state and evolution of our world. --

MUSEO COLEGIO DE SAN ILDEFONSO -- To March : "Anni y Josef Albers: Viajes por Latinoamérica." Between 1935 and 1967, Albers and his wife, both members of the Bauhaus, travelled to South America 14 times, visiting Cuba, Mexico, Chili and Peru. Their exposure to Latin-American history, culture and people led to radical changes in their conception of abstract art. More than 200 paintings, photographs, jewels and textiles created by the couple over 50 years attest to the influence of pre-Columbian art forms on the two abstract artists. They are complemented by about 30 anthropomorphous figures from the Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico. -- www.sanildefonso.


DE HERMITAGE AMSTERDAM -- To May 5: "Art Nouveau During the Reign of the Last Tsars." Art Nouveau, like the Wiener Sezession and Jugendstil, was a hit in St. Petersburg in the very early 20th century. The Czar and the well-to-do had their houses remodeled in the new style and bought French works to go with it. Russian artists created their own Art Nouveau. Focusing on gifts from France to Russia, the exhibition brings together Art Nouveau glasswork (Gallé, Lalique and Daum), jewelry and various artifacts on loan from the Hermitage, St. Petersburg. --

DE NIEUWE KERK -- To April 20: "Hidden Afghanistan." Because it is located at the crossroads of East and West, different cultures -- Scythian, Persian, Hellenistic, Chinese and Indian -- have left their mark on Afghanistan. The 250 artworks in the show were "rediscovered" in 2004, hidden in the vaults of the Central Bank in Kabul, where they escaped Taliban destruction. They were brought to Europe for restoration. The objects come from four archaeological sites, including Bagram, formerly the summer capital of the Kushan empire (1st to 3rd century), and today an American air base. The highlight of the show is a trove of gold funerary jewelry excavated in the 1970s from the necropolis at Tillia-Tepe in the north of the country. The exhibition will travel to Washington, San Francisco, Houston and New York. --


MUSEU COLECÇÃO BERARDO DE ARTE MODERNA E CONTEMPORÂNEA -- The Portuguese magnate, Jose Berardo, has received from the Portuguese administration the right to use space within Lisbon's Belem Cultural Center to house his collection of about 850 works of modern and contemporary art. About 250 paintings, sculptures, photographs and installations by the likes of Bacon, Warhol and Picasso will be on show at all times. --


STATE RUSSIAN MUSEUM, BENOIS WING -- To March 10: "Venus Sovietica." The two words in the title have been carefully selected to convey the concept of female beauty as seen by artists of the Soviet era. It brings together paintings, sculptures and drawings of women reflecting the influence of Soviet ideologies and aesthetics. Alexander Samokhvalov, Alexander Deineka, Vladimir Lebedev and Alexander Shevchenko figure in the show. --

-- To March 10: "Arkhip Kuindzhi." A monographic exhibition of easel works and drawings by the Ukrainian landscapist (?1842-1910). Most of the works on display were created during the artist's late period. Kuindzhi's expressionist renditions of unpopulated landscapes are characterized by intense light effects served by bold contrasting colors. --

ASIAN CIVILISATIONS MUSEUM -- To March 23: "On the Nalanda Trail: Buddhism in India, China and Southeast Asia." Buddhism not only affected lives and cultures in Asia but left its legacy in the continent's arts and literature. The exhibition highlights some of the significant landmarks in Buddhist history, through the travel records of the Chinese monks on their way to pilgrimage sites and to centers of higher learning, such as Nalanda in eastern India. From there, Buddhist teachings and art spread all over the Asian world. The Buddhist art and artifacts on display are borrowed from museums in India and Southeast Asia objects from the ACM's collection are also included. --

ACM/ EMPRESS PLACE -- To March 23: "On the Nalanda Trail: Buddhism in India, China and Southeast Asia." At the same time Chinese pilgrims went to Indian centers of learning like Nalanda to study Buddhism, Indian monks would spread the philosophy in China. These exchanges left a legacy in Asian arts and culture, as exemplified by the artworks in the show. They are complemented by works from various museums in India and Southeast Asia. --

NATIONAL MUSEUM -- To March 16: "Greek Masterpieces From the Louvre." While the Louvre is refurbishing its Greek and Hellenistic rooms, it has agreed to lend about 130 statues, vases, terra-cotta figurines, as well as gold and silver items to Asian museums. Documenting the story of Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., the show expands to portray the way of life in ancient Greece, particularly regarding worship, sports, theater and public meetings. Seen in Beijing earlier this year, the exhibition will travel to Macao. --


HO-AM ART MUSEUM -- To March 2: "Description in Korean Art." Inscriptions, such as texts on tomb murals at the time of the Three Kingdoms or poems and comments by admirers on traditional paintings, are an enduring characteristic in Korean visual arts. The convention reached a high level of refinement after the 18th century, adding to the aesthetics of the works and providing insights into the thoughts of the artists and the viewers. It is documented here by a selection of 19th-century artworks. --

LEEUM, SAMSUNG MUSEUM OF ART -- To Jan. 27: "Void in Korean Art." Contrasting the Asian concept of "void" to western materialist philosophies, the exhibition brings together a variety of artworks that are regrouped under three sub-themes closely linked to the initial concept: nature, freedom and imagination. Among them are Gaya archaeological artifacts, Goryeo celadons and Joseon porcelains, as well as modern and contemporary paintings, photographs and films. --

SEOUL MUSEUM OF ART -- To March 16: "Van Gogh: Voyage Into the Myth." The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam and the Kröller-Müller Museum, Oterloo, have loaned 45 easel works and 22 drawings and lithographs for a chronological display of Van Gogh's works created in the Netherlands, Paris, Provence and Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, where the artist (1853-90) put an end to his life. Although his work was not particularly popular in his own days, his brother Theo knew his talent would one day be recognized: "I am very confident that people will appreciate your works in the future. The only question is when. " --

SEOUL MUSEUM OF ART, NAM SEOUL ANNEX -- To Feb. 17: "Abstract Art: Amusement on the Borders." A selection of abstract works in a variety of forms and techniques from the late 1950s to the present day. The exhibition is divided into three sections: "The Primitive Nostalgia: crossing between conception and abstraction" "The Intellectual Sensitivity: travel into visual amusement," and "The Physical Inspiration: its transformation into psychological amusement." --


FUNDACIÓ JOAN MIRÓ -- To Jan. 27: "Un Cuerpo sin Límites." Conventional in Greek and Roman sculpture, idealized in Renaissance painting, allegorical or religious in post-Renaissance art, the nude, in the 20th century, has become a way for artists "to express what they feel rather than what they see." The display assembles 80 paintings and sculptures by Maillol, Schiele, Picasso, Moore, Basquiat and Saura, among others, in a variety of representations: tormented (the Expressionists, Bacon), deconstructed (the Cubists), erotic (the Surrealists) or palpably realistic (Lucian Freud). --

GUGGENHEIM BILBAO -- To April 27: "Art in the USA: 300 Años de Innovación." The 200 works, divided in six historical sections, document how American art reflected, successively, the colonial and independence era (Copley, Peale), the 19th-century territorial expansion (Homer, Bingham, Moran), the cultural wealth generated by cosmopolitanism (Cassatt, Eakins, Sargent), the start of modernity (Hopper, Pollock), the prosperous society (Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism) and, over the past three decades, the globalization of artistic forms and ideas (Basquiat, David Salle). The exhibition, already seen in Beijing, Shanghai and Moscow, has been considerably expanded with the addition of about 75 works or installations. --

MUSEO NACIONAL DEL PRADO -- To Feb. 10: "El Greco en el Prado." The first works by El Greco -- mainly portraits -- to enter the Prado after it officially opened as a museum in 1819 came from the royal collections when the Museo de la Trinidad closed at the end of the 19th century, 15 religious paintings moved to the Prado. They have been complemented by various donations and by works purchased by the state and by the museum (the latest acquisition dates to 2002), bringing the total to the 45 works on display.

Tortizza, a sweet potato and mushroom quesadilla and pizza mashup, will surprise you

At first glance, you might not think that Jacques Pépin and Haile Thomas have all that much in common.

He, of course, is one of the best-known chefs in the world, an 84-year-old Frenchman whose books (including classic encyclopedias of technique) and public TV series (including with Julia Child) have made him a true culinary icon. She is the 19-year-old daughter of Jamaican immigrants who this year wrote her first cookbook, “Living Lively,” focused on healthy, plant-based recipes.

But take a closer look, and you see some similarities. Like Pépin, Thomas is truly a teacher at heart. At the tender age of 12, she founded a nonprofit, Happy, dedicated to empowering kids through, among other things, cooking and nutrition camps. Her mission started in 2009, when her father was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and she and her family “completely reversed” it by creating “lasting healthy lifestyle and eating habits,” as she writes.

And like Pépin, she displays a refreshingly open attitude toward food, free of purism and dogma. If you didn’t realize this was a signature Pépin quality, you might not have been following his career closely enough. As much as I love – and have learned from – his book “La Technique” and “La Methode,” for example, it’s his shortcut tips and recipes that I have used the most, particularly from his shows “Fast Food My Way” and “More Fast Food My Way” and their companion books. They’re some of the least pretentious cookbooks I’ve ever read.

Just this spring, Pépin released a series of videos showing the types of things he makes off the cuff with common ingredients he has around the house. One of those was for a “pizza” made with flour tortillas. (I put it in quotes to – hopefully – appease all you pizza purists out there.) The first time I saw Pépin turn a flour tortilla into something like this was in 2008, when he came to the Washington Post and showed us how he makes a pear tart with the tortilla subbing for pastry. It’s basically flour and water, he said – why not?

Why not, indeed? I was endeared to him in an instant, and the feeling has never abated.

Thomas has a pizza treatment in “Living Lively” that reminded me of Pépin’s. She goes a little further, spreading mashed sweet potato between two tortillas, topping them with a barbecue sauce and vegetables and roasting until the tortilla crisps up on the bottom. It’s like a quesadilla-meets-pizza, but also a little like neither. I was a little skeptical the first time I made it, but it was so simple and tasted so good that any doubts disappeared.

Best of all, I started thinking of all the ways I might switch it up. Thomas gave me more than a recipe she taught me something new, just like Pépin does virtually every time I watch him in action.

Barbecue Sweet Potato Tortizzas

Adapted from “Living Lively” by Haile Thomas (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2020).

2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound 8 ounces total), scrubbed and pierced several times with a knife

¾ cup store-bought barbecue sauce

½ small red onion (2 ounces), thinly sliced

1 small yellow or orange bell pepper (6 ounces), stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced

1 cup (3 ounces) thinly sliced mushrooms, preferably a tender variety such as maitake or oyster

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

Microwave the sweet potatoes on high for 2 minutes. Transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, or until soft when pierced with a skewer or fork. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and leave the oven on. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and mash them with a fork.

Lay two of the tortillas on the countertop and divide the mashed sweet potato evenly between them, smearing to coat each from edge to edge. Top with the remaining two tortillas. Divide the barbecue sauce between them, again spreading to coat the tops of each from edge to edge (so the edges don’t curl when baking). Layer on the onion, followed by the bell peppers, and finish with the mushrooms. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over each stack.

Drizzle the baking sheet that you used for the sweet potatoes with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Transfer the tortilla stacks to the baking sheet, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the mushrooms collapse and are tender and the tortillas are lightly browned and crisp on the bottom.

Top the tortizzas with cilantro or parsley, cut into wedges and serve hot.

Yield: 2 to 4 servings

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Watch the video: Jacques Pepin. Interview. TimesTalks (November 2022).