Wednesday, April 24, 2013
What I have Been Reading Wednesday, The Apprentice:My Life in the Kitchen…
Another Wednesday has come, so of course that means What I Have been Reading Wednesday. Right now I am reading a ton of different books, and researching so many different things. I have been reading lots of different books on gluten free living and cooking, but I am not ready to do a review on any of them yet. When I do reviews I try to actually read the book at least once completely, and then review any particular parts that stood out. If it is a cookbook that I am reviewing then I make sure that I have used the cookbook for awhile at least, trying several of the recipes. The book for this week is actually one of my favorite food memoirs. It is The Apprentice: My Life in The Kitchen, by Jacques Pepin. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jacques Pepin and his work. Actually Julia Child herself declared him “the best chef in America.” I have watched Pepin on PBS numerous times, both on his own programs, and as a guest on on Julia Child’s programs. I have several of his cookbooks, and have enjoyed them immensely so his memoir was of particular interest to me.
This is an extremely interesting book, Pepin has lived through a very interesting time, in very interesting places. He was born in France before World War II, after the war his parents opened their own restaurant. At the age of 13 Pepin began to apprentice in various kitchens. He writes of his first pair of long pants being his chef’s pants. At a very young age he took complete head of a kitchen, then began to cook for French heads of state. He actually was asked to be the White House Chef for the Kennedys, but declined the offer. Howard Johnson of Howard Johnson Hotels, recruited him to develop menus for his restaurants. Most of us recognize Pepin for his TV appearances and shows. He has written several books, many of which are in my personal library.
Now that you know a little more about Pepin, lets focus on the book, it does talk about all of those details, but it focuses mostly on his determination to be a great chef and to create culinary masterpieces. I have always been impressed by people who can demonstrate such passion and dedication, which is something that is very clear in this book. As just a young boy he already knew what he wanted in life, and you learn of the sacrifices he, and his family made to achieve that, When reading this book you develop a great appreciation for his commitment to his goals. The road for him was not an easy one in many ways. This is a great book that shows both his dedication and his passion for great food. I definitely recommend reading this book. For me I have discovered since reading this book I have a greater appreciation for his cooking and recipes when I see his shows, or use his cookbooks. This is a definite must for your food writing library.