Jacques and Claudine Pepin for Family House

In life, every once and awhile the “stars” align just right and create a moment in time that leaves us awestruck.  Last weekend I experienced one of these moments and in fact it still seems a little surreal.

First a little background, why did this happen?  Well it was an event to celebrate Family House an organization that many of us hold close and personal.   Their mission statement, “Family House serves as a home away from home for families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses by providing physical comfort and emotional support, free from financial concerns.”

To celebrate Family House and their never-ending dedication to the community, a few people decided to throw a party.  Of course your first thought in planning, who is going to cook?  Susie Heller who was the ringleader and head wrangler for this event was able to have a life long friend(s) show up to be the guest chef(s)– Jacques and Claudine Pepin.

To us in the culinary world Jacques is an icon!  That one chef we all have hoped to one-day meet, share stories with and even better stand next to him in the kitchen.  This was just beginning; before all was said and done the day would gather more than ten Michelin star chefs together to celebrate this day.

I could talk about the food for a few hours, easily. However the day really wasn’t about that. It was about a group of chefs finding time in their busy schedules to spend some quality time together and to celebrate Family House and the passion we hold for our craft.  As it turned out the day was much more than food and wine, it provided me with insight to the camaraderie that we have between us in the culinary world.

I am grateful and humbled to have been part of this day, one that I most certainly will not forget anytime soon.


Submitted by Layer Cake Wines fan, Michael Laukert