The Apprentice by Jacques Pepin
My Life in the Kitchen

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While certainly not the best-written chef’s memoir you will ever come across, The Apprentice is a thoroughly entertaining way to find kitchen inspiration in the New Year.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

In this captivating memoir, the man whom Julia Child has called "the best chef in America" tells the story of his rise from a frightened apprentice in an exacting Old World kitchen to an Emmy Award<en>winning superstar who taught millions of Americans how to cook and shaped the nation's tastes in the bargain.
We see young Jacques as a homesick six-year-old boy in war-ravaged France, working on a farm in exchange for food, dodging bombs, and bearing witness as German soldiers capture his father, a fighter in the Resistance. Soon Jacques is caught up in the hurly-burly action of his mother's café, where he proves a natural. He endures a literal trial by fire and works his way up the ladder in the feudal system of France's most famous restaurant, finally becoming Charles de Gaulle's personal chef, watching the world being refashioned from the other side of the kitchen door.
When he comes to America, Jacques immediately falls in with a small group of as-yet-unknown food lovers, including Craig Claiborne, James Beard, and Julia Child, whose adventures redefine American food. Through it all, Jacques proves himself to be a master of the American art of reinvention: earning a graduate degree from Columbia University, turning down a job as John F. Kennedy's chef to work at Howard Johnson's, and, after a near-fatal car accident, switching careers once again to become a charismatic leader in the revolution that changed the way Americans approached food. Included as well are approximately forty all-time favorite recipes created during the course of a career spanning nearly half a century, from his mother's utterly simple cheese soufflé to his wife's pork ribs and red beans.
The Apprentice is the poignant and sometimes funny tale of a boy's coming of age. Beyond that, it is the story of America's culinary awakening and the transformation of food from an afterthought to a national preoccupation.
 

About Jacques Pepin

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Jacques Pépin has written twenty-five cookbooks, including the best-selling Jacques Pépin Fast Food My Way, More Fast Food My Way, and his memoir, The Apprentice. He has also starred in numerous acclaimed cooking series on public television and is a contributing editor to Food & Wine. He has won multiple James Beard Awards, several IACP Cookbook Awards, and the Legion of Honor, France's highest distinction.
 
Published May 7, 2004 by Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Cooking. Non-fiction
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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Penny Pleasance on Feb 04 2016

While certainly not the best-written chef’s memoir you will ever come across, The Apprentice is a thoroughly entertaining way to find kitchen inspiration in the New Year.

Read Full Review of The Apprentice: My Life in th... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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