Did I get you with the title? Ok, I made the Silver Fox part up although he is nice looking with an endearing accent. The tag line of his book is actually From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line. I wanted to get your attention as I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I hope others will want to read it too.
I own way too many cookbooks. I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about food, reading about food and talking about food. But, I AM NOT A FOODIE. Ok, that could undoubtedly be called Fake News or alternative facts. I checked in on Blogging for Books to see if there were any books that peaked my interest. No cookbooks, darn. But there was 32 Yolks, Eric Ripert’s biography. The celebrity French chef of the fabled Le Bernardin in New York. I have to admit I like watching him pal around with Anthony Bourdain on Parts Unknown and I do love his accent. And-it’s an audiobook, perfect for my long commute and my self imposed vacation from the news.
I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. Boy meets saute’ pan in France, moves to US and becomes stud chef and lives happily ever after. But I was pleasantly surprised at how invested I became in his life story as I listened. His was not the fairy tale up bringing and definitely not the classic American chef story of “I was studying at (insert impressive university) and one night ended up in the kitchen of (oh for kicks lets say Chez Panisse) because they were shorthanded. Thus the dinner was saved and my culinary career was born” (much to the chagrin of the parents that paid their college tuition).
On the contrary, life was not a bowl of cherries for Mr. Ripert. His life story is a testament to the phrase adversity builds character. An idyllic early childhood ends abruptly with the divorce of his parents. His story is told from the heart. You feel his pain and disappointment, his anger but ultimately his resolve. Food was his escape and cooking became his passion. His resiliency made him who he is today. I don’t want to give too much away but I will tell you the book ends when he embarks on a new life leaving France behind. My reaction was “nooooo, it can’t end here.
I reviewed the audio version of 32 Yolks for Blogging for Books. I thought the reader had a pleasant enough voice and kept me engaged in the story. I eagerly await Chef Ripert’s next book.