back to top

We’ve updated our privacy notice and cookie policy. Learn more about cookies, including how to disable them, and find out how we collect your personal data and what we use it for.


How Legendary French Chef Jacques Pépin Makes A Perfect Omelette

The secret ingredients are butter and charm.

Posted on

Jacques Pépin is one of the most famous chefs in the world. He basically invented the job of TV chef, was BFFs with Julia Child, and has been cooking professionally longer than most of us have been alive.

Angela Appetta / Via

Not to mention he's owned multiple restaurants, won a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award, and is generally just a total badass.


There is literally no one more qualified to demonstrate how to make the PERFECT OMELETTE. This one is the classic French variety, which means you'll need only eggs, butter, salt, pepper, and lots of fresh herbs.

For the full recipe, jump to the bottom of this post.

Unlike a "Western-style" omelette, this one will NOT be stuffed with cheese and ham, sorry.

First, let's talk about the one tool you really need: the skillet. To make a perfect omelette, you need an 8-inch nonstick skillet. It's non-negotiable.

You can find one at pretty much any store (Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Williams Sonoma) and, of course, Amazon.

If you already have an 8-inch nonstick skillet, give it a good look. If it has lots of scratches and scrapes, you might want to consider retiring it.

That's it. A skillet and a fork. SO EASY.

1. To start, chop some herbs. Jacques uses a mix of "fines herbs," which includes chives, parsley, tarragon, and chervil.

You can use any mix of these four, or just one. Either way, you'll want about ¼ cup of finely chopped fresh herbs total.

2. Next, crack 3 eggs into a bowl. Jacques stresses the importance of cracking them on a surface (like your counter or cutting board), rather than the edge of the bowl.

"When you crack on the bowl, the shell gets pushed inside the egg, not good," Jacques says.


4. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and add the herbs. Whisk everything together super vigorously. "Don't go slowly here," Jacques says.

Lauren Zaser / Via BuzzFeed

He uses a fork, which is great because who even has a whisk that tiny? Not Jacques Pépin, that's who.

5. The eggs need to be REALLY well-blended. You can tell they are REALLY well-blended when you lift the fork and then the eggs come streaming down, the yolks and whites together in sweet eggy harmony.

Lauren Zaser / Via BuzzFeed

Jacques says: "No streaks of white or yolk! So important."

6. Now it's time to cook the omelette. Like everything great in life, a perfect omelette has lots of butter.

Lauren Zaser / Via BuzzFeed

If possible, the butter should always be unsalted and European-style (that just means it has EXTRA FAT). Plugra, Kerrygold, and Organic Valley make good varieties.


7. Put the skillet over medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons of that butter. The butter should sizzle a little, but not furiously. It should melt quickly.

Lauren Zaser / Via BuzzFeed

Pro tip: If the skillet gets too hot, just remove it from the flame — do not adjust the flame itself.

9. Now: Start whisking with the fork. The eggs will start to cook almost immediately, so you need to keep your fork moving AT ALL TIMES.

Lauren Zaser / Via BuzzFeed

This means scraping the bottom and sides of the skillet with the bottom of the fork. You'll notice this start will to look like scrambled eggs, which is what you want.


10. You should also shake the skillet occasionally to help move the eggs around.

Lauren Zaser/Sarah Kobos / Via BuzzFeed

Remember, the eggs will start to cook around the edges first, so it's important to clean the sides of the skillet and bring that cooked egg into the center.


You want the eggs to stay creamy and you don't want them to brown on the bottom.

13. Next, starting at the end closest to the handle, use the fork to start to rolling the omelette onto itself.

Lauren Zaser / Via BuzzFeed

"Just like rolling a carpet," Jacques says.

Because you're using a nonstick skillet, the eggs should peel right up, but if they do stick, you can add some butter to help them release.


14. OK, so now Jacques does something really next-level. In order to make the omelette perfectly fat (instead of flat), he hits the skillet handle with his palm while tilting the skillet up, so the omelette flips up onto itself, compacting it.

Lauren Zaser/Sarah Kobos / Via BuzzFeed

He has done this about a million times in his life, so it's pretty easy for him. For someone who *hasn't* (me?), this is kinda tricky and may take some practice. The good news is that this is optional, and even if you don't master this part, the omelette will still taste 100.


18. It should still be *slightly* runny/creamy in the center, which means you might see some egg seep out, but don't be afraid, that's how it's supposed to be.

Jacques Pépin's Iconic French Omelette

Recipe by Jacques Pépin

Makes 1

2 Tbsp. finely chopped chives

1 Tbsp. finely chopped tarragon

1 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley

3 large eggs

Kosher salt and pepper

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Using a fork, whisk the herbs and eggs together in a bowl until they're really (really) well-blended. This means there should be no strands of egg yolk or egg white, just homogenized egg. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the butter; it should barely sizzle but melt immediately. (If the butter sizzles loudly and foams up, the skillet is too hot. Remove it from the heat for a second to let it cool down.)

Add the eggs to the skillet, and using the flat side of the fork, immediately start whisking and stirring the eggs from the edges to the center, shaking the skillet occasionally. Do this for about 45 seconds. The eggs will start to look like a soft scramble. Once the eggs are mostly set but still look soft and slightly wet, remove the pan from the heat.

Using the fork, start at the side closest to the handle and start rolling the omelette onto itself, like you're rolling a carpet.

Once you're about halfway there, start rolling from the other side to meet in the middle. Because you're using a nonstick skillet, this should be pretty easy. If the egg sticks a little, add a little more butter to help it along.

Flip the omelette onto a plate, seam-side down. If it doesn't come out in a perfect shape, NBD, just kinda tuck the sides in to keep a nice torpedo shape.

Eat immediately!