Award winning chef, television celebrity and author, Jacques Pépin and Union League master chef and owner, Jean Pierre Vuillermet joined forces at Gateway Community College (GCC) on April 11 in Café Vincenzo, GCC’s intimate demonstration kitchen-dining room, for the second GCC Foundation Chefs Of Our Kitchen (COOK) event of the season.
Café Vincenzo, GCC’s intimate demonstration kitchen and dining room is the ideal setting this intimate evening with Pépin and Vuillermert who headlined the April 11 event with a detailed demonstration of select signature dishes as they shared valuable tricks of the trade. Guests enjoyed a pre-event reception in GCC’s NewAlliance Art Gallery with a private book-signing of Jacque Pépin’s latest book, Heart and Soul in the Kitchen, followed by a cooking demonstration and delicious dinner prepared with the assistance of Gateway’s Culinary Arts students. Wine parings complemented the evening’s featured cuisine.
Jacques Pépin is widely known for his work on several acclaimed cooking shows including the award winning Cooking in Concert and Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home with Julia Child, Jacque Pépin’s Kitchen series, The Complete Pépin, Essential Pépin and his most recent show, Jacques Pépin, Heart and Soul. A prolific author, a respected instructor and a gifted artist, Pépin had a long-running column in The New York Times and writes a quarterly column for Food & Wine magazine. He served as personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles DeGaulle and has several distinguished honors and titles, including Chevalier de L’Ordre National de la Legion D’Honneur. (National Order of the Legion of Honor), France’s highest honor for military and civil merit.
Pepin is a founder of the American Institute of Wine and Food and a member of the International Association of Cooking Professionals. Pépin is the Dean of Special Programs at the International Culinary Center (formerly French Culinary Institute) where he provides regular cooking demonstrations and students consultations. The Jacques Pépin Foundation, founded in 2016, is dedicated to enriching lives and strengthening communities through the power of culinary education.
Jean Pierre Vuillermet hails from four generations of restauranteurs. Many of his fondest memories come from his childhood experiences with his family and sharing the simple beauty of creating and sharing a meal together. His apprenticeships in France and Switzerland led to the two star Michelin restaurants of Master Chefs Paul Blanc and Gaston Lenôtre. In 1987 Vuillermet’s culinary talents earned distinction in New England while at Robert Henry’s, where his haute received the highest critical accolades. By 1993, Vuillermet opened Union League Cafe, on the site of Robert Henry’s. Inspired by the old world charm of a Parisian brasserie, Union League Cafe has consistently garnered top awards and rave reviews.
Vuillermet continues to work and create in the kitchen every day and is proud to serve his loyal customers and local community. Jean Pierre hopes that Union League Café is and always will be a restaurant that provides the best in food and service and reflects the joy and passion he has for cooking. He proudly holds the title of “Maitres Cuisiniers de France” and has been awarded Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. According to Restaurant Insider, the top-rated Union League Café is “revered for its outstanding wine list, attentive service, sophisticated French cuisine and classic, yet relaxed, atmosphere.”
People’s United Bank, a generous supporter of the GCC Foundation and many of its special events, makes the GCC Foundation C.O.O.K. Series possible. Currently in its fifth season, the GCC Foundation C.O.O.K. series has become a favorite for foodies in the region.
Visit the Gateway Community College Foundation webpage: Gatewayfdn.org/cook-series for reservations.