THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
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.
‘Women everywhere will respond toÂ Finding FreedomÂ in the Lost Kitchen, a story of the triumph of true passion against all odds. With grit, honesty, and lyrical writing, Erin French takes us on her journey: working the line at her father’s diner, surviving addiction, toxic relationships, raising her son as a single mother, to finally re-inventing herself as a renowned chef and restaurateur.Â Finding Freedom in the Lost KitchenÂ is a wild ride, one you won’t soon forget.”
?Stephanie Danler, bestselling author ofÂ SweetbitterÂ andÂ Stray
Erin and I grew up in very different kitchens (an American diner; Chez Panisse), but I recognized so much in her experience: the intimacy and immediacy of a restaurant-as-second-home; the sounds and smells of cooking; the pleasure of bringing joy to people through food. Erin’s story is a gritty, sensuous, honest story of finding her own path?with the pursuit of good food as her bellwether.’
?Fanny Singer, author ofÂ Always Home
‘With extraordinary honesty and humour, Erin French’s incredible memoir takes us on a profoundly personal journey through her highest highs and her lowest lows. It was her love of cooking and bringing people joy that gave her the strength to build the life she’d always dreamed of. I’ll never forget this book and neither will you.’
‘Erin French is a talented chef, a successful entrepreneur, a beautiful young woman, and a passionate promoter of living the ‘good life.’ This book chronicles the incredible ups, and relatable downs, of building a life.’
‘Erin is an overcomer and a risk-taker. She’s the kind of person who, when faced with a setback, pushes forward and makes beauty out of hardship. Her story is full of passion and courage, and when you read this book, you will walk away feeling inspired and encouraged in your own life.’
?Joanna Gaines, Co-Founder, Magnolia
“What a beautiful book, really captivating and so warmly and tenderly written.”Â
?Clare Finney, Fortnum & Mason Awards Food Writer of the Year 2019Â
‘This beautiful masterpiece is an incredibly inspiring story of resilience, community and the power of food to bring good into the world.’
?Kerry Diamond, Cherry Bombe