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What it’s like being a chef, husband and Jacques Pépin’s son-in-law.


When Rollie Wesen, a well-respected chef in his own right, fell in love with Claudine Pépin, he said his first goal was to win over the incomparable Jacques Pépin by being a good husband, not a great chef.

I'm Rolly Wesen, and I'm the proud husband of Claudine P pin, and we've been married for 13 years. Of course I was hugely intimidated by the idea that here I'm dating Jacques P pin's daughter - Jacques P pin's only daughter - and you know, just barely cutting my own chops as an executive chef, I mean, I was I was not very good, actually probably, truth be told. Good enough to hold a job, but by comparison not not even in the same league. I wasn't I wasn't even on the farm team and he was a star, so... But I think part of my experience had to do with how great that discrepancy was. I never felt competitive in any way whatsoever because of course there was no way I was going to be able to ever compete with Jacques. Jacques is absolutely extraordinary and because of who he is and his immense energy and his incredible generosity and his capacity for teaching and the time at which he came into the American culinary scene, no one will ever be like him again. No one will ever have the force that he had on the world of culinary arts that he had.

And so for that reason, there was no competition I was never going to be that good - not even close. I wasn't even going to - If I could get him to maybe like my food a little bit, then that would be - that would be an accomplishment. And that's really all I could hope for.

But really I wanted to be a good husband more than I wanted to be a great chef in Jacques' eyes, and and hopefully I think I've achieved that.