The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen - Jacques Pépin I read this pretty much in one evening - it successfully drew me away from other things I needed to do.

I've never read something that so clearly gave me the sense of what it means to 'live and breathe food.' He's been working in the kitchen practically since he could walk, and started his apprenticeships about age 13. The book not only charts his personal history, but also some food trends, including how classical French cooking has been largely pushed aside in favor of nouvelle cuisine. Pepin moves quickly and breezily through his life story - he barely touches on his TV time with Julia Child - keeping the book a light, easy read.

I was amazed with Pepin's ability to remember dishes and food treatments from specific meals he cooked decades ago. Seriously, food is his life.

My only complaint is that I couldn't hear his wonderful accent as I was reading.