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Celebrating a Culinary Great with Cake

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Celebrating a Culinary Great with Cake

80 cakes seemed fitting for an 80th birthday when the man of the hour is culinary icon Jacques Pépin, whom you know from countless cookbooks and television appearances including Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home with Julia Child. His party was a part of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) annual conference held over the weekend in DC. We snapped a small sample of the impressive cake array that flanked both sides of a ballroom inside the Marriott Renaissance on Friday.

Celebrating a Culinary Great with Cake

The idea to pay tribute to the French culinary pioneer through pastry proved so popular that IACP ended up with closer to 100 cakes, which were auctioned off to benefit the organization’s philanthropic arm. Jacques, who joined the party via Skype, heard “Happy Birthday to You” no fewer than 20 times as those contributing cakes stepped up to greet or sing to the chef one by one. These individuals included José Andrés, Michel Richard and Daniel Boulud (right), whom we snapped with distinguished chocolatier Jacques Torres. A recent stroke prevented the honoree from traveling to DC, but his presence was certainly felt.