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
"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)
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)
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.
The stories of his pranks in the kitchen when he was an apprentice.
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!
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.
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.
Fabulous story, very well read! The narrator's accent added tremendously to my enjoyment as well. All around a total pleasure to listen to.
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.
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.
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