Celebrity chef Jacques Pepin will visit Amelia Island next weekend. His main mission in coming to Fernandina is to participate in a petanque tournament, but he will also sign books from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, at the tournament site just north of the Fernandina Marina.
Pentanque is French game described by the tournament organizer Philippe Boets as a cross between bocce ball and horseshoes. The game is played with balls, but instead of rolling them like bocce ball, you throw them.
Pepin, who is French, is an avid player and has even started a league in his neighborhood in Connecticut. Pepin is a longtime fixture on PBS cooking shows, is a dean at the French Culinary Institute and was a featured judge on "Top Chef."
In addition to Pepin, Boets said the tournament will be drawing in other French chefs as well, including Chef Michel Nischan, who has written several cookbooks and is an advocate for sustainable agriculture and cooking with local foods.
The Pentanque America Open will span the weekend and is open to spectators. Nearly 200 players are expected to participate. Newcomers to the game can also participate in pick-up games. For more information, visit petanque america.