Pépin, the second of three sons, was born in 1935 in Bourg-en-Bresse, near Lyon, France. After World War II, his parents, Jeannette and Jean-Victor Pépin, owned the restaurant Le Pélican, where Pépin worked as a child, and later became known for his love for food.
At the age of thirteen, he started his apprenticeship at Le Grand Hôtel de l’Europe in Bourg-en-Bresse. At 16, he went on to work in Paris, training under Lucien Diat at the Plaza Athénée. From 1956 to 1958, during his military service, Pépin was recognized for his culinary training and skill and was ordered to work in the Office of the Treasury, where he met his long-time cooking partner, Jean-Claude Szurdak, and eventually became the personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle.
In 1959, Pépin went to the United States to work at the restaurant Le Pavillon. Wanting to complete his education, he enrolled in General Studies classes toward a Bachelor of Arts degree at Columbia University. Soon after his arrival, Craig Claiborne, food editor at The New York Times, introduced Pépin to James Beard and Helen McCully, who took him under her wing. McCully introduced him to Julia Child sparking their long friendship and collaboration. In 1961, after Pépin had declined an offer from Joseph Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to serve as chef at the White House, Howard Johnson, a regular Le Pavillon customer, hired him to work alongside fellow Frenchman Pierre Franey to develop food lines for his chain of Howard Johnson's restaurants, where Pépin served as the director of research and development for a decade.
Beginning in the mid-1970s, Pépin reinvented himself as an educator, author and eventually a television personality. Pépin worked as a consultant for restaurateur Joe Baum on his Windows on the World project, and offering classes at small cooking schools and cookware shops around the United States. In 1976, Pépin authored his cookbook La Technique, followed by La Methode in 1979. The use of thousands of photographs, illustrating the techniques and methods required to achieve certain culinary results, provided a window into the art of cooking. The books are credited by chef Tom Colicchio and others as helping them to learn the craft of cooking.
In 1982, Pépin was invited by Dorothy Cann Hamilton to become one of the deans at the newly formed culinary school, the French Culinary Institute, in New York City, now known as the International Culinary Center (ICC).
In 1989, Pépin partnered Julia Child and Rebecca Alssid to create a culinary certificate program within the Metropolitan College at Boston University (BU). This effort eventually led to the first, and still one of the few, Masters Degrees in Gastronomy.
In 1994 and 1996, Pepin and Julia Child appeared in 90 minute PBS specials, Cooking In Concert and More Cooking In Concert, filmed live before a Boston audience as part of the PBS annual fund drives for those years.
In 1996, Pépin introduced his then 18-year-old daughter Claudine, in three television series and companion books: Cooking with Claudine, Encore with Claudine and Jacques Pépin Celebrates. The father to daughter relationship, combined with an instructor to culinary novice relationship, demonstrated Pépin's work as a chef and teacher. In 2003, Pépin published his autobiography, The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen.
In the 21st century, Pépin continues to cook, write, publish, film for television, paint and take on new projects. Pépin continues to teach at the ICC and at BU, and offers book signings, culinary demonstrations and classes on Oceania cruises and at various locations across the USA, several times per year.
According to en.wikipedia.org