My Life in the Kitchen
By Jacques Pepin
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Paperback, 9780618444113, 352pp.)
Publication Date: May 2004
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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A wise and charming memoir from a man who quickly ascended the ranks of American cooks to become, according to Julia Child, "the best chef in America"
With sparkling wit, occasional humility, and a delightfully curated selection of recipes, Jacques Pépin tells the captivating story of his rise from a terrified thirteen-year-old toiling in an Old World French kitchen to an American superstar—he was one of the earliest pioneers of culinary television—who changed American tastes with his culinary wizardry and ad-libbed charm. The Apprentice begins in prewar France, with young Jacques cutting his teeth in his mother’s small restaurants. When he moves to Paris, we see tantalizing glimpses of Sartre and Genet, and in his role as Charles de Gaulle’s personal chef, Jacques witnesses history from a remarkable vantage point behind the swinging kitchen door. In America, he rejects an offer to be chef in the Kennedy White House, choosing instead to work at Howard Johnson’s, and then joins forces with fellow food lovers Julia Child, James Beard, and Craig Claiborne to make some history of his own. In the words of Anthony Bourdain, it's an instant classic.
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.