Finding Freedom: A Cook’s Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch

Erin French. Celadon, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-31234-1
In this affecting debut memoir, chef French unflinchingly chronicles the victories and failures that led to her establishing The Lost Kitchen, her renowned restaurant in Freedom, Maine. She shares vivid memories of growing up in Freedom, whether foraging alongside her grandparents or enjoying hot fudge sundaes at her father’s diner. She artfully describes her growing passion for cooking, which began when she started helping out at the diner at age 12 and intensified after she dropped out of college due to an unplanned pregnancy. While waitressing as a single mom, she married the charming if troubled Tom, though the marriage predictably turned toxic: Tom had a drinking problem and was dismissive of French, and French was diagnosed with anxiety, was briefly committed to a psych ward, and got hooked on prescription drugs. During their messy divorce, French slowly began rebuilding her life with the help of her mother, friends, and food. Readers will root for French and will be fascinated by her efforts at survival, redemption, and rejuvenation. Notably heavier on insight and lighter on hubris than the average chef memoir, this will speak to both the brokenhearted and those with kitchen dreams of their own. Agent: Janis Donnaud, Janis Donnaud & Assoc. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 03/10/2021
Release date: 04/06/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-250-79107-8
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