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A clever, mischievous, and very likable boy, Pépin's earliest food memories are hungry ones from his childhood in war-torn France. After World War II, his first restaurant job was peeling potatoes for his mother at her restaurant, and he became an apprentice in a hotel kitchen at age 13. In this delightful tale he works hard, plays fair, is kind to others and good to his family, and his efforts take him to Paris, and then New York. Except for the terrible car accident that required him to reinvent himself as a teacher and television personality, he seems to have always been in the right place at the right time. He cooked for Prime Minister Gaillard and then General Charles de Gaulle, met Pierre Franey, Craig Claiborne, and Julia Child, and turned down a job cooking for JFK to accept one with Howard Johnson. But just as entertaining and enjoyable to read about are his tender memories and thoughts about his relationships with his parents and brothers, and with his wife and daughter.
We all wish we could cook like Pepin (and every chapter ends with one of Pépin's favorite recipes), but this enchanting tale will make you wish you knew him. The clear, simple way he expresses himself and the honesty with which he tells his story will bring you to tears, and make you laugh out loud. --Leora Y. Bloom --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Cute, informative, quick read, excellent stories, very insightful. Have read it twice. I am sure many European people who lived through the war years can call this story their own... Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2013 by Stanley Heal
The skills that make an awesome chef are the same skills that make an awesome writer, patience, a loving devotion to detail, an appreciation of the sensual - this has it all. Read morePublished on May 6 2004 by Shawna Lanne
I enjoyed every minute of this delectable memoir. Amusing and thoughtful; Pepin shares an intimate look from WWII France and as an ex-pat in America. I hated to see the book end.Published on April 23 2004
Julia Child (who should know!) has called him the best cook in America today. That's high praise.
Jacques Pepin's life in kitchens, beginning with his mother's cafes and... Read more
I thought I would like this book, but was pleasantly surprised by how much I came away liking the author. M. Read morePublished on Nov. 14 2003
Withy a great history of formal French training, Pepin has earned the right to toss out a cheesey 'my life in the kitchen'. His story though is much more exciting than that. Read morePublished on Oct. 8 2003 by Jason Gruss
It was an enjoyable lite read. The recipes after each chapter were interesting.
But, it is written on a sixth-grade level, so it's not something I'll reread. Read more
I enjoyed this read tremendously, and if you're into food, so will you.
Pepin writes very unassumedly, and is most humble about his very productive career, from personal chef... Read more