Skip to product information
1 of 1

French, Erin

Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story

Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story

Regular price $28 USD
Regular price Sale price $28 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.

From the publisher

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, and victories 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.

View full details

From Chef Scott

Click to expand / collapse

Erin French's "Finding Freedom" is more than a cookbook; it's a tapestry woven with resilience, passion, and the transformative power of food. From its opening pages, the reader is drawn into the heart of Maine, where French's life unfolds with the raw honesty of a chef's memoir. Her struggles, both personal and professional, are laid bare without melodrama, creating a profound connection with the reader.

But this isn't just a story of hardship. French's determination and unyielding spirit shine through, inspiring even the most jaded foodie. Her journey from addiction to building the acclaimed restaurant, The Lost Kitchen, is a testament to the human ability to create beauty from brokenness. Throughout the book, food becomes a metaphor for her journey, each dish infused with her personal narrative and a deep respect for the land and its bounty.

I found myself captivated by French's descriptions of the creative process. Her passion for using local, seasonal ingredients and her commitment to sourcing directly from farmers resonated deeply. Her meticulous attention to detail, from foraging for wild mushrooms to crafting the perfect sourdough, had me reaching for my own well-worn notebooks, eager to translate her techniques into my own kitchen.

While this book may not offer step-by-step recipes, it provides a deeper understanding of the heart and soul that goes into creating truly exceptional food. It's a reminder that cooking is not just about following instructions, but about connecting with our environment, our communities, and ultimately, ourselves.

"Finding Freedom" is a dish best savored slowly, each chapter offering a unique flavor and texture. It's a must-read for anyone who seeks inspiration in the kitchen, whether a seasoned chef or a home cook just starting their culinary journey. It's a story that will stay with you long after you turn the final page, leaving you with a renewed appreciation for the transformative power of a simple meal, shared with loved ones.

In short: Highly recommended! This book is more than just a memoir; it's a powerful story of resilience, passion, and the transformative power of food. A must-read for anyone who loves food and its ability to connect us to ourselves and our communities.