Jacques Pépin On The Differences Between His And Julia Child's Cooking Styles - Exclusive

Jacques Pépin and Julia Child: Can you name a more iconic duo? These two culinary titans were instrumental in teaching generations of Americans how to cook great food, often with a little French flair. Their relationship stretched all the way back to 1960 when Pépin cooked dinner for the then-relatively obscure cookbook author. The two then kept crossing each other's paths over the decades, often appearing in cooking demonstrations and TV shows together (via The New York Times) — one televised cooking demonstration by the duo even became infamous because Julia Child cut herself with Pépin's knife on live TV. The partnership culminated in one season of a collaborative TV show, "Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home."

If you've ever seen that show, you'll know that one feature of the two chefs' relationship was a large amount of good-natured bickering. They both loved good food, but they often had differing opinions on how to prepare it. As Pépin wrote in the New York Times, even though he was a French immigrant and she was an American francophile, Child was more of a purist about French cuisine than he was. In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, Pépin elaborated on his and Child's culinary differences.

Pépin and Child's joyful arguments

For Jacques Pépin and Julia Child, arguing was a fun pastime that they engaged in nearly constantly. "We always argued and fought, but it was a good argument with a bottle of wine between us," Pépin told us. "We had different approaches to cooking anything."

While that statement might make you think that Child and Pépin were miles apart in their culinary approaches, that wasn't actually true. Although their disagreements were numerous, they were also minor: "I like kosher salt. She didn't like it. I like black pepper and she only liked white pepper, things like that which are not very important," Pépin remembered.

Ultimately, Pépin and Child spent more time bonding over their similarities than clashing over their differences. They loved cooking with each other, and their communication in the kitchen was near-telepathic. "With her, we never worried about recipes," Pépin said. "We just cooked, and so that was great." It was a delicious partnership spiced with just the right amount of arguing about pepper.

Jacques Pépin's "Art of the Chicken" is in bookstores now. You can buy the book here.