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4.8 out of 5 stars
Jacques Pepin: The Essential Pepin
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2012
Julia Child and Jacques Pepin have done more for the home chef than any other duo in history. Jacques continues his quest in teaching the world how to properly cook food and have fun doing it.

What bothers me with many tv chefs nowadays, is that they haven't even gone to culinary school! To see some using canned items and pre made sauces makes me sick. Jacques still teaches and is considered an icon in teaching proper cooking skills and he continues to give people inside tips that some chefs pay thousands to learn.

I have to be honest; I really didn't enjoy the fast food my way series. It was fun to watch him cook but I just didn't enjoy the food he made. In this series he goes back to creating incredible meals showing us that with proper techniques and practice, we too can attempt these at home.

In this video he teaches us how to make basic recipes that can be used in so many ways. Items such as how to make proper pastry cream and how to use meringue for different types of desserts are shown. He also shows us how to cook proper fish and seafood recipes and the importance of a good stock and how to create it. His love for meat is obvious and his hearty recipes for beef tongue, lamb, and beef are so good it's hard not to cook these recipes on the spot.

His petit choux (cream puff) recipe is still the best I've ever seen and I now make it all the time and teach others to do the same. He shows people how to make a baked alaskan with ease and no one does a souffle' like Jacques. The way he makes bread is also explained and even though his is so beyond talented, he teaches us in a way that we are not intimidated and the recipe is easy to follow and try.

The reason Julia and Jacques were so much fun to watch, is they didnt' take themselves too seriously and they inspired us to want to try what they were cooking. They usually had no recipes and just went on what they had as well as their mood and feel for the food. They would not allow us to make excuses, and they've taught generations how to make amazing food in the home setting. This video goes back to the days of showing us how to cook all types of foods with simple techniques that everyone can enjoy.

Even though he's cooked for heads of state, presidents, and prime ministers, Jacques still has the common's man's touch and humbleness to inspire us and make us smile while doing it. Also included are guest appearances from his grand daughter Shorey and his daughter Claudine (who still can't cook) a few of his chef friends as well as his childhood friend Claude who maybe has lost a step, but still has his dry whit and humor.

With the food network pretty much becoming all fluff and no stuff, with some pretty awful cooking at times; Essential Pepin is a glass of ice cold water in a barren desert. Julia Child once called him the best chef in the world. I wholeheartedly agree.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2013
First off, Jacques Pépin is undoubtedly a master in the kitchen. I've not seen an episode of him such that I've ever been disappointed. This series is no different. Why only 4 stars then?

Well, 2 disappointments. First, the 'run time' is advertised as 780 minutes (13 hours). That's true but, if you consider 2 hours and 35 minutes of viewing sponsorship promos as run time, then no problem. I don't. The actual time viewing Jacques Pépins' cooking is only 10 hours and 25 minutes. That is quite a difference from the stated 13 hours. I wish Amazon would be more accurate with this description and make the appropriate change.

The second issue is on Disc 3, concerning the series 'Eggs-Quisite'; that 24 minute program simply will not cue. I have 2 DVD players which I've tried to view this program with, and neither one will allow it to run. I suspect it's simply a problem with the stamping of the disc itself, and I'm confident that Amazon will soon have that disc replaced. We'll see.

In summary, the series is very good, but be advised, there are only 10 hours and 25 minutes of Jacques Pépin cooking.

Update: I contacted Amazon concerning a disc replacement. Immediately, a disc was sent to me (with 1-day service!). There is no further issue referencing the disc. One couldn't ask for, or receive better service.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2012
I have most of Jacques Pepin's cookbooks and dvd's and this is far and away my favorite so far. The cookbook itself has an amazing variety of recipes and a good percentage are demonstrated on the DVD. One of the things that I really like about the new DVD is that there's a really good mix of recipes - some very easy and some more challenging in terms of techniques and ingredients. Whatever he's making though, Jacques takes the time to explain everything in a very straightforward and easy to understand manner without any pretension. You really get the feeling that the recipes are something that you can recreate at home successfully and all the ones that I've tried so far have been delicious. I even boned a whole chicken, stuffed and roasted it after watching the dvd - something that would be hard to do just reading a recipe in a book but not that intimidating after watching the step by step demonstration. Highly recommend the video and the cookbook to anyone who likes to cook.
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2011
Josh Rode, DVD Verdict --Jacques Pépin has been a staple on public television for years, and was a world-renowned chef for decades before that. You know that saying, "He wrote the book?" Pépin literally did; his book La Technique is used to teach the fundamentals of French cooking. So when he tells you to slice the corn off the cob by using the upper edge of the knife and cutting straight up toward your exposed chest, you can be assured he knows what he's talking about.

Despite his occasional unsafe advice, Pépin gives clear and detailed instructions, and though I was too lazy to go to the store for ingredients, I felt as if I could have made most of the dishes he demonstrated. He is an unassuming, engaging host whose dishes look so good that your mouth will water as you watch, and you will be tempted to try food that you would otherwise never dream of eating. For instance, I don't like seafood, but Pépin's Sea Bass in Shredded Potato Skin, Oysters Madison, and Poached Salmon in Ravigote Sauce look delicious. He spends an episode on offal, which are the parts of the animals you normally wouldn't think to eat, such as intestines and tails and something called sweetbread--which is neither sweet nor, in fact, bread; it's a really disgusting dish made from the thymus gland. But after he was done with it, I was ready to chow down.

Jacques isn't out to entertain so much as teach, so there is nothing flashy about his presentation. Each episode begins with Jacques, by himself or with a guest, pretending to have dinner. If there is a guest, they will exclaim, "This is delicious! How did you make it?" To which Jacques invariably replies, "This is how I made it," and an overview of the recipes he's about to demonstrate runs. Then, after the introductory credits roll, he gets to cooking.

The television aspect ratio has been stretched out for widescreen viewing, and the picture is clear and sharp. The colors are not tremendously vivid, but there is good balance. The basic stereo sound is quite adequate, carrying Pépin's pleasantly accented voice with clarity while allowing the ambient cooking noises to come through as well. There are no extras. My biggest beef with the program is the DVD menus, which have options for selecting individual programs or scenes, but do not have a "play all" function, which means that once an episode is finished, the disc goes back to the top menu instead of the next episode. This would be an exceptional "listen as you do other things" show if you didn't have to choose another episode every twenty minutes.

-Full review at dvdverdict.com
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2011
At first I thought this series a bit dry - compared to all the silly theatricals that many chefs resort to these days (and the VERY silly Julia and Jacques series). But I've grown to love it after watching a few episodes and have already learned a lot about what I don't know. I love Msr. Pepin's charming closing remarks at the beginning and end of each episode.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2012
This is one of Jacques Pepin's best series. Essential Pepin is one of the true treasures and if you love to cook, Jacques not only delivers, but teaches great technique and a true passion for the art of cooking. He always encourages or comments on substitutions or other flavors that can be added to dishes, and keeps them simple. He is a true master of his craft and an awesome teacher. Thank you Jacques for a great set.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2012
This is Pepin's latest show it covers all the bases meat, vegetables, deserts cooking techniques etc If you don't have any of his videos this is the one set to get it covers his whole illustrious career. The champion book is also terrific go get in on Amazon - best price around.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2012
I once saw this former chef to a French president d-bone a whole chicken in under 2 minutes,then roll the chicken up to create a boneless roast.He owns a kitchen!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I love pate, this was a great recipe, enjoyed the tongue section, I get buffalo at a great price, can't wait.
Thisis my first Pepein, and i really enjoyed it, easy country cooking. thanks amazon
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on August 16, 2014
Jacques Pepin has stepped into the large footprints left by Julia Child. Explaining in his wonderful accent, how we can (and I do!) replicate his dishes in our own kitchens, Monsieur Pepin, provides charming dialogue with his patient explanations. The recipes and dishes I have tried have looked like the professional version, tasted wonderful, and impressed both me and my boyfriend.

Not all the recipes are for French food, Mr. Pepin's forte, and there are a variety of dishes that can be made from watching the DVDs. What I love most about watching Jacques Pepin is his simple style which creates dishes which appear complex and time-consuming.
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