IMDb > "Jacques Pépin: Fast Food My Way" (2004)

"Jacques Pépin: Fast Food My Way" (2004) More at IMDbPro »TV series 2004-


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Jacques shows the new generation of celebrity chefs how he rolls See more (2 total) »

Cast

 (Series Cast [1])
Jacques Pepin ... Himself (1 episode, 2009)

Series Directed by
Bruce Franchini (unknown episodes)
 
Series Produced by
Danny L. McGuire .... executive producer (unknown episodes)
 
Series Original Music by
Tom Lattanand (43 episodes, 2004-2009)
 
Series Makeup Department
Kris Ravetto .... makeup department head (unknown episodes)
 

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Runtime:
USA:30 min
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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Jacques shows the new generation of celebrity chefs how he rolls, 9 March 2007
Author: lemon_magic from Wavy Wheat, Nebraska

I originally picked up the companion book to this series on a friend's recommendation, and on the strength of Pepin's reputation as a compatriot of Julia Child and also as a culinary legend in his own right. Supposedly, FFMW was about the kind of food JP cooks for himself after a long day doing fancy work and teaching, when he just wants dinner on the table in 30-60 minutes.

Some of the recipes sounded interesting, and the book included suggestions for many 3 or 4 course meals using recipes from the book, but many of the recipe titles weren't really appealing, and many of the ingredients in these recipes seemed scarce, exotic, or expensive. And the food photography was "off" somehow, making the dishes look less than compelling. If I'm going to spend $30-$50 on ingredients for a meal, I tend to be leery about doing so for tastes and textures I am not accustomed to. So....being a "baby cook" (still only a year into the task of learning to really cook) I filed FFMW on a shelf in a back room and went back to Rachel Ray and Alton Btown for a while.

Then I happened to catch one of the video episode on the PBS "Create" channel late one night, and I tuned in to see if the television show might give me a better handle on Pepin's methods and cuisine, and to see the man himself in action.

That was a very lucky decision on my part.

Man, is this guy ever a class act. I have no idea what he is like in person, but on TV Jacques Pepin is a genuine pleasure to watch. He's poetry in motion: elegant, effortless, economical, dryly witty and self effacing. His every line and move and nuance calmly convinces the viewer that these dishes are indeed within the average cook's reach. And while the dishes in the book looked "off" (as I said previously), on the television camera, they looked wonderful.

So I went back to the book, had a look at it to see if the dishes made on the show now made more sense in the book (smack forehead with palm of hand), of course now they did. Ingredients and procedures that looked difficult and forbidding before now made a lot more sense, and I could "hear" Pepin's voice in the text, and I knew that these menus were indeed in my grasp if I made the effort.

I watched another episode of the show, same thing again. Dishes that sounded good in the book looked great here...but so did the dishes that didn't sound good in the book. I actually tried them out this time (ie, I cooked) and the results were wonderful; Pepin's approach provided some of the best tastes and flavors I've managed to produce in the kitchen ever, even though my technique and background is still very minimal.

Also worth noting: this is a very "understated" series. The show's producers gave the show smoothly integrated camera work that doesn't draw attention to itself, and concentrates it on Pepin and the food, where it belongs. Don't get me wrong, I love Alton Brown and all the "dutch angles" on "Good Eats"...but the Food Network artistic directors often don't seem to know when they've had enough (or too much) of a good thing when they've got it. FFMW is positively restful and tranquil compared to hyperactive fluff like "Iron Chef America" and "Throwdown".

After watching two more episodes, I gave in and ordered the FFMW 1,2 and 3,the DVD packages which contain all the episodes of the PBS series. They are an enjoyable education in the art of cooking, thanks in no small part to having the chance to watch Pepin create simple, elegant meals seemingly out of thin air.

Highly recommended to experienced and newbie foodies and to fans of Jacques Pepin.

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