PositiveThe New York Times Book Review...the story here is less about food than about Crenn’s confidence: where it came from and what it has allowed her to achieve ... By the end of this cleanly written (thanks to her co-author Brockes) and satisfying work, Crenn has confronted various obstacles, gender discrimination and health problems among them, to win a place in the pantheon of French chefs — on her own terms.
RaveThe New York Times Book Review... may well be an even greater pleasure than its predecessor ... most enjoyable (for us, if not for him) are the apprenticeships in which he sets out to master the five mother sauces, bake the perfect baguette and construct the same misleadingly named \'duck pie\' by which one year’s candidates for the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (a kind of culinary knighthood) were judged ... The book’s dust jacket breathlessly proclaims it as \'the definitive account of one of the world’s great culinary cultures,\' but Dirt is something better: a delightful, highly idiosyncratic exploration of how, as Buford puts it, \'a dish is arrived at not by following a set of instructions but by discovering everything about it: the behavior of its ingredients, its history and a quality that some chefs think of as its soul.\'
Eric Ripert and Veronica Chambers
MixedThe New York Times Book ReviewThat these tales are enjoyable despite their general familiarity is a tribute to the vividness with which Ripert (aided by his co-writer, Veronica Chambers) conveys them...What distinguishes a good chef’s memoir from the forgettable ones, after all, are the anecdotes. And Ripert has one very big anecdote in the form of Joël Robuchon...Ripert is not the first to tread on this terrain; in his own memoir, Gordon Ramsay described his time in Robuchon’s kitchen as similar to a stint in the British special forces. But Ripert is a more introspective soul, and we can see him still struggling, some 30 years later, to reconcile his conflicting images of Robuchon as genius and jackass, and to assess what the anxiety and pressure did to him as both a chef and a man. We never get to see that for ourselves. 32 Yolks ends abruptly with the 24-year-old Ripert about to depart for a new job in the United States.