Jacques Pépin Lauds Joshua Skenes, Loves His Rabbit at FCI Dinner

Jacques Pépin at Saison, June 20, 2011.
Jacques Pépin at Saison, June 20, 2011. Photo: Grub Street

We had the honor of sitting with the man himself, Jacques Pépin, at a dinner last night at Saison to celebrate the opening of the French Culinary Institute’s new Campbell campus. And we felt compelled to share the fact that he fell in love with a couple of FCI grad Joshua Skenes’s dishes, especially the brassicas (he practically licked the bowl clean), and a new rabbit dish featuring Pasternak’s rabbit from Devil’s Gulch Ranch, in which the front leg meat was served roasted, and hind leg meat was rolled in a leaf with foie gras (see a photo below).

“This is good,” Pepin said while devouring it, and he added, upon thanking Josh over the microphone, “I couldn’t cook this way. This is all new to me.” The new FCI in California has a rolling admissions program, and their next open house is on July 14.

Sidebar: Pépin also mentioned loving the pork dishes prepared by Mozza chef Chad Colby at Grand Cochon in Aspen, which he had just flown in from judging.

Earlier: French Culinary Institute Adds Two New Deans