Finding Freedom

Finding Freedom

A Cook's Story; Remaking A Life From Scratch

Large Print - 2021
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2021.
ISBN: 9781432885472
Characteristics: 501 pages ; 22 cm.
large print
Alternative Title: Remaking a life from scratch.

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ArapahoeJulia May 19, 2021

Erin French is the owner and chef of the critically acclaimed restaurant, The Lost Kitchen, and this book captures the story behind the successes. This poignant memoir explores everything from addiction to abuse, success to motherhood. It is heart-wrenching, honest, and hopeful. I really enjoyed reading Erin's story and I appreciated the honesty with which she not only described the difficulties she'd been dealt, but also her own missteps along the way. Erin shares what it takes to pick yourself up, and how to get help, after falling down again and again. She also shows the saving power of motherhood and the ability of food to unite, comfort, and love those around us.

wendybird May 17, 2021

For those that love the food memoir, and are also intrigued by more difficult works such as, Tara Westover's "Educated", Erin French's biography is a real treat. She absolutely waxes poetic whenever food is discussed - it's done with such passion, you know it is at the core of everything she is. Now the chef (she'd dispute that title) and creative genius behind Maine's incredibly successful Lost Kitchen Restaurant, Ms. French describes for us her life's journey to this perfect place.
Her celebration of simple fare, starting in her family's diner, makes the story and the joy accessible. This isn't a Michelin Five Star celebrity chef, but someone who revels in what is at hand, and knows how to render it gorgeous : she gathers field flowers for tables, places them alongside with reclaimed flea market tableware, and tops it off with local fare.
Along the way, she makes the mistakes that we all make in life -- but somehow, even when at the very bottom, finds meaning in her work and with that, the strength to take risks and fulfill her culinary vision. Not for the faint of heart .

debwalker May 04, 2021

Coming back from a dark place...

l
lurkykitty
Feb 16, 2021

Thank you to Celadon Books for an Advanced Reading Copy of Finding Freedom by Erin French. Erin's relationship with food started early in life, while she grew up in rural Maine on a farm, picking fruits and vegetables and working in her father's diner. She now owns The Lost Kitchen, a famous and acclaimed world dining destination in Freedom, Maine; however, her road to success was a long and difficult one. She struggled as a jobless single mother and survived a toxic marriage which led to the rock bottom of drug and alcohol addiction that almost destroyed her. She triumphed by determinedly focusing on her beloved son and her love of food as a means to bring joy to others. Her writing is beautiful, evocative, honest and sensuous. In telling her story, it must have been indescribably painful to relive those tough times. Erin is a visionary when it comes to food and restaurants and her love for cooking and commitment to provide a great dining experience shines through. Finding Freedom made me appreciate the sheer hard work and sacrifice that goes into starting and running a restaurant. I just devoured this book and was so interested in The Lost Kitchen, I visited the website to look at the beautiful photographs. Highly recommended for those who love food, life and inspiring memoirs.
#FindingFreedomMemoir #CeladonReads #partner @CeladonBooks

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