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Jacques Pépin Has Over 300 Knives (& More We Learned When He Visited)

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Extremely lucky for all of us, Jacques Pépin keeps popping into the Food52 test kitchen to teach us a thing or two. Last time, it was about chicken, but more recently, he came on Facebook Live to show us some simple—but super important—knife skills for prepping vegetables.

More: Watch Jacques Pépin make a butter flower and a tomato flower.

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10 Important Things We Learned Watching Jacques Pépin Debone a Chicken
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10 Important Things We Learned Watching Jacques Pépin Debone a Chicken

You really have to watch the master (right here) to glean all the tips and tricks he has for us, but here's a smattering of some of our favorite takeaways:

1. Cut down, then glide forward or backward—"don’t chomp down on your food.”

2. Remove the stem of the garlic before you peel it—it makes peeling easier.

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3. Before chopping garlic, crush the clove with the side of your knife, then pull the knife towards you—it’ll release the garlic’s oils.

4. Julia Child gave Jacques Pépin a garlic press. He doesn’t like it much.

Oliva Elité Olive Wood Handled Knives

Oliva Elité Olive Wood Handled Knives

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9 Knife Care Tips We Learned from a Master Bladesmith

9 Knife Care Tips We Learned from a Master Bladesmith by Leslie Stephens

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5. When it comes to onions, the sharper the knife, the less you’re going to cry.

6. For fresh asparagus, look for a tight bud—just like a flower is contracted when it’s young.

7. Jacques has 300 knives (give or take).

8. “You don’t have to be a genius to run a restaurant. You just have to be a good technician.”

Apple Peel Tea
Apple Peel Tea

9. What to do with apple peels? Dry them, then make tea, as his grandfather did.

10. To remove tomato seeds, just squeeze halved tomatoes like a lemon.

Tell us: What did Jacques Pépin teach you?