By the time Dominique Crenn decided to become a chef, at the age of twenty-one, she knew it was an impossible dream in France where almost all restaurant kitchens were run by men. So, she left her home to move to San Francisco, where she would train under the legendary Jeremiah Tower. Almost thirty years later, Crenn became the first female chef in the United States to be awarded three Michelin Stars in 2018 for her influential restaurant Atelier Crenn.
...confidence and bravado resonate throughout Crenn’s high-spirited memoir ... Crenn’s story is one of accomplishment, empowerment, entrepreneurship and resilience ... Defying convention, she crafts her tasting menus not as lists of dishes, but as poems to evoke waves of emotion ... The book is laced with stories of Crenn’s physical strength and courage as she recovers from a devastating knee injury, then breast cancer, and advocates for gender equity and human rights ... Straightforward and candid and written in spare, warm prose (credit to co-author Emma Brockes), this memoir provides a glimpse into an extraordinary artist who lives fully on her own inspiring terms.
...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.
Crenn is clear about the issues facing women who work in the culinary world—and is always an advocate for the different and the unusual. With her facing a diagnosis of an aggressive form of breast cancer at book’s end, readers of all ages and genders will wish her the very best. Spirited and inspiring.