Synopsis (From GoodReads):
For readers of Jacques Pépin’s The Apprentice and Marcus Samuelsson’s Yes, Chef, here is the coming-of-age story of a true French chef and international culinary icon. Before he earned three Michelin stars at Le Bernardin, won the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Chef, or became a regular guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, and even before he knew how to make a proper omelet, Eric Ripert was a young boy in the South of France who felt that his world had come to an end. The only place Eric felt at home was in the kitchen. His desire to not only cook, but to become the best would lead him into some of the most celebrated and demanding restaurants in Paris.
I love listening to audio books, especially when the books are about celebrities. Usually, these books are voiced by the celebrity themselves. While this audio book is not presented by the author, it does offer wonderful insight into what it means to become a world-class chef.
What I Liked:Eric Ripert's Background:
I was really impressed by how open Eric was about his difficult childhood. I am always interested in how major events of parents effect their children. As Eric's parents divorce, his life is turned upside down. He lives with his mother and stepdad, and rarely sees the father he adores. His one constant is his obsession with good food. Even at an early age, he seeks out ingredients and situations that contribute to the best culinary experiences.
French Educational System:
I have often heard about small bits and pieces of this type of system, but I felt I understood it better after reading this book. When kids finish middle school in France, they then decide (after tests) whether to move on to high school, or start to learn a trade. They may go to a trade school or straight into an apprenticeship. While I think most Americans would balk at such life-altering decisions being made by young teens (and often being made for them by their teachers and parents), there seem to be many positive aspects to this arrangement. Not everyone is cut out for college, for instance. Many teens are pushed into college and take out huge loans but drop out after a year or so. Eric's culinary school and apprenticeship seemed brutal, but it made him into the chef he is today.
A Look Into A Chef's Life:
I have always dreamed of being a chef. This book helped me to realize, once and for all, that I am glad I did not pursue that profession! Not only are the hours long, but it is a very physical job with an enormous amount of pressure. I suppose in all jobs there is a need to reach for perfection, but I think I would have crumpled under such an intense environment.
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Source: Public Library
Format: Audio Book
Recommendation: For those who love food, cooking, and have daydreams about being a chef, this book is heaven!