The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen (Paperback) ~ Jacques Pep... Cover Art

The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen (Paperback)

By: Jacques Pepin (Author)


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The sparkling personality, sense of humor, and charm familiar to Jacques Pépin's television audiences carries over to the page in the superstar chef's humbly titled memoir, The Apprentice.

A clever, mischievous, and very likable boy, Pépin's earliest food memories are hungry ones from his childhood in war-torn France. After World War II, his first restaurant job was peeling potatoes for his mother at her restaurant, and he became an apprentice in a hotel kitchen at age 13. In this delightful tale he works hard, plays fair, is kind to others and good to his family, and his efforts take him to Paris, and then New York. Except for the terrible car accident that required him to reinvent himself as a teacher and television personality, he seems to have always been in the right place at the right time. He cooked for Prime Minister Gaillard and then General Charles de Gaulle, met Pierre Franey, Craig Claiborne, and Julia Child, and turned down a job cooking for JFK to accept one with Howard Johnson. But just as entertaining and enjoyable to read about are his tender memories and thoughts about his relationships with his parents and brothers, and with his wife and daughter.

We all wish we could cook like Pepin (and every chapter ends with one of Pépin's favorite recipes), but this enchanting tale will make you wish you knew him. The clear, simple way he expresses himself and the honesty with which he tells his story will bring you to tears, and make you laugh out loud. --Leora Y. Bloom

Short Desription

From the moment of its publication, The Apprentice established itself as an "instant classic" (Anthony Bourdain). With sparkling wit and occasional pathos, the man whom Julia Child has called "the best chef in America" tells the captivating story of his rise from a terrified thirteen-year-old toiling in an Old World French kitchen to an American superstar who ad-libbed and demonstrated culinary wizardry as the cameras rolled — and changed American tastes.
The Apprentice is an engrossing tale of the modern cooking scene and how it came to be, told from an engaging personal perspective. The story begins in prewar France, with young Jacques cutting his teeth in his mother's small restaurants. Moving to Paris, it offers tantalizing glimpses of Sartre and Genet. In his role as Charles de Gaulle's personal chef, Jacques witnesses history being made from behind the swinging door of the kitchen.
In America, he rejects an offer to be chef in the Kennedy White House, choosing instead to work at Howard Johnson's. He then proceeds to make some history of his own, creating a revolution with a band of fellow food lovers: Julia Child, James Beard, and Craig Claiborne. Culinary high jinks and revealing portraits ensue. The Apprentice also includes well-loved recipes, from Maman's Cheese Soufflé to Chicken Salad à la Danny Kaye.



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