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Jacques Pépin, GS Class Day Speaker, Columbia Commencement 2010

This years Class Day speaker is Jacques Pépin, a 1970 graduate of GS and a world-renowned chef, author, and television host.

Pépin left school at the age of 13 for a formal apprenticeship in a French kitchen. After working his way up through the restaurants of Paris and serving as the personal chef to Charles de Gaulle, he immigrated to New York. Pépin began taking English-language courses at Columbia and, after two years of intensive study, applied to the School of General Studies. He attended GS part time while working as the director of research and new development for the Howard Johnson Company. After graduating from GS in 1970, he went on to earn a masters in French literature from Columbias Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Over the past four decades Pépin has achieved extraordinary success as a restaurateur, author, television host, and instructor. He currently teaches at the French Culinary Institute, where he also serves as Dean of Special Programs, and Boston University, where he helped to establish the masters program in gastronomy. His books La Technique and La Methode are considered landmarks in the culinary field, and along with his friend and cohost Julia Child, he received a Daytime Emmy for Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home. He is also the recipient of three of the French governments highest honors and is a Chevalier de LOrdre National de Legion dHonneur, a Chevalier de LOrdre des Arts et des Lettres, and a Chevalier de LOrdre du Mérite Agricole.

Duration : 0:11:56

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