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The Apprentice Audiobook

The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why You Should Download This Audiobook: Of all the excellent memoirs from master chefs, from Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential to Bill Buford's Heat, this one scored high marks from critics and customers alike, but remains a sleeper hit. We're excited to recommend Jacques Pepin's account of his difficult childhood during World War II and his subsequent rise to multimedia stardom. It's truly a riveting history of one remarkable, insightful, and corageous man. We're confident you'll agree.

Publisher's Summary

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.

As a homesick 6-year-old boy in war-ravaged France, Jacques works 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 cafe, where he proves a natural. He endures a literal trial by fire and works his way up the ladder in France's most famous restaurant, finally becoming Charles de Gaulle's personal chef. When he comes to America, he falls in with a small group of as-yet-unknown food lovers, including Craig Claiborne, James Beard, and Julia Child. The master of the American art of reinvention, Jacques goes on to earn a graduate degree from Columbia University, turn down a job as John F. Kennedy's chef to work at Howard Johnson's, and, after a near-fatal car accident, switch careers to become a charismatic leader in the revolution that changed the way Americans approached food.

The Apprentice is the poignant and sometimes funny tale of a boy's coming of age. It is also the story of America's culinary awakening and the transformation of food from an afterthought to a national preoccupation.

©2003 Jacques Pepin; (P)2003 Houghton Mifflin Company

What the Critics Say

"Fast-moving and often touching....[A] charming memoir." (Publishers Weekly)
"As one of the world's most celebrated chefs, Jacques Pepin has much to share when it comes to great food. However, this memoir is every bit as delicious as one of his finest recipes. Free of any pretension, complaint, or histrionics, Pepin's story recalls difficult times in war-torn France, fighting invaders and poverty with equal determination. Michel Chevalier offers a perfect voice for Pepin's anecdotes and memories, using his musical French accent to add just the right flavor. Any reader who loves food and a good story will enjoy listening to this memoir." (AudioFile)

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (447 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Anne Tampa, FL, USA 05-19-05
    Anne Tampa, FL, USA 05-19-05
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    "Wonderfully entertaining!"

    I have always liked Jacques Pepin. I liked the way he interacted with Julia Child on the PBS series. He is just a likeable fellow! When I saw this book, I couldn't wait to learn more about him. The reader's French accent made it feel like Jacques was telling me about his life. The story endeared me even more to Chef Pepin. I hope you like it as much as I did! by Anne (not Robert)

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SierraBlue2 Walnut Creek, CA, United States 01-12-17
    SierraBlue2 Walnut Creek, CA, United States 01-12-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Made me hungry"
    What made the experience of listening to The Apprentice the most enjoyable?

    I appreciated the descriptions of the dishes he served which made my mouth water! I am going to make "Fromage Fort". It seems like a good way to use leftover cheese.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jacques Pepin


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The stories of his pranks in the kitchen when he was an apprentice.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 12-19-16
    Paul 12-19-16 Member Since 2016
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    7
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    "Great listen"

    What a wonderful story. Jacques Pepin is a treasure! I would recommend this book to anyone who shares a love for the preparation and enjoyment of all food, from humble to elegant. I will almost certainly listen to this book again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rulo b. 12-14-16
    Rulo b. 12-14-16 Member Since 2016
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    "amazing book"

    such a intresting and different story from most chef memoirs I have read. chef to the presidents of france, and turned down JFK request to be the presidential chefin the white house. went into business with Howard Johnson to revolutionize food, just an amazing book a must read for aspiring chefs like myself self.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    janet r. 09-06-16
    janet r. 09-06-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Must read for any chef or home cook"

    Pepin is the man. To come from such a classical background and still be respected as one of the masters in this age of presumptuous and hautey diners shows just how amazing of a talent and personality he is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua E. London Washington, DC 08-09-16
    Joshua E. London Washington, DC 08-09-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Fabulous story, very well read!"

    Fabulous story, very well read! The narrator's accent added tremendously to my enjoyment as well. All around a total pleasure to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan Davis 02-08-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Great moments, but a little disjointed."

    Fantastic food descriptions, and a memorable depiction of wartime France, but the transitions were awkward.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin West 01-11-16
    Martin West 01-11-16 Member Since 2004

    Marty West

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    "Why the master is the master."

    I've always loved Jacques Pepin's shows and books. I find his advice encyclopedic, authoritative and practical. His autobiography cements my respect by documenting the innumerable kitchens, restaurants, hotels and commisaries he has cooked in since he was a young boy who discovered the joy of eating and cooking. The narrator is excellent and sounds like a younger Jacques.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zachary 03-12-15
    Zachary 03-12-15
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    "I Love Everything Pepin"

    This may not be a literary masterpiece but I love everything that Jacques Pepin does. His ease with everything cooking related makes it accessible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    i. Ski Duluth, Minnesota 12-29-11
    i. Ski Duluth, Minnesota 12-29-11 Member Since 2015
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    "Just wonderful"

    Most of us were introduced to Jacques Pepin through Julia Child, where he often played her "second banana." Now we are able to hear his account of his rise through the culinary realm, which included rubbing shoulders with food big wigs such as James Beard and Craig Claiborne and world leaders such as Charles De Gaulle and Harold Macmillan. Through out this autobiography, Pepin shows great skills of observation as well as the ability to discern food snobbery from the love of food. The humble tone of his story is well mixed with a sly sense of humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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