Jacques Pépin Makes Sad Girl Tortilla Pizzas Just Like All Of Us - But Really Well

Ever wonder what celebrity chefs eat when they're not on camera? Obviously, they have cooking chops that the rest of us don't, and maybe access to fancier ingredients, but they can't be whipping up five-course dinners every time, can they? Surely, sometimes they're not in the best mood, or maybe they're in a rush and just want to put something together fast before dashing off to film their next episode on their food channel ... right? Do they treat themselves to what TikTok might call a sad girl meal?

Sure they do. For instance, when filming "Top Chef" gets hectic, Padma Lakshmi turns to the nostalgic taste of peanut butter and jelly, per Instagram. But what does Jacques Pépin do when he's pressed for time? Surely everybody's gentle French grandfather doesn't just sit down and devour a bag of Fuego Takis? While he does enjoy a range of American staples (including Rice Krispies cereal, which Pépin eats in a very special way), he's not a cereal-for-dinner kind of guy. But just like the rest of us, Pépin fixes himself some quick meals. And just like ours, they're basic, nothing extremely fancy. The difference? His are better.

Vive la différence

When sad pressed or stressed for time, some folks turn to pizza, like the Manhattanite who went out for a slice when she felt lonely (via TikTok). Or they could go the route that one Redditor did when they felt sad and make a tortilla pizza. In that case, they chose to "smush" some tomato paste on a tortilla with mozzarella and spices. Jacques Pépin shared on YouTube that when he's "stuck for lunch" or dinner, the celebrated chef makes tortilla pizzas, too. But when he does it, bready stuff on the bottom + melty cheese on top = pizza-adjacent joy.

How does he up the ante? He starts with flour tortillas, just like the rest of us, greasing his foil-coated pan with a little olive oil first and rubbing both sides of the tortilla in it. He enjoys them with slices of tomato and some sweet onion – watching him prepare the thin slivers at record speed reminds you just how professional he is, despite his laid-back demeanor. Next up is a seasoning – always some salt, then some fresh pepper. Pépin adds basil leaves for freshness and additional flavor, then tops with cheese, where he encourages us to experiment: mozzarella, gruyère, Monterey Jack, or even cheddar. Top with Parmesan if you please and a bit more oil. The pretty pizzettes go in the oven and come up oozing with cheesy goodness. We may have to rename them. Maybe Pé-pan pizza?