by Eric Ripert
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.
3 of 5 Stars
The biggest thing I took away from this memoir was the fact that while I like to cook at home, I’d never in a million years make it as a professional chef or anything even closely resembling it. I’m always fascinated by the various shows on the food network and loved hearing about someone’s life experience in this field. What I appreciated most was getting to know him away from the kitchen first. Most of the time when I get a short biography from any of the famous chefs I’ve heard of it almost always starts with their career. I thought it was interesting that this memoir laid the groundwork for him to enter into this incredibly competitive and difficult life path. I felt for him through his struggles with family, especially surrounding his parent’s divorce.
As much as I liked getting to know Eric Ripert both in and out of the kitchen, it wasn’t a story that kept me completely interested. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t that engaging and there were sections that seemed to drag on. I admit, my french isn’t just rusty, it’s non-existant so parts that included a lot of french grammar or names became confusing for me. It pushed me away from the ongoing story and had me going back to make sure I was following along. I don’t think you need to know french to follow the story but it would help in certain parts along the way. This also might just be a personal preference.
I think my least favorite part of this audiobook was probably the narrator. I can’t even really put my finger on why I found his voice a little off-putting. He’s french accent and pronunciation was perfect as well as his ability to speak in a variety of voices for different peoples speech. I freely admit this is completely personal preference, it just wasn’t for me.
Overall, this audiobook was okay and interesting enough to listen to while I was getting other things done. I’m sure there are others who would get far more enjoyment out of this than me however. If you are a fan of celebrity chefs or personal memoirs this is perfect.
Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing me with a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for my honest review.