32 Yolks

32 Yolks

From My Mother's Table to Working the Line

Book - 2016 | First edition.
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Hailed by Anthony Bourdain as "heartbreaking, horrifying, poignant, and inspiring," 32 Yolks is the brave and affecting coming-of-age story about the making of a French chef, from the culinary icon behind the renowned New York City restaurant Le Bernardin.

In an industry where celebrity chefs are known as much for their salty talk and quick tempers as their food, Eric Ripert stands out. The winner of four James Beard Awards, co-owner and chef of a world-renowned restaurant, and recipient of countless Michelin stars, Ripert embodies elegance and culinary perfection. But before the accolades, before he even knew how to make a proper hollandaise sauce, Eric Ripert was a lonely young boy in the south of France whose life was falling apart.

Ripert's parents divorced when he was six, separating him from the father he idolized and replacing him with a cold, bullying stepfather who insisted that Ripert be sent away to boarding school. A few years later, Ripert's father died on a hiking trip. Through these tough times, the one thing that gave Ripert comfort was food. Told that boys had no place in the kitchen, Ripert would instead watch from the doorway as his mother rolled couscous by hand or his grandmother pressed out the buttery dough for the treat he loved above all others,  tarte aux pommes . When an eccentric local chef took him under his wing, an eleven-year-old Ripert realized that food was more than just an escape: It was his calling. That passion would carry him through the drudgery of culinary school and into the high-pressure world of Paris's most elite restaurants, where Ripert discovered that learning to cook was the easy part--surviving the line was the battle.

Taking us from Eric Ripert's childhood in the south of France and the mountains of Andorra into the demanding kitchens of such legendary Parisian chefs as Joël Robuchon and Dominique Bouchet, until, at the age of twenty-four, Ripert made his way to the United States, 32 Yolks is the tender and richly told story of how one of our greatest living chefs found himself--and his home--in the kitchen.

Praise for Eric Ripert's 32 Yolks

"Passionate, poetical . . . What makes 32 Yolks compelling is the honesty and laudable humility Ripert brings to the telling." -- Chicago Tribune

"With a vulnerability and honesty that is breathtaking . . . Ripert takes us into the mind of a boy with thoughts so sweet they will cause you to weep. He also lets us into the mind of the man he is today, revealing all the golden cracks and chips that made him more valuable to those around him." -- The Wall Street Journal
"Eric Ripert makes magic with 32 Yolks ." -- Vanity Fair

" 32 Yolks may not be what you'd expect from a charming, Emmy-winning cooking show host and cookbook author. In the book, there are, of course, scenes of elaborate meals both eaten and prepared. . . . But Ripert's story is, for the most part, one of profound loss." -- Los Angeles Times

"This book demonstrates just how amazing Eric's life has been both inside and outside of the kitchen. It makes total sense now to see him become one of the greatest chefs in the world today. This is a portrait of a chef as a young man." --David Chang

"Eric Ripert is known around the world for his talent and passion for food. I have been friends with him for half his life, but his memoir let me discover more about his past. His journey from Andorra to Manhattan is full of adventure, hard work, and ambition, and it is an inspiration to us all." --Daniel Boulud
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780812992984
Branch Call Number: 926.415 RIP
Characteristics: 247 pages
Additional Contributors: Chambers, Veronica
Alternative Title: Thirty-two yolks


From the critics

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Oct 19, 2018

Read this because of my not-so-secret crush on the suave Eric Ripert. It's an easy read, and I enjoyed learning about his background and how he ended up in America.

Mar 07, 2018

Anyone who enjoys cooking or even a good story will get something out of "32 Yolks" by Eric Ripert. Eric come across as a decent if driven man who modestly admits to not having much natural talent for cooking but certainly the desire to achieve. Couple this with a love of great food and he became the success he is today. The highlight is the harrowing tales of working at two of Paris' top restaurants La Tour d'Argent and legendary chef Joel Robuchon's Jamin. By the end you too will be inspired to make your own perfect sauce vin blanc or scrambled egg appetizer with crab on top.

Nov 12, 2017

Before reading the book I knew that Eric was a class act and a real gentleman. But the book showed me a different side to him - how sad events in his childhood affected him so much, his lack of confidence with women, how it took years for him to perfect 5 star cooking skills. It amazes me how these aspiring chefs manage to stick with the incredible demands of their jobs.

Eric - you are a real inspiration! You remind the reader to respect quality ingredients and to pay attention to every step of food preparation and presentation.

Oct 16, 2017

The chef of the famed Le Bernardin in New York has written his memoir, starting from his childhood until he left Europe for America. This is a quick and entertaining read about surviving a broken family and the pleasures and terrors (yes, there's both emotional and physical abuse, at least in some of the kitchens where he worked) of becoming a French chef. Yet underlying this is the sense that Chef Ripert is a real person with a real heart and sense of humor He's not afraid to let us know about his failures, like the time he was acting as a waiter in culinary school and dropped drinks on the same table 3 times, or the time he left 24 ducks in an oven where they burnt to a crisp. Aook at his Facebook page shows numerous charitable efforts (including for Puerto Rico), and he's also vice chair of City Harvest, which helps feed the hungry in New York. Highly recommended for foodies.

ArapahoeKati Mar 14, 2017

I read this in a single day. It has heart, humor, and some heart-breaking moments, but Ripert does an excellent job of weaving together the threads of his childhood and how they influenced him as a man and as a chef. One of my favorite foodie memoirs I've read lately.

Mar 08, 2017

This got great reviews--it was good but not as great as I expected. I guess I shouldn't read reviews ahead of time or my expectations will be overly inflated. Still, I would recommend it. I love foodie/chef books.

biblioanna Jan 13, 2017

I made three apple tarts after reading this earnest recount of a chef's life in progress.

Aug 21, 2016

I’m HUNGRY…and you will be to after reading this book about a renowned French chef. If you enjoyed Marcus Samuelson’s YES CHEF, this should be on your reading list. I love this books, but can’t imagine how dedicated a chef has to be in reaching the top echelons of cooking. As I said, I’m hungry after reading this book. I yearn for the chocolate mousse described in the first part of the book, along with the tablespoons of caviar they consumed.

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