Last week I had lunch with culinary legend Jacques Pépin at the Clam Castle in Madison, Conn. He couldn’t have been nicer. I picked the chef up at his home and toured the property, which includes a studio kitchen, pond, and a Pétanque court (the French version of Bocce). In fact, he had recently hosted about 75 guests from his Pétanque league as well as Lidia Bastianich (the outsized grill and brick oven came in handy). At the clamshack, over hot lobster rolls with melted butter served on soft hot dog buns, we covered a wide array of subjects from the Food Network to his career decisions (like working for Howard Johnson instead of JFK) to Julie & Julia. It will take some time to slog through the hourlong transcript (that French accent can get thick!) but in the end, I’ll have a story, so stay tuned.

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