Monday, May 8, 2017

32 Yolks: From My Mother's Table to Working the Line by Eric Ripert-Audio Book Review

In my ongoing quest to listen to audio books on my commute, I happened on this memoir and decided it had been long enough since I had immersed myself in a foodie book. And I had never heard of Eric Ripert.  

I had no idea he's a famous chef in New York City.  He has a show on the Cooking Channel (which I would probably watch if I got the Cooking Channel!), and grew up in France.  I read a few reviews of this memoir before I had finished it and the big complaint was where in Eric's life he decided to stop his story. I decided, after listening to this audio, that it stops at a very natural place, and just hearing about his early years was such an interesting journey that I didn't need to know more.  We know how it ends, so this was all about how it began.  

Eric was born in France to a vibrant mother and a loving father.  The first few years of his life were very happy; his parents adored him and their life was full of fun, good times, and delicious food.  He developed a very sophisticated palate very early, and nothing was better to Eric than sitting down to a memorable meal.  His parents divorced when Eric was around 5 years old; it was a difficult split and Eric didn't get to see his father very often.  He moved around with his mother, as she opened and ran successful clothing boutiques throughout France.  Their connection, as always, was food.  A mean step-father made Eric's life hell, and he struggled through his tween and teen years with a lot of anger and resentment.  His father died suddenly when Eric was eleven, and he had no way to relieve his grief.  Through this all, there was food.  He watched, listened, and learned wherever he could, but never was allowed to actually cook until he was in high school, and entered a cooking school.

Eric's journey after graduating from cooking school takes him to Paris and his first big job.  Let's just say his idea of his talent and the actuality of his talent weren't the same, and the stories of his humbling experiences as a young cook in very fine restaurants never get old.  Eric kept coming back for more; his passion drove him to keep improving, keep practicing, knowing that he was meant to be a chef.  It is a lesson in perseverance and believing in yourself and your dreams.  

I listened to the audio, and Peter Ganim does a fine job narrating, with a very good French accent and pacing. My only complaint is listening to the audio made me hungry.  

Rating:  3/6 for a memoir about knowing what you love, and pursuing your dreams even when they seem very far away.  

Available in hardcover, paperback, audio, and ebook.


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