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The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen | [Jacques Pepin]

The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

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.
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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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (301 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Matthew San Francisco, CA, USA 01-03-10
    Matthew San Francisco, CA, USA 01-03-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    "Must Read For Every Chef"

    I have been a line cook for 10 years and a professional chef for 2 now. This book is an absolute must read for every aspiring or even seasoned chef. Jacques truly is an all American success story. This book is beautifully read (albeit with a few pronunciation errors) as well as wonderfully written. Before I was a chef I was an English major. There are two things in this world I know, food and good writing, this book satisfied my need for both.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Mesa, AZ, United States 12-13-09
    Jan Mesa, AZ, United States 12-13-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    344
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    140
    11
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    17
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    "Interesting man"

    He has led a very interesting life. Much like Forrest Gump he has met or worked with a great deal of celebrities and world figures. I quite enjoyed his stories.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Holland, PA, USA 11-29-09
    Kenneth Holland, PA, USA 11-29-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    42
    8
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    0
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    "Loved it!"

    I will forever be a fan of Jacques Pepin after reading this book. The man has lived an amazing life and tells his stories with humor and sincerity.
    The narrator does a wonderful job as well!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny Wichita, KS, USA 08-05-08
    Jenny Wichita, KS, USA 08-05-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
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    "Excellent!"

    After listening to this book, I liked Jacques Pepin more than ever. His accounts of growing up, becoming a cook, moving to the U.S. and establishing a career here are a must-read for those who are interested in food and cooking. I was sorry it ended!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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