Finding Freedom In The Lost Kitchen is the memoir of Erin French, owner and chef of The Lost Kitchen restaurant in Freedom, Maine which has now become a world-famous place to eat.
Erin learnt how to cook from her family; she worked in her father’s diner from the age of twelve. Later, she moved away from rural life to attend college, but life’s twists and turns brought her home once more. Soon she was raising her son alone, and began to find outlets for her cooking skills. Through the ups and downs of earning a living, opening her first restaurant and an unhappy marriage, Erin takes the reader on a candid journey through her life.
The book title intrigued me; I had not heard of Erin or her restaurant before now. The ‘Lost Kitchen’ made me want to find out more. I was really pleased to read how things have progressed and are working out for Erin. Her passion for cooking shines through and there are so many mouth-watering descriptions of food on the pages of this book, that they made me want to get baking myself. I particularly liked the idea that reservations at her restaurant are by postal ballot, as it suited the ethos of the home-style roots that Erin maintains. There is so much for the reader to discover in this book as you travel with Erin from early childhood to the point where her restaurant is a great success. I truly wish her dreams never stop growing.
Recommended to foodies and those who enjoy a memoir with a happy ending.
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From Erin French, owner and chef of the critically acclaimed The Lost Kitchen, comes a life-affirming memoir about survival, renewal and the pleasure of bringing joy to people through food.
Erin French grew up barefoot on a 25-acre farm in Maine, fell in love with food as a teenager working the line at her dad’s diner and found her calling as a professional chef at her tiny restaurant The Lost Kitchen, tucked into a 19th century mill–now a world-renowned dining destination.
In Finding Freedom in the Lost Kitchen, Erin tells her story of multiple rock-bottoms, from medical student to pregnant teen, of survival as a jobless single mother, of pills that promised release but delivered addiction, of a man who seemed to offer salvation but ripped away her very sense of self. And of her son who became 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 creating community and making something of herself, despite seemingly impossible odds.
Set against the backdrop of rural Maine and its lushly intense, bountiful seasons, Erin French’s rollercoaster memoir reveals struggles that have taken every ounce of her strength to overcome, and the passion and courage behind the fairytale success of The Lost Kitchen.