Chef Pépin is the first in the culinary field to receive the Television Academy’s lifetime achievement award.

By Adam Campbell-Schmitt
May 03, 2019
Brad Barket/Getty Images

Today at the Daytime Emmy Creative Arts Awards in Los Angeles, Chef Jacques Pépin received a well-deserved lifetime achievement award. The 84-year-old has, of course, been the recipient of many awards over the course of his career — 24 James Beard Foundation Awards and an Emmy for co-hosting a series with Julia Child in 2001 to name but a few — but this Emmy comes with the distinction of being the first of its kind handed to a member of the culinary community by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Pépin has hosted a dozen shows on PBS over the course of his career including Today’s Gourmet starting in 1990 and teaming up with the likes of Julia Child and his daughter Claudine Pépin for other projects. All of his series for PBS were filmed at one studio: KQED in San Francisco. So it’s no wonder the folks there would have a little hometown pride for Pépin’s Emmy honor, as the station has been an integral part of his presence as a culinary instructor in millions of American homes. Take a look at the well-wishing video KQED put together, including some well-known chefs and friends of Pépin:

Throughout the video, Pépin’s own voice is used to narrate his life story, from growing up in France with his restaurateur parents and ascending to the kitchen of President Charles de Gaulle, to his move to American and landing his first jobs at La Pavillon and Howard Johnson. At the end, shout-outs are given by Rachel Ray, José Andrés, Gail Simmons, Andrew Zimmern, Michel Nischan, and even a posthumous message from the late Anthony Bourdain.

Pépin’s fellow Lifetime Achievement Award honoree is Judge Judy Scheindlin who will accept her award during the Daytime Emmys telecast on Sunday, May 5. Take a look at the full list of food television nominees up for Daytime Emmy awards this year here.

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