Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Rats of Madison: Jean Paul de Ratatouille

Son of famous restaurateur shares experiences in weirdly chaotic interview
Courtesy of mediascape babe!
Courtesy of mediascape babe!

In an effort to broaden The Badger Herald’s student life section, I set out to interview some unique subjects we usually don’t report on.

The fact this paper just covers humans in the feature section is kind of disrespectful when you think of literally all the animals with their own stories on this campus. This feature, which covers a rat, aims to mend that particular disparity. 

BREAKING: Alleged ‘Loch Ness Monster’ sighted in Lake Mendota

The most special thing about the University of Wisconsin is its diversity. It’s important to celebrate our different backgrounds and learn about them through meaningful dialogue.


This week I was lucky enough to meet royalty — not the racist kind from Britain — a member of the French culinary dynasty from La Ratatouille in Paris. Jean Paul, son of the esteemed chef Remy, is a famous pop star who overcame his father’s apprehensions of his career to follow his dreams in singing emo pop. Here is the highly anticipated interview below.

KT: Good afternoon Monsieur, thank you for meeting with The Badger Herald. How are you doing today?

JP: Ah, bien, gracias. ¿Y tú?”



KT: Wait, so, Jean I thought you were French.

JP: Lo soy, pero me gusta hablar en Español porque mi mamá es de Guinea Ecuatorial. 

KT: Oh, well unfortunately we don’t have a translator for this interview so it must be done in English. Getting right into it, you currently hold number one on Billboard Hot 100 for your album “Love & Passion,” but you didn’t always perform music. Can you tell me a little bit about your life before your music career?

JP: Sí, pues nací en París en 2010, donde mi papá era dueño de un restaurante se llamaba Ratatouille. Crecí en ese restaurante, pero nunca me gustó mucho la cocina tan como la música.

KT: So, Jean Paul, once again, I’d really appreciate it if you stopped speaking Spanish, I cannot stress to you how few of our readers know Spanish.

JP: Oh yeah of course, sorry.

KT: No problem!

JP: Like I said my mom’s from Equatorial Guinea.

KT: Right, yeah, that’s really valid. So anyway, you were born in Paris, grew up in your father’s restaurant — how did Remy come to terms with your desire to sing instead of cook, and how did his preferences influence yours later in life?

JP: If I’m being one-hundo percent honest, he didn’t like it. He said I wasn’t ready for the harsh realities of stardom, but I disagreed. I couldn’t be confined to the box of “rat chef’s son” for my whole life — that’s just so toxic — especially when I have the gift of song coursing through my veins.

KT: Wow, yeah, that’s beautiful. So he didn’t want you to enter the industry due to fears of your life becoming subject to the public? 

JP: Yeah, that and I think he was afraid of how I’d react if I failed. It’s surprisingly really hard for rats to become singers, so he thought I wouldn’t be able to handle being rejected. But I was able to make adjustments to my brand so I wasn’t. 

KT: What kind of adjustments? 

JP: Well first of all, I never acknowledged the fact I am a rodent. People just forgot because I’m good at singing. Sometimes I’d walk out on stage and people would scream and I’d be like “um?” you know? 

KT: Yeah, totally. Interesting. What did your family think of you denying your species?

JP: They thought I was leaving my roots. This really took a toll on my dad and I’s relationship, it wasn’t until many years later that we made up. It took him a while, but he eventually recognized my career and came to terms with the fact I’d never cook in La Ratatouille like him. 

KT: What happened? Why did he change his mind?

JP: Well, he told me, “son, I once had a father who didn’t want me to chase my dreams at first, but then I did anyway.” And then I was like, “cool I also had a dad who told me not to chase my dreams and I did anyway and that’s just dads you know, so like?” And then he was like, “Okay, I’m trying to tell you I’ve come around and that I understand.” And then I was like “Yeah that’s really sweet and super deep but I’ve kind of moved on and it’s honestly kind of confusing how you’re still on that.” And so then he was like —

KT: And so, in the end, you both reconciled. 

JP: Sure, yes, I mean we weren’t doing taxes at that point but I get what you mean.

KT: No I didn’t mean reconcile your tax credits I meant you resolved an argument —

JP: So but anyway yeah that’s how it happened. And now I’m a multi-platinum artist rivaling the popularity of Billie Eilish and my dad supports me and my mom’s from Equatorial Guinea, so everything honestly could not be going better. 

KT: Right, yeah, definitely. That’s amazing, Jean Paul, really. 

JP: Yeah, it is. Ugh.

KT: Well, that is all the questions I have, thank you so much for meeting with me today. 

JP: Sure thing, do I get any sponsors from this?

KT: Um… no.

JP: Oh, that’s disappointing. 

UPDATE: After possible Loch Ness Monster sighting, students find strange egg near Lakeshore Path

Wow. That was heart-wrenching. Visit The Badger Herald for more moving pieces centering on different people/animals of Madison, you never know who you can find and that’s what makes life beautiful. Please share this story with your friends and family if you cried today ❤️. 

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