ACF Digital Conference Keynote Recap



egendary chef Jacques Pépin supplied many phrases of inspiration for cooks in his keynote speech to kick off the first-ever, ACF Digital Conference, held August 3-5. Along with speaking about his expertise as a younger chef’s apprentice in France, he demonstrated a number of of his favourite dishes and answered just a few questions despatched in forward of time from attendees in addition to from Chef Rocco Paradiso, an ACF Tampa Bay member, who MC’ed the occasion. 

“Many cooks have been heroes throughout this time, however that’s what we do; that’s our mission, and that by no means goes away,” Chef Pépin mentioned. “We carry pleasure and luxury and life to individuals;  there are not any spiritual, political, racist or gender discrimination in what we do. Everybody is identical within the eye of the range.” 

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Chef Jacques Pépin delivered an inspirational keynote tackle through the first-ever ACF Digital Conference.

Pépin famous that extra cooks is likely to be dwelling cooking for his or her household and pals today—perhaps even for the primary time—and that’s factor. “To cook dinner with or for your loved ones and pals is the best present of affection you can provide. Sharing meals and dialog across the desk often is the final expression of what civilization is—it has prevented wars, helped us make pals, uncover abilities and uncover love. By no means doubt the significance of what you do,  particularly now. So, preserve cooking, sharing and bringing pleasure to all of the individuals round you and glad cooking.” 

Earlier in his speak, Pépin recounted the laborious work he put in as a younger apprentice chef, leaving his dwelling in Lyon, France, at a really younger age to work in a revered restaurant kitchen, miles away from his household. “Life was laborious, however I didn’t understand it on the time,” says Chef Pépin , who clocked many hours in a day, 7 days per week with few days off. “However we had been a cheerful group, invigorated by the joy of the kitchen. We had been taught to repeat, repeat, repeat procedures till our arms might accomplish them with out having to consider what we had been doing. I personally don’t assume you generally is a nice chef till you’re a nice technician.” 

When requested by a convention attendee what could be his best final meal, Chef Pépin joked that he doesn’t understand how hungry he could be if he knew I used to be going to die within the subsequent 24 hours, but when pressed for a solution, he mentioned he would have a “very, very, very, very lengthy meal that would come with all the things I like to eat, from caviar to scorching canines to caramelized egg to raspberries to Oreo cookies and I’d positively get drunk!” 

If he had to decide on with whom he would have his final meal, Chef Pépin mentioned it could a very powerful individuals in his life, together with his late mom, father and brother, spouse Gloria and daughter Claudine, “and I’d cook dinner issues they like to eat, not what I really like.” 

For a couple of minutes in the beginning of the session, Chef Paradiso requested a number of questions, together with what’s the “one culinary ability that also offers you a little bit heartburn,” or one which maybe he hasn’t fairly mastered but. Chef Pépin mentioned that probably the most difficult side of being a chef, however maybe what in the end makes a chef a chef, is understanding the right way to alter a recipe or dish as a result of no piece of fish or hen is identical each time, or generally you’re in a foul temper or in temper, or it’s humid or it’s not humid. “You must make changes on a regular basis so it comes out the identical, although that is truly a paradox when writing recipes,” he mentioned. 

“Recuperate and alter,” that’s how Chef Paradiso summed up a chef’s job, which he added, “is strictly what we have to hear as a result of as cooks proper now we’re all making an attempt to get better and alter to the occasions.” 

Chef Pépin demonstrated a number of dishes through the session, together with an apple swan garnish; baked salmon with Belgian endive; roast veal breast with root greens; crystalized wild rose petals; dandelion inexperienced salad with anchovy dressing and pancetta; timbale of salmon with cream cheese; 

See under for among the recipes we put collectively primarily based on the demonstrations, and to observe the total presentation, go to the “On Demand Video” web page after you log in to enter the occasion right here (

Baked Salmon with Belgian Endive 

Serves 4-6

For the salmon: 

  • 2 (5-ounce items salmon stomach), pores and skin eliminated 
  • Salt 
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup 
  • sprint scorching oil or scorching sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
  • Finely chopped chives, for garnish 

For the endive: 

  • 1 massive Belgian endive, halved
  • 2 tablespoons water 
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Pinch every: salt and sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  2. To arrange the endive, place every half, minimize facet down in a big, shallow saucepot. Add water, butter, salt and sugar. Cowl and convey to a boil; cut back to a robust simmer. Cook dinner endive till browned and water has utterly evaporated, about 7-Eight minutes. Cowl and put aside in a heat a part of the range. 
  3. Fold salmon ends beneath to make every bit equal in measurement and season with salt. In a small bowl, combine collectively the ketchup, oil or scorching sauce and sesame oil. Unfold about 1 tablespoon of the combination on every bit of salmon and place, sauced facet down, in a glass baking dish. Unfold remaining combination evenly on the highest of every piece. Bake salmon till tender and nonetheless pink within the middle for medium-rare doneness, about 7 minutes. 
  4. To serve, switch salmon items to the middle of a platter. Set endive items on the perimeters subsequent to every piece of salmon. Garnish with chives. 

Roast Breast of Veal with Caramelized Root Greens and Pure Au Jus 

Serves 4

  • 1 (3-pound) veal breast (bone-in)
  • Salt and freshly floor black pepper
  • 1 massive onion, minimize into Four wedges 
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, peeled 
  • 2-Three sprigs recent thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 2 massive russet potatoes, minimize into Four wedges every 
  • 2 massive carrots, peeled and minimize into 2-inch thick slices 
  • Four massive mushrooms, minimize into Four wedges every 
  • Chopped recent thyme and/or different recent herbs, for garnish 
  1. Preheat the oven to 275°F. 
  2. Season veal breast generously with salt and pepper. Warmth a Dutch oven or massive ovenproof dish to medium-high warmth and sear veal, fats facet down, till browned and fats has rendered, about 20-25 minutes. 
  3. If desired, pour out the rendered fats or sufficient to go away behind 1-2 tablespoons. Add onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf, cowl and roast till veal is fork-tender, about 2 hours. 
  4. Take away from the oven, add potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and one other pinch of salt. Cowl and return to the oven for 1 hour, or till greens are tender however not mushy and overcooked. Switch veal to a chopping board and let relaxation 5 minutes. 
  5. Slice veal in 2-inch items (cartilage included), discarding or saving bones for stock-making and divide evenly amongst Four plates or serve on a platter. Divide greens evenly among the many plates (or scatter across the veal slices on a platter). Spoon juice from the pot over all and garnish with herbs. 


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