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The apprentice : my life in the kitchen
Jacques Pepin
Adult Nonfiction TX649.P47 A3 2003

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In this fast-moving and often touching memoir, Pepin recounts his journey from the kitchen of his mother's humble restaurant in rural France after World War II to his current position as author of 21 cookbooks, star of 13 PBS cooking shows and dean of special programs at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. Along the way he describes everything from the tough French apprenticeship system that saw him dropping out of school at 13 to work in Lyon to the beginnings of the Howard Johnson's chain. Pepin accepted a job in the Howard Johnson's test kitchen over a stint at the White House cooking for John F. Kennedy , but shows no signs of regret. In fact, if there's a flaw here, it's that Pepin's eternally upbeat attitude is sometimes a little hard to buy-although he does seem to have been born under a lucky star. Pepin came to the U.S. just when a culinary culture was building and fell into friendships with Craig Claiborne, then food editor of the New York Times, and Julia Child. Even a bad car accident when he was 39 turned out to be a godsend, as it got him out of the restaurant kitchen and into the teaching profession. Pepin mines a lot of humor from the differences between French and American attitudes toward food, as when he recounts how he and a French friend once stopped by a farmsomewhere in the U.S. with a sign reading "Ducks for Sale" and wrung the neck of the duck they'd just bought in front of the horrified proprietress. Each chapter concludes with one or two recipes, many of them surprisingly earthy, such as Oatmeal Breakfast Soup with leeks and bacon. (Apr.) Forecast: Pepin's is a strongly branded name, and fans of his books, television shows and classes are bound to be curious as to how he got to where he is. This charming memoir will not disappoint, and the tireless Pepin's 12-city tour is sure to attract plenty of readers. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

How does one become a chef? Aside from having a love for food, modern cooks are born from diverse experiences, talents, and training. Pepin, who has given us numerous cookbooks and memorable television programs, now shares his story. Throughout his early years in the kitchens of family restaurants and highly structured apprenticeships throughout France to his move to the United States, years as a product development chef for Howard Johnson, and friendships with such famous foodies as Craig Claiborne, Pepin relates how his interest in food and culinary techniques developed into passions for cooking and teaching. He does this deftly, neatly capturing personalities and events with clear, concise writing. As a tantalizing bonus, each chapter concludes with a favorite recipe. Pepin's book is an essential counterpoint to Anthony Bourdain's cynical Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. Also available in CD and audiocassette formats, this entertaining and informative memoir is recommended for public libraries and culinary collections. (Photos not seen.)-Andrea R. Dietze, Orange Cty. P.L., Santa Ana, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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