The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

by Jacques Pépin

ISBN-10: 0618444114
ISBN-13: 9780618444113
Publication Date: May, 2004
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Publishers Information

About The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

Publisher Web Link: http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/

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 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.

Author Information

About Jacques Pépin

Author Web Link: http://www.jacquespepin.net

Jacques Pépin is world renowned as the host of his acclaimed and popular cooking programs on public television, and as a prolific author, respected instructor, and gifted artist. Pépin was awarded the highest honor by the French Government and holds the title of CHEVALIER DE L’ORDRE NATIONAL DE LA LEGION D’HONNEUR. Pépin is taping the upcoming series “Essential Pepin” in October 2010 for KQED in San Francisco. His memoir, The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen, was published by Houghton Mifflin in 2003 and in paperback in May, 2004. He is also a proud grandfather of his daughter Claudine’s child, Shorey.

Cookbooks by Jacques Pépin


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