Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch

Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch

by Erin French

Hardcover

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Overview

**New York Times Bestseller**

From Erin French, owner of the critically acclaimed The Lost Kitchen, a TIME world dining destination, a life-affirming memoir about survival, renewal, and finding a community to lift her up


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.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250312341
Publisher: Celadon Books
Publication date: 04/06/2021
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 13,306
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Erin French is the owner and chef of The Lost Kitchen, a 40-seat restaurant in Freedom, Maine, that was recently named one of TIME Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places and one of "12 Restaurants Worth Traveling Across the World to Experience" by Bloomberg. A born-and-raised native of Maine, she learned early the simple pleasures of thoughtful food and the importance of gathering for a meal. Her love of sharing Maine and its delicious heritage with curious dinner guests and new friends alike has garnered attention in outlets such as The New York Times (her piece was one of the ten most read articles in the food section the year it was published), Martha Stewart Living, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and Food & Wine. She has been invited to share her story on NPR’s All Things Considered, The Chew, CBS This Morning, and The Today Show. Erin was featured in a short film made by Tastemade in partnership with L. L. Bean, which won a James Beard Award, and The Lost Kitchen Cookbook has been named one of the best cookbooks by The Washington Post, Vogue.com, and Remodelista and was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Hope

1 Bacon and Ice Cream 3

2 Tapioca and Kittens 10

3 We Were Speeding; We Were Spoiled 19

4 Days, Nights, Years in a Diner 26

5 Memories of a Meatloaf 35

6 The Sound of Harleys 43

7 The Full Boar 49

Part 2 Unity

8 It Better Be Blue 57

9 Making a Mother 65

10 Singing for Our Supper 73

11 Sawdust and Shiny Floors 81

12 Amaranth and Fried Chicken 95

13 Vinalhaven 108

14 Layers of Angst 116

Part 3 Prospect

15 The Triangle Made of Bricks 123

16 The Clinking of Glasses, the Flicker of Candles 134

17 Physical, Mental, Emotional 141

18 Kicking, Clawing, Falling 150

19 Nineteen Steps 162

20 Seventy-two 175

21 Time to Go, Girl 182

Part 4 Liberty

22 A Gray Day in Maine 195

23 Who Saved Who? 201

24 To the Bat Cave 206

25 Bittersweet Breakup Brownies 215

26 Potholes and Pavement 224

Part 5 Freedom

27 Leaves of Three 243

28 Take Me Back 251

29 Starting from Scratch 256

30 Women of Waldo 262

31 The Awakening of a Woman 271

32 A House the Color of Strawberries 277

33 There's No Place Like Home 283

Acknowledgments 291

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