The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin

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Notes about this book

  • jbuchman on May 08, 2017

    Every Pepin fan should read this book.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Maman's cheese soufflé

    • Rinshin on December 05, 2020

      Outstanding recipe! Excellent taste and simple to make. I’ve made traditional soufflés a number of times in the past but it was time consuming so I have not made them in over 10 years. This was a cinch to make. I lined the bottom with quick sauté of spinach which was well squeezed per listening to the video. My soufflé took about 50 minutes at 400 F and it was perfectly puffed to perfection with amazing flavor and aroma. I will now be making soufflés (this one) more often. Photo added.

    • bob.mack on January 15, 2021

      Nice recipe - I would make it again. It is certainly easy to make, it is inexpensive, and it uses common ingredients for a weekday meal. Jacques has a video making this recipe at https://food52.com/recipes/82304-cheese-souffle-recipe . As Rinshin mentioned, he mentions in the video the idea of including spinach or Swiss chard. Although I didn't do that, I think it would have definitely improved it. Jacques' daughter in the video also mentioned that she sometimes substitutes cooked zucchini or cauliflower (dried well after cooking) for the cheese. The only other modification I would consider next time I make it would be to cut back on the amount of Parmesan.

  • Split pea soup with ham and croutons

    • gallucci on December 09, 2018

      I've used this recipe before and like the proportions. This time omitted potato and replaced with 50/50 carrot and parsnip.

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  • ISBN 10 1299890040
  • ISBN 13 9781299890046
  • Published Jan 01 2004
  • Format eBook
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Imprint Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publishers Text

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.



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