In honor of PBS's new series American Masters, the network is unearthing some gems from its archive, including this legendary Jacques Pépin omelet video. Admittedly, this very video is how I learned to make a french omelet. I remember as a cooking newbie, I didn't dare second-guess this acclaimed chef. I just trusted, and sure enough, it's the best and easiest technique I've come across.
However, this omelet video has stirred up quite a lot of commentary over the years. The simple reason? Americans cannot handle that he uses a fork to stir and scrape up the eggs in a nonstick pan. It flabbergasted the masses, who were quick to blast criticizing comments left and right. Though I don't have the figures to back up this claim, I wouldn't be surprised if it was the first example of a viral food video.
And Jacques's omelet video continues to be relevant, despite it being over 30 years old. Even Anthony Bourdain recently admitted this is how he makes his eggs. In his cookbook Appetites, he shares the story about the video and proceeds to put people in their place: "You know what? If Jacques Pépin tells you this is how you make a f*cking egg? The matter is settled, f*ck nuts."
Now, I'm sure sweet Jacques would never use that sort of language nor even react to naysayers. After all, he doesn't need to prove to anyone he has perfected his craft. His skills speak for themselves. Be sure to watch all of his best moments in the upcoming episode of American Masters — Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft, premiering Friday, May 26, from 9-10 p.m. on PBS.