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From the moment of its publication, The Apprentice established itself as an “instant classic” (Anthony Bourdain). With sparkling wit and occasional pathos, the man whom Julia Child has called “the best chef in America” tells the captivating story of his rise from a terrified thirteen-year-old toiling in an Old World French kitchen to an American superstar who ad-libbed and demonstrated culinary wizardry as the cameras rolled — and changed American tastes.
The Apprentice is an engrossing tale of the modern cooking scene and how it came to be, told from an engaging personal perspective. The story begins in prewar France, with young Jacques cutting his teeth in his mother’s small restaurants. Moving to Paris, it offers tantalizing glimpses of Sartre and Genet. In his role as Charles de Gaulle’s personal chef, Jacques witnesses history being made from behind the swinging door of the kitchen.
In America, he rejects an offer to be chef in the Kennedy White House, choosing instead to work at Howard Johnson’s. He then proceeds to make some history of his own, creating a revolution with a band of fellow food lovers: Julia Child, James Beard, and Craig Claiborne. Culinary high jinks and revealing portraits ensue. The Apprentice also includes well-loved recipes, from Maman’s Cheese Soufflé to Chicken Salad r la Danny Kaye.

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