Blog Tour: Finding Freedom in the Lost Kitchen by Erin French
Released: 4th May 2021
Click here for amazon link
Click here for hive link
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 farm, 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.
My review calendar was full when I received the request for this one, but something in the synopsis shone out as a book I couldn't ignore. I'm so happy I decided to go for it.
It can be hard to review memoirs, but the ones I've read recently just make me want to reach for more. I love cooking and find it soothing to watch shows like Masterchef; something about watching cooks and chefs at work is so compelling and obviously I'm not alone in that. I'd not heard of the author before picking up this memoir, but reading about her life filled me with inspiration and awe. There were sections that I found tough to read (feel free to look up any trigger warnings online) but generally, I was pulled gently through the pages by the narrative and the hope that she would triumph.
While there are a lot of dark times told through the book, looking back on it I feel as if hope and resilience are strong themes as well. The descriptions of the cooking and building her restaurants from scratch added a homely feeling, bringing comfort for the author it seemed as she fought through the traumas of her life, and therefore soothing the reader with the menus created and the atmosphere she built within the Lost Kitchen.
I'd recommend this to anyone who loves cooking and isn't afraid of darker themes. I also think for anyone who has been struggling and needs some inspiration to start afresh. Thanks so much to the author and publisher for sending me a copy for an honest review, and to Anne Cater for sending me another book tour invite that I couldn't resist.