The Emmy Award-winning PBS series, Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, was a fan favorite, bringing together two icons of French food whose close friendship came through with each episode. On August 13, two days before Julia Child would have turned 103, the foundation that bears her name announced that its first award would go to her good friend, Jacques Pépin.
She would have been pleased.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History made the announcement in style. As donors and members of the press, sipping Champagne, gathered in front of the museum’s exhibition of Julia Child’s kitchen, Carla Hall ripped open the envelope and announced Pépin’s name. Pépin will receive the award at the museum’s gala on October 22. Daniel Boulud, the chef and owner of the Michelin-starred Daniel in New York, will present the award to Pépin.
“I didn’t know Julia, but I spent hundreds of hours watching her on television and reading her books and chop-chop, like we all did,” said Hall. “She was so infectious in her passion and her love of food. Like Julia, I love food and I love what I do.” Hall, who competed on Bravo’s Top Chef, has been one of the co-hosts on The Chew since 2011.
October’s gala will be part of the inaugural Smithsonian Food History Weekend with the theme “Innovation on Your Plate,” supporting the museum’s American Food History Project.