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32 Yolks

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  1,813 Ratings  ·  238 Reviews
For readers of Jacques Pépin’s The Apprentice and Marcus Samuelsson’s Yes, Chef, here is the coming-of-age story of a true French chef and international culinary icon. Before he earned three Michelin stars at Le Bernardin, won the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Chef, or became a regular guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, and even before he knew how to make a pr ...more
Hardcover, 247 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by Random House (first published April 12th 2016)
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Diane S ☔
May 12, 2016 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
I like to cook, buy the best ingredients available to me and think I am a pretty good at it. Or so my family says. But to be this caliber of a chef liking it not enough, passion os required, the passion required to cook for sixteen or more hours of a day. That I don't have the desire to do.

Saw Chef Eric Ripert on Top Chef, plus I like reading books about food, heck I really like food. He grew up with a mother who created wonderful food, had grandmothers who also cooked well, though differently.
May 16, 2016 Beth rated it liked it
Unlike many who would be attracted to this book, I started reading not really aware of who Eric Ripert really is. I don't generally pay attention to Michelin stars or any of that - way above my budget. But I do tend to be interested in memoirs, and as someone who collects cookbooks like some collect tchotchkes, I enjoy reading about chefs and their backgrounds and training. 32 Yolks was both interesting and compulsively readable.

Ripert didn't have the best upbringing as a child. His parents ende
May 29, 2016 Lorilin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, memoir, food-health, arc
Eric Ripert is one of the most recognizable chefs in the world today. He makes good food. He's on Top Chef a lot. And Anthony Bourdain seems to think he's a swell guy. To top it off, he's always got that humble and composed Frenchman swagger. The guy just has it going on.

I like Eric Ripert, and I figured I was going to enjoy this book when I first picked it up. But I wasn't expecting to be so caught up in it. I mean, I LOVED it. Start to finish, loved it. It was fun to read, and I didn't want it
Jun 05, 2016 Anne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Read it. Couldn't put it down. It was heart-breaking and amazing, and as I read it, I'd find myself thinking, there's a piece that lead to LB's genius. Loved the line about how he could tell where a chef made a mistake in a sauce because he's made every single one of them himself. But now I want more! I want what happens after he gets to America! Ripert and his co-author did an excellent job of laying out the foundations of Ripert's life and start in the kitchen. Now I want the next step.
Jun 23, 2016 Ola rated it liked it
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Fascinating coming-of-age story of a boy becoming a man, finding his passion and learning to cook and how to be a professional chef.

This is a story of beginning of long way that Eric Ripert had to take to become an amazing chef of a three star restaurant. Reading it I had more and more admiration for all the chefs. Work in a kitchen is so difficult, so physically and mentally exhausting it amazes me that so many people decide to embark on this journey to become a professional
Denise Morse
Apr 28, 2016 Denise Morse rated it really liked it
The book is an in depth look at the early formidable years of a true genius chef. It is always fascinating to read about how people become who they are, what happens in the early life to shape their thinking and their personalities. I wanted so much to go back in time and to give him a hug, i worried for him even knowing that things turn out alright. The description of working for Robuchon was so incredibly interesting. I so wanted to continue the story for after he got to Washington D.C. and le ...more
Heather Colacurcio
Sep 12, 2016 Heather Colacurcio rated it really liked it
In the heart of the most famous French kitchens, you will find a cutthroat world full of chefs trying to make their mark on the world. Eric Ripert recounts his privileged, but difficult childhood spent in the South of France and Andorra. When Ripert was only fifteen, he began culinary school and with a bright future ahead, started training in one of France's oldest, most beloved restaurants. When the opportunity struck to move even further up the ladder, Ripert jumped at the chance, not realizin ...more
3.5 stars

Eric Ripert is one of my favorite Top Chef personalities (he's both dreamy and articulate), and as I've been fortunate enough to eat at Le Bernardin a handful of times, he's also one of my favorite real-life chefs.

His childhood was both more fraught and more privileged than I had expected. No spoilers, but I strongly sympathized with young Eric, even when he was being a bit of an entitled prat.

The tales of his first Michelin-starred kitchen training are reminiscent of Kitchen Confident
Jul 11, 2016 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, food, memoir
I read this in Ripert's voice in my head, along with his French accent. I think you should too. The anecdotes in this book sometimes jump around in time and get a bit repetitive because of this, but overall, I found Ripert's early life in the kitchen entertaining. I even laughed out loud in some bits, especially about his Ghost Sauce. I was incredulous about some of the stories, especially how they ended up, but I could see Ripert's love of food and dining clearly in his descriptions. His co/gho ...more
Sep 04, 2016 Jess rated it it was amazing
This was amazing.

I have always liked Eric Ripert from his various food television appearances, but I didn't know too much about his past. I wasn't expecting the stories about his childhood abandonment and the stories of his parents divorce. They hit me close to home, though my own childhood wasn't coupled with some of the traumas that he suffered. But I just felt a lot of things while reading this, and I would really recommend it to others.
Jun 16, 2016 Holly rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio, 2016-reads
I am not a foodie, but I listened to the audiobook because I'm working on my French pronunciation and because I like Eric Ripert's voice. Unfortunately (for me), Ripert doesn't read this himself. And though the way Peter Ganim says mise en place is quite pleasing and the Andorran and Parisian settings were lovely to imagine, I wasn't all that compelled by the brutal dramas of culinary school and high-end restaurants.
Audrey Terry
Jun 07, 2016 Audrey Terry rated it it was amazing
I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

I haven't enjoyed reading a memoir this much in a long time. I like to think that I can cook, and this book was an immense joy to read. The way that Chambers and Ripert explain the process of creating dishes made it real and tangible, even for a home cook that has never made, or ruined a terrine before. Well done.
Nov 11, 2016 Deborah rated it it was amazing
A strong argument to expat in Andorra. Thoroughly enjoyed this book.

When the dishes arrived, it was clear that we were being presented with more than a meal: this was a gift.

C'est trop, Monsieur Jacques. It was -- the very best meal I'd ever had.


This lie was for my protection, and the pure tenderness of the gesture almost made me cry.

There is always chocolate mousse at Chez Jacques.

Proust had his madeleine, and because of Jacques, I have my mousse. Every time I dig into a bowl of that choc
Gregory Butera
Oct 12, 2016 Gregory Butera rated it really liked it
If you ever have the romantic idea it would be fun to be a chef in one of the best restaurants in the world, this is must reading. Eric Ripert shares his story, his youth and his early years as a line cook under some of the best chefs in France and how hard it is to work in a kitchen where nothing less than perfection is allowed. It really gives you an understanding of how hard these people work, how torturous the pursuit of another Michelin star can be to those behind the scenes. If I'm blessed ...more
Jul 14, 2016 Leeanna rated it liked it
This review originally appeared on my blog,


I first saw Eric Ripert on Top Chef, and was instantly intrigued by his mastery of fish as well as his calm, cool personality. I immediately requested the book on Le Bernardin, where Ripert is head chef, from my local library and was entranced even though I don’t like fish. Anyway, all of this led me to thinking Eric Ripert’s memoir would be just as interesting to me.

32 YOLKS starts with Ripert’s difficult childhood, where a love of food w
Carly Ellen Kramer
Sep 23, 2016 Carly Ellen Kramer rated it really liked it
Poignant and insightful - an engaging read. I adore Eric Ripert after reading this book more (if possible) than I did before. I'll never think of a high-end restaurant meal quite the same way again!
Apr 29, 2016 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am a huge fan of Top Chef and other serious cooking shows. I love reading books about cooking (not cookbooks, mind you, but memoirs from chefs regarding their time in the kitchen). This book doesn't disappoint.

Ripert spends a lot of time exploring his childhood experiences, which mostly included eating food rather than cooking it. Later, he gets into his experiences in cooking school and afterward, working with Robuchon and o
Jun 03, 2016 Casey rated it really liked it
Ripert's memoir is a straightforward, plain prose memoir stretching from his boyhood experiences with family and food to his departure for the US after his initial culinary education in France. It's not flashy by any means, but is reflective (Ripert owns his mistakes and immaturities) and honest (he admits he wasn't very good to start).

Ripert is also obviously still wrestling with his relationship with Joël Robuchon, the high profile chef he works for in his early career. He recounts incidents
Apr 18, 2016 Rumeur rated it it was amazing
LOVED this memoir/autobiography of the chef, Eric Ripert. Having seen him on some cooking shows it was great reading about his childhood & how it came to be that he wanted to be a chef

He grew up in France & at early age, his parents divorced. Both parents eventually got re-married & the " little prince" ( as some called him), got shuffled around to different schools, boarding school ( he was bit mischievous & both parents felt this was best--NO!). He later went to a vocational ty
Michael Giuliano
May 25, 2016 Michael Giuliano rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A modern 'Down and Out'-esque tale from culinary superstar Eric Ripert. Having only known Ripert through his appearances with Anthony Bourdain and of course the fame that comes with running Le Bernardin, this memoir goes more in-depth than I would have expected.

Ripert traces his origins back to France and Angora: living with divorced parents, experiencing an abusive stepfather, being sent to military school at age 8, and then going through the death of his father at the age of 11. Ripert, who o
May 24, 2016 Kristine rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
32 Yolks by Eric Ripert is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early May.

When you begin to read a chef's autobiography, you as a reader are able to piece together not just their culinary philosophy, but also their personal journey - a voyage de cuisine, if you will. With Cat Cora, it's like court bouillon with the sudden spicy sting of Tabasco, Marcus Samuelsson is like a fire-roasted cut of beef tenderloin with the scent of cracked berbere, and Eric Ripert, well, he's a human being, but it's
Jul 31, 2016 Debbie rated it liked it
This autobiography begins in Southern France as Eric's mom prepares gourmet meals while he is growing up. His parents divorce when he is six: his idolized father is replaced by a cruel step father. In boarding school he continues to be bullied. Eric realizes that his passion is food and he attends culinary school and becomes an apprentice to several well known chefs who were very demanding. At the end of the book, he is traveling to the United States where he becomes a legendary chef and co-owne ...more
Terri Jacobson
Jul 09, 2016 Terri Jacobson rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking, memoirs
Eric Ripert is one of my favorite chefs and I have several of his cookbooks. He is the chef and co-owner of the New York City restaurant Le Bernardin, an establishment with three Michelin stars. His TV series Avec Eric won several awards.

In 32 Yolks, Ripert tells the story of his life from childhood to age 24, when he left for America not even knowing how to speak English. He had a difficult childhood, and he recounts this with humility and grace. The narrative flows easily; I was quite charmed
Margaret Sankey
Apr 17, 2016 Margaret Sankey rated it liked it
Ripert always seems like a decent and constructive guy on the cooking shows I watch, and this explains why. As a teenager in the 1970s, he escaped an absentee father and bullying stepfather by joining the full flowering of the brutal and abusive brigade system of Joël Robuchon's kitchen. You can see where he has shaped his career to try to balance the ability of disciplined cooks with solid and rote training to crank out perfection in profitable multiples, without descending to madness and emplo ...more
Jul 21, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it
"One evening during service, the chef poissonier asked me to open two dozen little-necked clams for him. A simple enough task, but I'd rarely done it before, and I was very clumsy. I was not a trained fish chef...So I lined them up on the shelf and waited for them to open. When a clam opened a little, I shoved my oyster knife in and shucked it. When the chef poissonier returned, I handed him three clams. 'Where are there rest?' He asked. I pointed to the shelf. 'There, I'm waiting for them to op ...more
Sue Russell
Jun 14, 2016 Sue Russell rated it liked it
This is really a pretty good book---better than most chef memoirs. But it's hard to know how to rate a book for which the author had "help." In this case I might add that the "help" did a very good disappearing act, so that the prose seemed natural and the food parts seemed credibly detailed. I know that I couldn't have done anywhere near as good a job in describing the various knife cuts.
May 29, 2016 Dean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, food
My only disappointment was his memoir ended too soon but that is a sign of a good book. Better to end too soon than too late. It ends with his arrival in America. Looking forward to reading a further installment.
May 24, 2016 Lesliebasney rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable and I knew nothing about him except what I've seen with Tony Bourdain. Only covered up to age 24 so there should be more to follow.
Jun 24, 2016 Gina rated it liked it
There must be another installment in the future because he only told us about part of his life.
Dec 24, 2016 David rated it it was ok
chef of a 3-Michelin stars French restaurant in NYC who is also I guess on TV shows about cooking recounts his difficult upbringing in France [his parents divorced; his Dad died when he was quite young; his stepfather was abusive). His family did, however, introduce him to fine dining, and even at a young age he was entranced by eating but also by cooking. Went to culinary school, apprenticed with super-demanding top chefs, etc. Book culminates in his move to the US at age 24.

hats off to his "wr
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Eric Ripert is grateful for his early exposure to two cuisines—that of Antibes, France, where he was born, and of Andorra, a small country just over the Spanish border, where he moved as a young child. His family instilled their own passion for food in the young Ripert, and at the age of 15, he left home to attend culinary school in Perpignan. At 17, he moved to Paris and cooked at the legendary L ...more
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