Here, seven of Jacques Pépin’s best and simplest dishes.

By F&W Editors
Updated May 23, 2017

In this video from F&W’s Chefs in Conversation series, master chef Jacques Pépin explains what it takes to become a chef. For him, a true chef knows how to take a basic, simple, unremarkable dish like a hamburger or hot dog and make it into something amazing. He is a man who practices what he preaches. Here, seven of Pépin’s best and simplest dishes.

1. Jacques Pépin’s Favorite Pound Cake
The French call pound cake quatre-quarts (“four-fourths”) because it is made with equal parts flour, sugar, eggs and butter. Pépin likes to dip slices in espresso.

2. Quick-Roasted Chicken with Mustard
For this delicious, mustardy chicken, Pépin splits the chicken and cuts between the leg and shoulder joints to halve the cooking time.

3. Country Apple Galette
The miraculously easy and versatile pastry dough for this galette comes together in a food processor in less than 20 seconds and can be filled with all sorts of fruits of vegetables.

4. Crunchy Cabbage Salad
Sometimes Jacques Pépin makes this simple salad with just one color of cabbage; sometimes he arranges it in alternating rows of color. The salty-tangy dressing would also be delicious on other crisp salad greens.

5. Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
Pépin uses leftover cooked meat from a roast, stew or even steak to make these meatballs.

6. Margherita Tortilla Pizzas
The possibilities for these quick pizzas are endless.

7. Maple-Baked Sweet Potatoes
The secret to these delicious sweet potatoes is to parboil them. It shortens the cooking time and keeps them moist.