2004 James Beard Award Nominee for Writing & Reference
2004 IACP Award Nominee for Literary/Food Writing Category
In this frank and witty memoir, world-renowned chef Jacques Pépin tells how he rose from a frightened thirteen-year-old apprentice in an Old World kitchen to an Emmy Award-winning TV superstar who continues to teach millions of Americans how to cook.
We see young Jacques struggling to earn respect while working his way up the kitchen ladder: cooking for Jean-Paul Sartre in a Paris brasserie, fending off the advances of Jean Genet, and clowning as he cooks for Eisenhower and Nehru while employed as Charles de Gaulle's personal chef. At twenty-three he takes off for America, where he immediately makes friends with a small group of as-yet-unknown food lovers, including James Beard, Julia Child, Craig Claiborne, and many others. After a near-fatal car accident, Pépin reinvents himself once again and in the process plays a pivotal role in redefining American food.
The Apprentice is the story of a boy's coming of age. But beyond that, it is the story of America's culinary awakening and the transformation of food from a mere afterthought to a cultural touchstone and a national preoccupation.