Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Apprentice, Jacques Pepin

The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

Jacques Pepin

Category: Nonficiton: Memoir, Food & Cooking, France

Synopsis: Chef Jacques Pepin recounts his life spent in French food and beyond.

Date finished: 28 August 2014

Rating: ****

If you’re looking for a good solid memoir about food and being a chef, The Apprentice is your book. Jacques Pepin grew up in France, learned to cook at his mother’s side, did his apprentice work in various parts of France, and served as chef to French President Charles DeGaulle. As a young man, he came to America and ended up at Howard Johnson’s test kitchens, creating food in mass quantities to be frozen and distributed to the many Ho-Jos throughout America.

Pepin was a respectable guy who counted Julia Child among his closest friends. In America, he married and raised one daughter. He went on to write many books, including The Art of Cooking, a two-volume set edited by Judith Jones, who also served as Julia Child’s editor. He also produced cooking shows on television.

This is what I consider a classical memoir. He tells the story of his life in an engaging and relatable way. There’s nothing flashy here, but he also doesn’t take himself too seriously to be fun. I recommend this book to anyone who loves food, France, or both.

Would you recommend this to a friend?

You might also enjoy:
My Life in France
The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry

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