Finding Freedom : A Cook's Story, Remaking a Life from Scratch
by French, Erin






"Long before The Lost Kitchen became a world dining destination with every seating filled the day the reservation book opens each spring, Erin French was a girl roaming barefoot on a 25-acre farm, a teenager falling in love with food while working the line at her dad's diner and a young woman finding her calling as a professional chef at her tiny restaurant tucked into a 19th century mill. This singular memoir-a classic American story-invites readers to Erin's corner of her beloved Maine to share the real person behind the "girl from Freedom" fairytale, and the not-so-picture-perfect struggles that have taken every ounce of her strength to overcome, and that make Erin's life triumphant. In Finding Freedom, Erin opens up to the challenges, stumbles, andvictories that have led her to the exact place she was ever meant to be, telling stories of multiple rock-bottoms, of darkness and anxiety, of survival as a jobless single mother, of pills that promised release but delivered addiction, of a man who seemed to offer salvation but in the end ripped away her very sense of self. And of the beautiful son who was her guiding light as she slowly rebuilt her personal and culinary life around the solace she found in food-as a source of comfort, a sense of place, as a way of bringing goodness into the world. Erin's experiences with deep loss and abiding hope, told with both honesty and humor, will resonate with women everywhere who are determined to find their voices, create community, grow stronger and discover their best-selves despite seemingly impossible odds. Set against the backdrop of rural Maine and its lushly intense, bountiful seasons, Erin reveals the passion and courage needed to invent oneself anew, and the poignant, timeless connections between food and generosity, renewal and freedom"-





An acclaimed chef and restaurateur offers engaging stories from the kitchen and beyond. In this immersive memoir, French delves into her life so far, covering the twists, turns, successes, and failures that led to her successful career as the owner and head chef of the much-lauded Lost Kitchen in the tiny town of Freedom, Maine. Though this is her first book of narrative nonfiction (following her 2017 cookbook), French demonstrates her talents as a storyteller, whether she's discussing her early cooking career, which she spent managing the fryolator, serving clam baskets, and producing perfect soft-serve ice cream cones at her father's diner; recounting a childhood replete with bucolic wonder ("I spent countless summer days from breakfast until dinner running wild through the seemingly endless pastures and wilderness"); or delineating her struggles as an adult. The harrowing details of her first marriage-her alcoholic husband eventually became abusive, and she lost herself in pill addiction-add palpable tension to her story, as do the scenes set in an "all-female rehab facility." Despite these hardships, French refreshingly avoids unnecessary self-pity or sentimentality, and the life-affirming details are just as strong: The author notes her love of Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Stevie Nicks, and the "Cape Verdean jazz" of Cesaria ?vora, and she shares an amusing tale about baking pot brownies and getting "high for the first time of my life" at age 33. Also relatable are her accounts of tussles and reconciliations with her sister. From a secret, at-home supper club and an early iteration of the Lost Kitchen, the author stays on point in her evocative portrayal of the importance of food in her life. "As a girl," she writes, "I had learned from my father that good food could be a vessel, a way to show love, even when you might not have the words to say so." A canny life story from a determined woman with the gift of vision and the wherewithal to implement it. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.





An acclaimed chef and restaurateur offers engaging stories from the kitchen and beyond. In this immersive memoir, French delves into her life so far, covering the twists, turns, successes, and failures that led to her successful career as the owner and head chef of the much-lauded Lost Kitchen in the tiny town of Freedom, Maine. Though this is her first book of narrative nonfiction (following her 2017 cookbook), French demonstrates her talents as a storyteller, whether she's discussing her early cooking career, which she spent managing the fryolator, serving clam baskets, and producing perfect soft-serve ice cream cones at her father's diner; recounting a childhood replete with bucolic wonder ("I spent countless summer days from breakfast until dinner running wild through the seemingly endless pastures and wilderness"); or delineating her struggles as an adult. The harrowing details of her first marriage-her alcoholic husband eventually became abusive, and she lost herself in pill addiction-add palpable tension to her story, as do the scenes set in an "all-female rehab facility." Despite these hardships, French refreshingly avoids unnecessary self-pity or sentimentality, and the life-affirming details are just as strong: The author notes her love of Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Stevie Nicks, and the "Cape Verdean jazz" of Cesaria ?vora, and she shares an amusing tale about baking pot brownies and getting "high for the first time of my life" at age 33. Also relatable are her accounts of tussles and reconciliations with her sister. From a secret, at-home supper club and an early iteration of the Lost Kitchen, the author stays on point in her evocative portrayal of the importance of food in her life. "As a girl," she writes, "I had learned from my father that good food could be a vessel, a way to show love, even when you might not have the words to say so." A canny life story from a determined woman with the gift of vision and the wherewithal to implement it. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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