Board of Directors: Susie Heller, Brian Maynard, Michel Nischan, Robert Price
Advisors: Tom Hopkins, Jacques Torres
Jacques Pépin, President
Claudine Pépin, CEO
Claudine Pépin is the only daughter of Jacques Pépin and co-founder of the Jacques Pépin Foundation. Many of you have watched Claudine Pépin preparing delicious meals and sharing cooking techniques with her father, on “Jacques Pepin’s Kitchen: Cooking With Claudine” and “Jacques Pepin’s Kitchen: Encore With Claudine.” All three of their public television shows have received the notable James Beard Award. In addition, Claudine has had numerous television appearances including “Cooking Live with Sara Moulton,” “Good Morning America,” and “Molto-Mario.” The newest series, “Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in The Kitchen” debuted in the Fall of 2015.
With an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Philosophy, and graduate work in International Relations from Boston University, Claudine spent a great deal of time in the wine industry. She spent two years as the ’Brand Ambassador’ for Moet & Chandon and Dom Perignon Champagne in New York while also teaching food and wine pairing for both the French Culinary Institute and the Sommelier Society in New York. In 2002, Claudine was named “Woman of the Year” by the Academie Culinaire de France – Filiale des Etas Unis. She continues to do television as well as events including The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show, and the Aspen, Newport, Kohler and Pebble Beach Food & Wine Magazine weekends. Claudine’s first book, Let’s Cook French, published in the spring of 2015, is a collection of thirty favorite, simple, classic French recipes in both English and French, illustrated by her father Jacques and daughter Shorey.
Claudine, her husband Rollie, daughter Shorey, and mischievous cat, live happily Rhode Island. Her philosophy for food is closely tied to family. Claudine cooks at home almost every day, believing that sharing a meal with family and friends, eating, laughing and spending time together at the table is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things in life. “Food doesn’t have to be complicated. It needs to be wholesome, nutritious and preferably well seasoned. And, it’s always best when shared with those you love.”
Rollie Wesen, COO
Rollie Wesen, M.Ed. is the co-founder of the Jacques Pépin Foundation, a culinary instructor and Assistant Professor at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI and the husband of Claudine Pépin. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Chef Wesen graduated with honors from Carnegie Mellon University, with a B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing in 1990. Pursuing his passion for both food and travel, he literally circled the world, experiencing the cuisines of India and Thailand among many others, and cooking in kitchens with Michelin stars, in London and France before arriving in New York City in 1994. Rollie and Claudine met in 2001, and continued to explore together, relocating to Portland, OR where their daughter Shorey was born, then on to Denver, CO where Rollie worked for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.
Returning to the east coast, Rollie joined the culinary faculty at Johnson & Wales University in 2011. He teaches several classes, including Classic French and Italian Cuisines, the Science of Cooking, Cooking in the Global Marketplace and Culinary Consciousness, which focusses on food sustainability issues. He is active on multiple committees, writes curriculum, and in 2014, earned his Masters of Education from Johnson & Wales University. He is currently enrolled in their Educational Leadership Doctorate program, and is an adjunct lecturer at Boston University and an avid gardener.
Board of Directors:
Susie Heller began her culinary career as a caterer, restaurateur, restaurant consultant and food critic in Cleveland Ohio. Her 30-year career in food media has spanned television and cookbook production, working with a wide network of top chefs across the country including Jacques Pépin, Julia Child, Thomas Keller, José Andres, Mourad Lahlou, Michael Chiarello and over 50 top chefs who have appeared on the shows she has produced. In 1999 Susie, moved to Napa Valley where her company Full Plate Media produces cooking series and her company Heller Media produces cookbooks. In addition, Susie has partnered with Thomas Keller and Mourad Lahlou on developing food products for Williams-Sonoma.
Presently Susie holds the position of Chief of Global Content for Feast Kitchen, an international food app, which launched in January 2016. Within one week, Apple tagged Feast Kitchen as a best new app. Over 40 of the top chefs around the world share recipes for home cooks. The app is now available in English, Danish, and German. It will launch in French by fall 2016.
Among her many past book and television credits, Susie has been co-author of three of Jacques’ books and producer, executive producer, or culinary producer of seven of his television programs. Her professional awards include multiple nominations for the James Beard Awards, multiple awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, an Emmy nomination, and appearance on the New York Times Best Seller List. In addition Susie is serving as Executive Producer on an American Masters special with Jacques Pepin airing spring 2017.
Brian Maynard’s decades of experience in marketing, philanthropy, hospitality and the culinary arts give him a unique perspective as a senior leader at Whirlpool Corporation.
In his current role as head of Marketing for Jenn-Air, Maynard helped lead the brand to double-digit growth in revenue, profitability and brand equity while directing its successful repositioning as a luxury appliance maker. He also led the integration of Jenn-Air into Whirlpool Corporation following its acquisition of the brand.
In his previous position as Director of Marketing, Premium Brands, he oversaw global marketing for KitchenAid Home Appliances. During this time, KitchenAid expanded to Europe and Asia, and experienced a significant growth revenue.
As Global Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Maynard was accountable for efforts to advance and protect the positive reputation of Whirlpool Corporation. In this role, he also served as the Corporation’s Director of Marketing Services.
Maynard co-created Cook for the Cure, which has raised more than $13 million benefitting Susan G. Komen and other breast cancer foundations. Cook for the Cure has been recognized with an Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals and two Golden Halo Awards from the Cause Marketing Forum.
Prior to joining Whirlpool Corporation, Maynard served as a Director of several conference centers and their culinary operations, hosting a number of American presidents and other world leaders. During this time he also held administrative and adjunct faculty positions in hospitality and the culinary arts at Lake Michigan College.
Maynard frequently speaks at professional conferences, including the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the Association of National Advertisers, the Cause Marketing Forum, Vital Voices Middle East Initiative and others.
He is a board member of Mystic Lake YMCA, The Lake Michigan College Foundation, and Owner IQ. Previous board memberships include Habitat for Humanity, The American Center for Wine Food & the Arts, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and the council of advisers for the Disney Institute. Maynard is currently Chairman of the Event Marketing and Sponsorship Committee for the Association of National Advertisers.
Brian holds undergraduate degrees in business administration, hotel management and the culinary arts, as well as an MBA from Western Michigan University.
Chef, Author and Food Equity Advocate
Founder & CEO, Wholesome Wave
Michel Nischan is a three-time James Beard Award winning chef with over 30 years of experience advocating for a more healthful, sustainable food system. He is Founder and CEO of Wholesome Wave, Co-Founder of the Chefs Action Network, as well as Founder and Partner with the late actor Paul Newman of the former Dressing Room Restaurant. Along with his team at Wholesome Wave, Nischan has successfully influenced legislative language for the recently passed Federal Farm Bill, supporting affordable access to healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables for low income consumers. He’s also the author of three cookbooks and a variety of articles focused on sustainable food systems and social equity through food. A lifetime Ashoka fellow, he serves as a director on the board of the Jacques Pépin Foundation, and on the advisory board of Chef’s Collaborative, The Amazon Conservation Team, and The National Young Farmers Coalition. In Spring 2015, the James Beard Foundation honored Nischan with the Award for the 2015 Humanitarian of The Year.
To learn more about Chef Nischan, follow him on Facebook and/or visit: http://www.chefnischan.com
To learn more about Wholesome Wave visit: https://www.wholesomewave.org
Robert Price is a lifelong friend of the Pépin family, born to a French father like Claudine and raised on the Connecticut shoreline near their home. After receiving a B.A. in Mathematics at Yale University, Rob moved to Seattle and joined Microsoft. He acted as a product designer and part of the management team for several versions of Microsoft Windows, portions of Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Outlook. Rob is currently co-founder of a small company and is building mobile apps for outdoor recreation, and has been an investor in a few Seattle-area restaurants. Rob has also worked with non-profit organizations in Seattle, striving to further their mission through cost-effective application of technology and software.
Rob is passionate about travel, food, and cooking and is a skilled cook in his own right, due in no small part to the early influence and inspiration of Jacques Pépin. If he is not in the kitchen or writing code, you can probably find him traveling with his daughter Lillian, or rock climbing or snowboarding in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.
Advisors to the Foundation:
Tom Hopkins shoots dymanic photographs, everything from Womens’ pro ski racing and classic cars in the Arizona desert to piranhas in the Peruvian Amazon. His passion for traveling and food has taken him around the globe in a career spanning more than 25 years. Specializing in one subject would limit his curiosity and desire to capture a subject in a new light. That said, Tom is passionate about fashion, food and travel, three industries where he is a known regular. He completed a two-year project with Jacques Pépin, Heart and Soul, the chef’s latest book.
Fondly referred to as Mr. Chocolate, Jacques Torres (www.mrchocolate.com) is the authority on all things related to this confectionery delight. Through his early years as a pastry chef, Jacques developed a deep affinity and passion for chocolate. Raised in France, Jacques fulfilled his American dream in 2000 with the opening of his first chocolate factory, Jacques Torres Chocolate in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Jacques was a pioneer—the first artisan chocolatier to start from cocoa beans to make his own chocolate. Jacques prides himself on specializing in fresh, hand-crafted chocolates using premium ingredients free of preservatives and artificial flavors.
Jacques and his chocolate became an instant success attracting fans from all over the country. In 2004, he opened his second chocolate factory and flagship store, Jacques Torres Chocolate, in downtown New York City on Hudson Street. The demand for his confections grew rapidly, and Jacques soon opened nine additional retail stores (and counting!) throughout Manhattan and two ice cream locations. In 2013, Jacques moved his production to a 40,000 sq. ft. chocolate manufacturing space at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Jacques’ story begins in Bandol, France, a small town in the southern region of Provence. At an early age, Jacques was inspired to start a culinary career thanks to his love for food and making people happy. Despite not having extensive prior training, but having 3 years apprenticeship, Jacques considered himself a craftsman and, in 1980, landed a job with Michelin two-star chef Jacques Maximin at the Hotel Negresco, starting a relationship that would last 8 years and take him around the globe. In 1986, Jacques was awarded the prestigious M.O.F. medal in Pastry, the youngest pastry chef in history to earn the distinction.
In 1988, he ventured to the U.S. as the Corporate Pastry Chef for Ritz Carlton. It was Jacques’ intention to pursue the American dream. In 1989, the legendary Sirio Maccioni invited Jacques to work at New York City’s most famous and legendary restaurant, Le Cirque as the Executive Pastry Chef. For 11 years, Jacques served presidents, kings, and celebrities in his every day work at the iconic restaurant.
During his time at Le Cirque, Jacques released a 52 episode public television series, Dessert Circus with Jacques Torres, along with two companion cookbooks, Dessert Circus: Extraordinary Desserts You Can Make At Home (William Morrow), and Dessert Circus At Home (William Morrow). He also hosted a television series, Chocolate with Jacques Torres, on the Food Network for three years. Jacques’ third cookbook, A Year in Chocolate (Stewart, Tabori and Chang) was released in 2008. He received numerous awards over the years as well as The James Beard Pastry Chef of the Year Award in 1994, and inducted in The James Beard Who’s Who of American Food & Beverage Award in 2003.
Additionally, since 1993 Jacques proudly serves as Dean of Pastry Arts at the award-winning International Culinary Center. He designed the curriculum of the fast-track Professional Pastry Arts program and offers internship opportunities to ICC pastry students.
Jacques generously donates his time to many national charity organizations including American Red Cross, Citymeals on Wheels, God’s Love We Deliver, New York’s Hard of Hearing Association, Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center, the Association to Benefit Children, Make a Wish Foundation, and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. He loves children and dedicates himself to causes that support their well-being and happiness.
Jacques makes his home in New York City, and is married to Hasty Torres, a fellow chocolatier, who founded her own chocolate business in Beverly Hills called Madame Chocolat.