An executive at a well-known, Washington-based, high-technology company, Flinn's job was eliminated while she was working out of London. Her life in the rat race, as she knew it, was over; just like that. What to do? Immediately jump on the next high-pressure, 80-hour a week position that came along? No. Instead, Flinn took advice from her then boyfriend to happily take her severance, pack up, head to Paris and fulfill her life long dream of graduating from what many consider to be the world's most famous cooking school.
Nestled within the perfectly designed, 304-page hardcover, Flinn takes readers on a quick tour of her year tackling traditional French cuisine at the helm of demanding chefs who speak-and in most cases, scream-only French. The book reads quickly with each chapter equaling five-to-six pages in length with a recipe at the end of each one. Throughout her journey of making a supreme bechamel sauce to learning the art of slicing onions as gracefully as her French chefs, Flinn also shares her adventures in her personal life including the myriad guests who travel to France's adored city to spend time with Flinn and her boyfriend Mike in their nonstop, adventurous life in France that includes apartment hopping in a city they hardly know, as well as planning a wedding in two months time. The book is filled with heartache of Flinn's determination to please the impossible instructors at the school, but also love within the subject that seems to hold a more prominent spot in the book; her amazing relationship with Mike.
I will admit, being a culinary student in a Le Cordon Bleu school within the US, I really wanted more of the day in and day out of Flinn's experience at the school; the grueling curriculum, the increasingly challenging assignments as her experience grew, and maybe a little more of some of the relationships she developed with her perfection-obsessed instructors. At times I felt the chapters were too quick and that she could have gone in to a bit more detail.
Nevertheless, the book would prove to be a joy to read for anyone who enjoys those stories of people who ask, "What else can I do with my life?" Food, France, and a story of life and love; this book will touch the hearts of all who decide to join in her adventure.