Jaques Pepin, Empathy, Addiction and Some Thoughts

Howard Johnson VP Pierre Franey (L), Jacques Pepin (C), Roger Fessaguet (2nd R) and Jean Verqnes joining in on the ring dance after the consumption of their picnic.  (Photo by Mark Kauffman/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Howard Johnson VP Pierre Franey (L), Jacques Pepin (C), Roger Fessaguet (2nd R) and Jean Verqnes joining in on the ring dance after the consumption of their picnic. (Photo by Mark Kauffman/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

I like my weekend mornings to be lazy. We generally sleep late, make ridiculous breakfasts involving poached eggs, toast and lots of French Press coffee. My favorite Sunday mornings are spent on the sofa, surfing the blogosphere, sipping coffee and soaking in the view of the ocean across the street.

This morning while I was waking up and savoring the slow heat of my morning joe, I stumbled across this article: How Jaques Pepin Saved My Life. For those of you who don’t know (l didn’t) – Jacques Pepin is an “internationally recognized French chef, television personality, and author working in the United States.” I spent the next hour reading about his life and watching videos of him cook omelets, sharpen knives and truss chickens.

I am always inspired by articles like this. Stories about people who are moved by the passions of those around them and of course – food! This is something I identify with. Moving, creating things in a kitchen and bonding over food is incredibly therapeutic.

Earlier this week I read this article about empathy and watched a TED talk about addiction. This might seem like a completely different tangent, but both of these articles have made me think about how important and necessary our interactions with each other are.

It is easy to feel alone and isolated (especially in rural places like Alaska). The times that I have felt the most supported, encouraged and connected here have been over meals. Those wild dinners in our beach shack with friends – laughing over a plate of grilled salmon and asparagus, debating the drama while cracking crab legs, and dancing like Lady Gaga after too much boxed wine. It is those times, as well as the moments I spend alone chopping vegetables, cracking eggs, feeling the heat of the oven, feeling the weight of a salmon filet in my hand and listening to the waves crash on the beach outside…that is when I am the most happy.

So lets cook, lets connect, lets choose to have empathy. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to a chicken to roast.

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Cheers! :)