Monday, April 6, 2009

#7 - The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

Wow, where to begin? I learned of this book from a quick comment made by Anthony Bourdain in one of his books, and having great respect for Jacques Pepin, ran out and picked it up. From his time with the late, great, Julia Child to the miserable shows with his dopey daughter I have always loved Jacques' classical French technique and work... although his dishes aren't ones the average home cook would attempt, heck I rarely even tackle his projects, but they are amazing. I always thought he was a bit snooty and high-class but that is all brought crashing down by looking at the photo of the tough 12-13 year-old dressed in his kitchen whites and holding a battered ladle as big as himself on the cover. It is also quickly dispelled in the account of his life within which ranges from growing up in wartime France to his own stint in the armed forces to some wickedly grueling appointments and terrible mishaps. He has paid his dues and in ways I had never known or would have expected. His writing style is exceptional and he even tossed in topical recipes which I'm dying to try out. This is unlike - and better - than most foodie/cooking/chef books out there, and just an amazing read. This is now firmly in my personal favorites short-list, and it goes without saying: Highly Recommended.

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