Dinner Was Never The Same For Jacques Pépin After His Wife Died

Jacques Pépin has been an icon of the culinary world for three decades. After a brief career as a personal chef in France he moved to the United States in 1959 and worked at the famous La Pavillon restaurant in New York before going on to spend the next decade as a student and a recipe developer for Howard Johnson's (via JacquesPepin.com). After opening his own restaurant and releasing the classic cookbook, "La Technique," KQED says he became a familiar face on American cooking shows, starring in both his own series of shows, and sharing the spotlight with his longtime friend Julia Child on award-winning programs like "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home."

During all that time, Jacques' wife Gloria was at his side, spending almost 55 years together after their marriage in 1966. People recounts that they first met when Gloria went out of her way to take skiing lessons from Jacques, despite already being an excellent skier. She went on to partner with him when they opened the soup restaurant La Potagerie, and held their family together after a terrible 1974 car accident. Together they moved to Connecticut in 1976 where Today says they opened Gloria's French Café, as Jacques went on to become a respected author and teacher.

Jacques and Gloria Pépin would share a bottle of wine and dinner every night

Gloria sadly passed away in 2020, and according to People, Jacques daily routine in the evening has changed, as the couple had always made sure to sit down and share dinner together over a bottle of wine. Since then, Jacques says the loss of this dinner routine was the biggest change after losing his wife and now claims he more frequently dines with friends or by himself. Jacques still lives in the house they shared, and told NPR that he has his glass of wine every night, even as his dinner has evolved into much simpler fare like fresh tomatoes sprinkled with salt and olive oil.

Thankfully the life and legacy Jacques and Gloria built together is still widely available for anyone with a love of food and learning. Many of the recipes from his programs are available online through public programs like KQED and PBS, and he even produces his own delightful short-form videos that he posts on Facebook

He has also written over 30 cookbooks, with his latest being "The Art of the Chicken," which includes his own artwork, stories from his life, and is of course dedicated to Gloria.