The spritely French chef will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Boston University’s commencement this weekend. He’s enjoyed a long affiliation with BU’s culinary arts programs, and just gave the school an awesome pre-commencement interview in which he dishes the dirt on Julia Child.
According to Pépin, Child wasn’t at all shy about her likes and dislikes. Ahem: She “didn’t like anyone picking from her plate. And I remember that period when we had everything grilled, she couldn’t understand this and hated grilled vegetables, saying they were raw and burned at the same time.” A hatred of grilled vegetables? From Julia? Aw, who knew?
We also love the fact that he compares food trends to crazy fashion: “With food trends, it’s like when you see a collection of John Paul Gaultier in France and you see those women with enormous things on the clothes—you laugh and think, who will wear that stuff? But somehow it trickles down to prête-à-porter [ready to wear]. We can use that analogy with food; eventually it comes down to the mainstream.” Ferran Adrià and Lady Gaga … soulmates!
One final juicy tidbit: He and his wife keep their love alive by knocking back a couple bottles of wine together. But maybe it helps that he’s a super-star chef. After all, “When I was a young chef and when I worked for the president in France, the trade we had was not considered glamorous; it was considered lowly and uninspired. Any good mother wanted her child to marry a lawyer or an architect, not a cook. Now, we are geniuses.”
Who are we to argue? We just want to know where he’ll eat after the ceremony! (We know what he won’t be eating: raw fetuses!)