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The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by…

The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

by Jacques Pépin

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This wonderfully unpretentious Franco-American chef is one of my favorites....I love his 'Fast Food My Way' videos, watch them over and over....great memoir....G. ( )
  Gemma. | May 16, 2013 |
In April 2011, I attended the Buffalo Gap Food and Wine Festival, at which I met Jacques Pepin, his daughter Claudine and his buddy Jean-Claude Szurdak. I had the opportunity to chat with them, eat with them, drink with them, watch them conduct food demonstrations, and have them sign this book for me. I started to read it the very next day on my way back east, but then, for some reason, set it aside to read other things and do a bit of cooking and gardening of my own. Yesterday I picked this book back up and finished devouring it in just a couple hours, sitting in the over stuffed chair in my front room with the windows open enjoying the unseasonably warm March weather. The joy of reading the last several chapters of Jacques' memoir reminded me of the warm, kind, gregarious man I met last year. I have been a fan of his for years, but after reading his book and learning about how he got to where he is - and meeting him and discovering that he has remained the down-to-earth, unpretentious boy from France with a big heart and open mind after all these years - has made me an even bigger fan. Thank you Jacques for a wonderful book, your delicious food and your inspiration to always follow your dreams! ( )
  laweiman | Mar 14, 2012 |
An inspirational autobiography from a French exile to America who became a prolific writer and TV cook. His capacity for hard work and focus are an object lesson and offer great inspiration. Recipes sprinkled throughout.
  Carrie.deSilva | Aug 28, 2011 |
Far, far, far more interesting than I even expected! I was constantly surprised at the stories of his life, and how he came to be where he is. This is a keeper, and one to re-read. ( )
  love2laf | Aug 26, 2010 |
A great book by a great culinary figure, Pepin's memoirs are as amusing and engaging as any of his shows or cookbooks. Jacques is one of the last members of the old guard, those professionally apprenticed chefs who climbed their way up from the scullery to the toque. Reading about his early life and his apprenticeship, the amusing mistakes and awesome triumphs in his career lets us peek into a method and era that really doesn't exist anymore in the kitchen. Though some restaurants and culinary schools have "apprentice" programs that seek to combine classroom and professional kitchen (we have 2 apprentices at the moment), it's a far cry from the cheerful tortures and bonding that happen in Pepin's experiences (though we do try our best, especially on the torture part!).

Eminently readable, always amusing and surprisingly humble, THE APPRENTICE is a must read for any cook who wants to understand the history behind la methode. ( )
2 vote maravedi | Dec 17, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0618444114, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:27 -0400)

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The popular television cooking show host traces his rise from an intimidated thirteen-year-old apprentice to a famous chef, recounting his work under prestigious teachers, his journey to America, and his experiences with contemporaries.

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